50 grams whole dried red chillies
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
4 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
I learned the recipe for this versatile marinade/paste/rub/dip from one of the worst head Chefs I have ever worked for. I know, that’s probably not going to make you want to cook it, but allow me to explain; Do we judge Rocky I on the fact that Rocky IV and V were subsequently made? No. Do we judge our favourite one-hit-wonder bands on their, mediocre follow up albums? No. Do we judge Bruce Willis or John Travolta on Armageddon and Battle field earth? No, we try to remember Moonlighting and Welcome Back Kotter instead.
Well this is the logic I use to judge the head Chef in question and original source of this recipe. The man, let’s call him ‘Carl’ may not have known how to cook a steak, I once saw him cook a rare sirloin by cooking it for 8 minutes on one side, 2 minutes on the other side and then serve it with pride! He may not have known the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan, I heard him once argue with a waiter over the “*#*!#! vegan on table 8” that, “Of course the Parmesan is ok for vegans.” I may have even seen old Carl once make a sauce with nothing more than dried dill, tap water and mayonnaise. Having seen these examples of complete lack of skill and effort in the kitchen it would’ve been easy for me to right him off. However, I was lucky enough to have seen ‘Carl’s’ earlier work. Namely his work with chilli peppers. He was the maestro when it came to making chilli sauces, marinades and spice rubs. The man knew his spicy food. In fact I’m certain that was all he knew. I learned a lot about chillis from him and tried to forget everything else I ever saw him do.
- Soak chillies in water for 1-2 hrs.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees (400 Fahrenheit).
- Drain the chillies and reserve the water.
- Toss the garlic in some oil and place in the oven for 12 minutes or until soft.
- In a dry pan over high heat lightly toast all the seeds until aromatic and remove them from the pan to a food processor.
- Process all ingredients until thick.
- Add 2 tbsp of reserved water.
- Add 1/3 cup of olive oil and process until smooth.
- Personally I make about triple this amount as once Iíve made it I tend to put it on everything.
- It keeps for weeks in a jar, just cover the surface with a little oil and pop it in the fridge.