Sweet Chili Sensation (chilli paste recipe)
I have no problem admitting that I am one of those people that doesn’t need an excuse to add chilli. I LOVE chilli. I prefer it to pepper and I pretty much think it makes every savoury dish better. So I was absolutely through the moon when I showed up in New Zealand and saw the trees dripping with beautiful chillies. With so much abundance, we had to come up with some different ways to preserve these little beauties!
Chillies pack more than just punch
Did you know that chilli contains more Vitamin C than oranges? Actually chillies contain around 7 times more Vit. C than oranges and that is not the only benefit. Along with Vit. C, you can add Vit A & E to the list, as well as potassium, folic acid, and beta-carotene. We all know that hit when you eat just a bit too much, wham! Sinuses cleared. Studies have also shown that chilli helps with digestion, aches and pains and may help to relieve migraines. But I have to say I’m in it for taste, it helps my food bite back!
In the past I have used this recipe with Jalapeños (roasted and skinned) and it is fabulous. Feel free to use whatever chillies you like, but I would recommend not using too small a chilli because they will dry up in the oven and become a bit tough in the paste. Have a look at how we strung up the smaller chillies and placed them over the fire place to dry out. If you happen to live in a dry and hot climate, your air maybe enough to do the same trick. Later once those chillies are dry we will take them off the strings and grind them to make chilli powder. This is a great way to save on costs if you have been using a dehydrator in the past.
Sweet Chilli Sensation Recipe
Adjust this recipe to the amounts of chilli you have at hand. We had a ludicrous amount as you can see and this was the second batch!
- Chillies (approx.. 70, wowser)
- 6 Tablespoons- Coconut Sugar or Brown Sugar
- 4 Tablespoons- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Coconut Oil or Olive Oil (to roll the chillies in)
1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius (fan forced) or 180 in a gas burner, turn down if necessary throughout the cook. Temperature will vary based on the size of the chillies and whether or not you have decided to de-seed them. If the chillies are left whole they will take a bit longer to cook and will be able to handle a higher heat. You want the chillies to be soft and moist.
2. Prepare the chillies: Cut off the top of the chilli and slice down the middle. Use a small spoon to remove the seeds. (Tip: use gloves if the chillies are really hot, also protect your eyes) I have de-seeded this batch. We found that the chilli paste texture was not as smooth with the seeds left in, but this is purely preferential.
3. Roll the prepared chillies in your choice of oil.
4. Place chillies on baking tray side by side and place in the oven.
5. Check on chillies every ten minutes, use tongs to check how soft the chillies are.
6. Remove chillies when they are soft.
7. Combine vinegar and sugar in a pot, with enough room in it for the chillies to be added later. The consistency should not be too runny nor firm. place the mixture over medium heat, stir while bringing it to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and keep stirring. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 to 1.5 minutes, continue stirring. Add Chillies to the mixture. Toss the chillies in the mixture and allow them to cook together for approximately 2 minutes, mixture may return to a boil. Continue to stir.
8. Remove chillies from heat and allow time to cool down, unless your food processor can handle hot items.
9. Place the mixture in a food processor and blend until your desired consistency.
I think this paste is better the next day when the flavours have had time to mingle and truly get to know each other.
Our Favourite Combinations
- Cheese, Sweet Chilli Sensation on Brown Rice Crackers
- Avocado, Sweet Chilli Sensation on toasted Ciabatta
- Coconut Milk, Sautéed Garlic, Sweet Chilli Sensation, Almond Butter & Salt (Salad dressing
Love, A x