Living in Italy makes it very easy to grow chillies in the summer but if you can’t grow chillies you can just buy them cheaply in any Asian store or supermarket. Here in Italy, September is the harvesting season so it’s usually the best and cheapest time to buy chilies This recipe is for batch cooking homemade chilli oil so you have delicious oil throughout the year. Once you’ve opened a jar you must keep it topped up with oil to keep it fresh and you also have the added bonus of stretching out the oil.
I use a variety of chillies but you can choose the ones you like and also depending on how spicy you like it. Sometimes I mix both red and green chillies as the green chilies give a different flavour to the oil.
Using a food processor or Braun MQ725 Multiquick Hand Blender, Black really is the only way to chop the chillies as you don’t want the chilli to go all over your hands or under your nails. Trust me I learnt the hard way!!
- 200g fresh chilli of your choice
- ½ litre vegetable oil or olive oil
- Sterilise 3 jars either in boiling water or wash in a dishwasher (I keep old jars such as bean or jam jars and reuse them for preserving things).
- Pulse the chillies in a blender until they are roughly chopped (I use a magi mix but whatever blender you have is fine). You can chop them by hand but you must wear gloves and it can be a lengthy and messy task.
- Place the chillies into a large flying pan.
- Pour in the oil.
- Fry on a high heat until the oil is at full temperature then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. It’s a good idea to cover the frying pan with a lid as the chillies are strong and the spice hangs in the air.
- When the chillies are cooked switch off the heat and leave to cool.
- Once they are cool, transfer the mixture into the sterilised jars but don't fill them up completely.
- Pour some extra oil on top until the jars are completely full.
- Store in a fridge for around 6 weeks.
Close the jars and place them into a pot. Cover with cold water. Turn on the heat and bring the water to the boil. Turn down to a medium heat and cook for 20 minutes until the jars are sealed. You will notice the top of the lid will pop and that’s how you will know the jars are sealed.
Once the jars are sealed properly you can store them in a cupboard and they will last for around a year.
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