[gardeners] How'z this sound, George?

penny x stamm (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Fri, 3 Nov 2000 23:25:21 -0500

A. CHILLI PASTE. (I call mine "Hellfire")
You can use Sambal Oelek but this is fun to do and a lot hotter.

1. Mix two tablespoons of hot chilli powder (not Mex style) with just 
enough water to make a stiff paste. Cover and set aside for an hour 
at least to let flavours develop.
2. Put on rubber or plastic gloves...if you don't you'll regret it.
juices burn the skin.
3. Gather 500 gm or so fresh chillies, a mix is best ideally Habaneras
should be part of it and some should be green if possible.
4. Remove the tops of the chillies and place them into a pot containing 
a cup of cooking oil. I use peanut. Peel a piece of fresh  ginger about 
2" long, if you can get it. Add peel to oil and put chillies and ginger
in a
food processor. Peel two medium onions, chop roughly and add to 
blender, any surplus onion bits such as tops and bottoms should be 
chopped and added to the oil. Add four garlic cloves to the processor.
5. Bring the oil with its contents to a gentle boil, as soon as it does
turn off the heat and leave to infuse.
6. Add a good dash of white vinegar to the contents of the food 
processor, add the chilli powder paste, and blend the lot finely. The 
vinegar stops the end result going mouldy and helps with the 
blending.  Remove and set aside.
Rinse the processor bowl thoroughly in hot  water then leave it in 
hot detergent water for at least an hour. Probably best to give it 
another  good rinse after this.
7. Once the oil is cool enough add sufficient to a fry pan to fry the 
paste, too much is better than too little. Strain the rest of the oil 
into a  clean jar and label ASAP.
8. Heat the oil in the pan and carefully stir in your paste, fry over a
medium heat stirring constantly, do not leave it as burning chilli 
smoke is hell on the lungs...I know! A dash of sugar may be added 
to offset the vinegar. After a time you'll see the oil starting to come 
through the paste, this is a good sign. Reduce heat and keep 
stirring so the paste does not stick to the pan, keep cooking until 
all moisture seems to have evaporated off.
9.  Remove pan from stove and spoon mixture into clean jars, it 
should be oily, don't worry about that.
10. After a couple of days surplus oil will rise to the surface, decant 
this off into your chilli oil jar. If necessary put the contents of the 
jars in a sieve and let the oil run into a small jug. Refrigerate after 
opening a jar.

You have created two fearsome things both of which are invaluable 
in the kitchen.

In subsequent mailings I'll give you recipes involving this monster 
but, for starters, if you want a side dish for a curry try frying 
desiccated coconut in some of that chilli oil then stirring in some 
of the paste and add a dash of fish sauce. Fry well and enjoy. 
(Indonesian dish called Sambal kelapa).

Place 2 cups of peanut or other oil in a pan and add 4 sticks 
cinnamon, 8-10 cardamom pods, 6 cloves of garlic, 2" of ginger, 
12 cloves, and 12 curry leaves if you can get them. (3 Bay leaves 
if you can't) Just as with the chilli oil bring to boil and infuse, when 
cool enough carefully remove the spices and place them in a 
suitable jar or bottle. add the oil, seal, and set aside. As the oil 
level drops through use add more peanut oil, the spices will 
maintain the flavour for quite some time.

Use as the oil when making curries, also good with other spicy dishes.

(Tom Mc Rae)

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