What to do with excess chillis

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What to do with excess chillis

Postby Red Bigot » Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:04 pm

If you like thai-style food, you can make a non-sweet hot nam prik yourself with all the chillis you grow at home or buy at the market. (The commercial versions in jars can be 25% sugar or more although many of the dozens of varieties you can buy fresh at markets in Thailand aren't sweet.)

Here are a couple of recipes:

http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/recipe ... =28088&y=1

http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/recipe ... =59512&y=1

I use variations on these, sometimes the full shrimp treatment like the first recipe, sometimes just a dollop of shrimp paste (the soft Thai one), but mostly it goes like this:

Peel about 2-3 heads of garlic (or buy the pre-peeled stuff from one of the Asian food shops). Proportions are about 50-50 by weight of garlic to chillis, or any proportion that suits your tastes and heat of the chillis.

Soak a couple of different types of long dried chillis in hot water for a while.

De-stem and roughly chop all sorts of (red) chillis from my garden, including jalepenos, thai hot and several other varieties. There are other recipes for green chillis too.

I don't bother de-seeding, but if you want a smoother paste or don't like the seed you will have to spend the extra time.

Put it all in a big food processor, it fills ours to max capacity. Blend until fairly fine, you can add some oil and/or fish sauce at this stage if it seems to help it blend better.

Pour a fair amount of oil (peanut, soya, safflower, vegetable, not olive) into a big/wide frying pan or skillet, at least half a cup, probably more, I often add more as it goes along too.

Slowly and gently fry the mix, stirring frequently, turn down heat to very low if it starts to brown too quickly on the bottom between stirs.

I generally adjust seasoning with fish sauce and a teaspoon of palm sugar (we don't like it sweet) after it's cooked for a while.

Don't plan on doing much for an hour or so as you will have to watch it doesn't burn and stir frequently.

It's finished when it's a deep red/brown all through.

Store in sterilised jars and top up with oil to make sure the surface is covered. You may have to do this a couple of times as it soaks up extra oil if you didn't use enough while cooking it.

If you sterilised the jars properly and covered with oil it will last for years in the cupboard and months in the fridge after it's opened, but the open jar seldom lasts that long at our place, unless we have several different ones open at once.
Last edited by Red Bigot on Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DaveL » Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:31 am

My favourite thing to do with excess chillis is to soften a couple of diced cloves of garlic in a frypan with a decent amount of olive oil. Then to chuck the chillies in whole and fry them all over for a few minutes. Crack enough rock salt over them to send your blood pressure through the roof, and then eat them as snacks with ice cold Little Creatures Pale or Coopers Sparkling.

Though if I did this with Thai birds eye chillies I reckon I'd spend the next 48 hours discovering religion on the toilet :(
Ground control to Major Tom, take your protein pills and put your helmet on.
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Postby Red Bigot » Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:14 am

DaveL wrote:My favourite thing to do with excess chillis is to soften a couple of diced cloves of garlic in a frypan with a decent amount of olive oil. Then to chuck the chillies in whole and fry them all over for a few minutes. Crack enough rock salt over them to send your blood pressure through the roof, and then eat them as snacks with ice cold Little Creatures Pale or Coopers Sparkling.

Though if I did this with Thai birds eye chillies I reckon I'd spend the next 48 hours discovering religion on the toilet :(


Good one Dave, not sure I could cope with all the salt though.

I used to think I was very tolerant of chilli, I can cope with hotter food than many of our Thai friends and our favourite Thai restaurant automatically brings me out a big serve of extra chopped chilli when we dine there. Then one night we were invited to a family/staff dinner after normal service finished and there was a little bowl of "scuds", small green, very hot chillis. I was working my way through one at a reasonable rate, snacking in between bites, when Adul (the restaurant owner) nonchalantly chewed and swallowed one and then reached for another and did the same! I've got a long way to go yet.
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Postby DaveL » Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:25 am

Whereas I ate a whole Habanero chilli as a dare in 3rd year uni. The heat from those bad boys builds exponentially over about a five minute period. I am not proud of myself when I tell you that I drank a litre carton of custard just to control the burn so I could survive my next seminar. That will remain the only chilli ever to reduce me to tears, but it also taught me an important life skill about over indulgence a couple of hours later.

These days I've learned to balance the chilli heat and flavour as just one part of my meal, though I still err on the side of machismo now and again :/
Ground control to Major Tom, take your protein pills and put your helmet on.
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Postby Sharkey » Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:31 am

I make a hot harissa out of left over chillis. Can't remember the exact recipe but something like this:

http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/recipe.cgi?r=126033

Use a food processor though, it is much easier. The harissa can be eaten with lots of things. I even have it on toast with some avocado for breakfast.

The other thing you can do with excess chillis is freeze them. Lay them on a tray on glad bake and put them in the freezer until they are frozen. Then put them in a zip lock bag and they will stay separated so you can just grab as many as you need.
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Postby Red Bigot » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:10 am

Sharkey wrote:I make a hot harissa out of left over chillis. Can't remember the exact recipe but something like this:

http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/recipe.cgi?r=126033

Use a food processor though, it is much easier. The harissa can be eaten with lots of things. I even have it on toast with some avocado for breakfast.

The other thing you can do with excess chillis is freeze them. Lay them on a tray on glad bake and put them in the freezer until they are frozen. Then put them in a zip lock bag and they will stay separated so you can just grab as many as you need.


I must try the harissa recipe, I do like the different flavours there.

We still have some frozen chillis from last season as well and even a few habeneros from the season before that, they are very hot but don't have a lot of flavour.
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Postby camw » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:16 am

Sharkey wrote:I make a hot harissa out of left over chillis. Can't remember the exact recipe but something like this:

http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/recipe.cgi?r=126033

Use a food processor though, it is much easier. The harissa can be eaten with lots of things. I even have it on toast with some avocado for breakfast.


Actually happened to have this last night - briefly marinated a chicken breast in the harissa and then put it on the kettle bbq.

My favourite recipe is from Neil Perry's book (he provides three variants and this is the hottest), I usually halve the amounts.

8 chillies
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
4 Garlic Cloves
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt (I like to add the same amount of freshly cracked pepper)
80ml Olive Oil

Basically just roast the cumin and coriander seeds on a frypan then put it all in a blender or mortar and pestle and mix the remaining ingredients.
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Postby Scanlon » Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:31 am

God invented the freezer for excess chillis!
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