Chilli oil is the perfect garnish for anyone with an adventurous palate. A few drops over your favourite savoury dish go a long way. Not only it adds heat to bland food but also the beautiful aroma of chillies.
I like to toss my fried rice and noodles in a few teaspoons of chilli oil, drizzle it over my ramen and even my humble bowl of Maggi, or use it as a dipping sauce for dumplings! The possibilities are endless.
You can even spice up your soup with a little drizzle of this fiery oil. For more on broths follow the link: Homemade Soups 101 | Broth Basics 2
So here is the basic recipe for chilli oil followed by a few variations and ideas!
- Neutral Oil- 1 ½ cup
- Dried Chilli flakes- ¾ cup
- Spices and seasoning
Process: In a saucepan pour your oil and add all the ingredients except chilli flakes into the cold oil. Place it on the lowest flame possible and gently let all the flavours ooze out into the oil. Once everything looks shrivelled up, add the chilli flakes at once and turn up the heat for 5-7 seconds and take it off the flame and let it sit till the mixture cools down. Store in air-tight bottles and list oil will last you months.
Here are a few fun chilli oil ideas:
- Szechuan Chilli oil: Use chopped onion, garlic, Szechuan pepper and fresh chillies as the base. Add generous amounts of Chinese Five Spice Powder, add the chilli flakes and finish with a dash of vinegar. For a guide to five spice follow the following link: All About Chinese Five-Spice Powder
- Ghost Chilli Oil: This one is for the ones who like food super-hot, for the ones who think that mild heat is an abomination. Ghost Chillies, being one of the hottest in the world, is a dream come true. Use the same recipe above, but omit any spices as ghost chilli has its unique aroma and taste and it will surely take your dish to the next level. You can also use mustard oil in this recipe, but make sure that you heat up the oil till it smokes and let it cool before.
Fun Fact: Unlike red chilli powder, ghost chillies will give you less stomach burn even after being way hotter than the average chilli.
- Garlic Herb Chilli Oil: Start with a mix of sliced garlic, thyme, rosemary and chopped onions. Follow the same process and finish with salt.
For best results make your chilli flakes at home!