Monday, July 16, 2012

Indian or International - Red or Green - Have your pick on Chili Paste!

Though I have talked about sambal oelek and even made the tangy tomato sambal, I have rarely tried to make the Sambal oelek ,the fiery red chili paste. Or for that matter, even the normal green chili paste which my friend had passed on. Everytime I bought green chilies they would be used up and red chillies were rarely used. So recently I decided enough was enough and tried out both green and red chilli paste .

Sambal Oelek:

The words meaning ground sambal or rather ground chilli sauce. Usually it is made by pounding fresh red chilies with salt and vinegar. There are different versions based on the geographies - and thus the type and quantity of the ingredients and also modern version which spice up the basic recipe as per taste and choice. 

I have gone for a modern spiced up version that I had found at and it turned out to a spicy hot experience for me as well. In my belief that I can handle any type of chili ! :} I halved them and after aome thinking started deseeding  the chilies when I found my fingers starting to burn with heat. So much for the bravado. But after all the effort, the paste was wonderfully spicy hot and a few drops were perfect for any dish that you combine it with. I am posting the original recipe using half a kilo of red chillies though I prepared only with the quantities I had.

Red Chile: 1/2kilo - 1 lb, optionally deseeded
Garlic Clove: 11 tbsp
Fresh Ginger: 11 tbsp
Lemon grass: 2 stalk : white part only
Vinegar: 12tbsp
Sugar: 8oz, 1 cup almost

  • Salt: to taste
  • Lime zest: 1 tbsp

  • Preparation:
    Blend together chilies,ginger,garlic and lemongrass preferably in a mortar and pestle or conveniently in a blender. Drizzle in vinegar while doing this till you are ok with the texture of the paste. Either smooth or slightly chunky.

    Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and add in sugar. Cook while stirring for few minutes while sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add salt and lemon zest and mix well.
    Cool a bit and store in sterilized jars.I have refriegerated mine.

     A fiery red chile paste that goes well in dips or sides.You can see the basic version of chilies,salt and vinegar pounded in the mortar and pestle here.

    Green Chile Paste:
    Now coming to the our local green chile paste. The recipe was given to me by a dear friend who got it from her mother-in-law. This chile paste can be used in place of any recipe that calls for green chiles and the advantage is it will be equally mixed within the dish - be it upma,rices, churmuri like snack,or whatever that requires green chile for spicing it up but sticks out like a sore thumb in the final dish. The paste is very simple and has a long shelf life and does not even require refrigeration. But I do refrigerate to prolong the shelf life.


    Green Chilies: 250 g 
    Salt: 100 g

    Wash thoroughly the green chiles and remove the stems. Dry the chilies thoroughly in paper towels. Pulse the chiles in a blender adding salt to get a smooth paste. Store in sterilized jars and use as needed.

    A simple handy paste.As for me, I use the red paste sparingly while the green one is a must for regular routine work. You can make and store both of them as well. Make your pick and add heat to your life now that Rain Gods are pleased with  Bangalore.. :)


    Priya Suresh said...

    Usually i'll go for red chilly paste, loved ur homemade chilly paste,my fridge will definitely have this green chilly paste.

    Anisha said...

    This is great. After tomato sambal... i read quite a bit about Sambals etc and was actually looking forward to try with just chillies. My sister in law can handle the heat from the chillies and she would be visiting us soon so I'm gonna make this for her... The red chilli one. :)

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