Collection: Delicious Chilli Pastes and Sauces

Sweet Chilli Sauce

Where would we be without Chilli Paste? Our kitchen boasts 2 or 3 different ones at any one time, plus of course red and green chillies in the freezer, chilli flakes and 3 different chilli powders. We love a touch of heat in the kitchen, but not everyone has to go this far! A good chilli paste will be your godsend when you are looking to spice up a soup, sauce, pasta dish, dip, avocado mash, even a potato crush!

Browse all of our Chilli recipes, or explore our Early Autumn dishes.


Chilli Paste and Chilli Jam Recipes

Browse all of our Chilli Paste recipes; they include these favourites:

Red and Green Chilli Pastes

This is our go-to easy recipe that is perfect for replacing green or red chillies in any dish. It keeps well in the fridge, sitting alongside ginger-garlic paste. These are both boons for Indian and Thai/S. E. Asian cooking especially.

Chilli Paste | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

Lemon-Chilli Paste

This is a lovely paste for drizzling. Ottolenghi made it to top a raita, but it can be used in soups, dals, salads, vegetables and anywhere else you want some heat.

Cucumber and Tomato Raita with Lemon-Chilli Paste

Hot Sweet Chilli Jam

This has to be one of our favourite Chilli Pastes/Jams. Some years ago my friend Franz shared the recipe for a chilli jam he was making at the time, and as I had chillies everywhere (in the freezer, on the bush, dried, drying), I made a couple of jars too. One I gave to my Thai friends, and they ate the whole (large) jar within a week, it was so good. They loved the heat and the sweetness.

This jam (use it as a paste, or if you like the heat it can be judiciously used in sandwiches and wraps) keeps very very well in the fridge.

Sweet Hot Chilli Jam

Zhug – Coriander-Chilli Paste

A versatile Yemini-Israeli paste made from green coriander (cilantro), green chillies and earthy spices. It is a great use for left-over coriander, or those coriander stems that you don’t want to discard. It is an alternative to our usual Coriander Paste, one that packs a bit of heat as well. It is a perfect accompaniment to pita with falafel, and also serves as a sauce, spread and dip. It can be stirred into soups and stews to spark them up. Spread a little on a sandwich or warm pita bread, drizzle it on pasta, or serve it with grilled halloumi or vegetables for an extra herby and spicy kick of flavour.

Zhug | Zhoug | Skhug | A Coriander Paste, Dip and Sauce

Chilli Jam with Deep and Complex Flavours

This Chilli Jam is more complex and refined that many others. Slow, slow cooking gives it an enduring and lingering natural sweetness which is enhanced with the addition of jaggery. It is another of our favourites, lasting a long time in the fridge and adding beautiful heating flavours to any dish. Mix some with oil to make a very special chilli oil.

Although it is called a jam, it is not a spread unless you are a chilli fiend. It is definitely a Chilli Paste to be used to add heat to dishes. It is as hot as you can imagine chillies to be, so spread it on your toast at your peril. However, the long slow cooking intensifies the sugars in the ingredients and the heat is a mature one that hits the back of the palate, compared to the biting heat of the raw or fresh pastes.

Chilli Jam | Chilli Paste | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

Green Chilli and Coriander Paste

This chilli, garlic and coriander paste can be used as an accompaniment to dishes and meals, and as a flavour kick for dishes. Stir it into steamed rice, for example, or into any curry. It works particularly well with coconut milk based spicy dishes. Have it on the side of rice or curries, drizzle it into soups, spread a tiny amount on a sandwich, smear a little onto a snack.

Keep it handy too for spreading on your sandwiches and toast (try it with cheese!), and as a dip for snacks and finger food. It also goes well with idli, vadai and other Indian snacks. The paste keeps well for a week or so in the fridge if tightly covered.

Green Chilli and Coriander Chutney

Goan Rechad Masala | Rechiado/Rechieo Paste

This is the spicy, chilli paste of Goa, a thick paste of red chillies, garlic and spices ground in vinegar. It is spicy, tangy and hot.

This spice paste is traditionally used to stuff small vegetables like okra, small zucchini, baby eggplants etc. It goes particularly well with Stuffed Okra. It is a very hot paste – made from chillies with a few spices – so just a little is used. It can also  used as a chilli paste, added to dishes to give them heat, or use in place of chillies in recipes. Add a little to yoghurt to make a spicy accompaniment to snacks. It keeps in the fridge for months and will freeze well.

Goan Chilli Paste

Sambal Tomat

This is a great vegetarian version of the Balinese Sambal based on tomatoes and shallots. You can add other items to this sambal, such as diced eggplant, ginger, curry leaves, even watercress and nuts. It can be served with any meal e.g. white rice, nasi lemak (Balinese Coconut Rice), nasi minyak (Balinese ghee rice), thosai, roti chanai. Or serve in or with any dish that needs a spice kick.

Sambal Tomat

Tomato and Chilli Jam

This jam is a great addition to any dish – for example, a pasta sauce of blended rocket, peas, grilled eggplant with a generous dollop of the Tomato Chilli Jam makes a wonderful supper.

It is a wonderful accompaniment to dishes, served like a chutney. Use it with dosa or flatbread. With a stirfried vegetable or tofu dish, stirred into a soup that wants a little more spice, smeared over pizza or farinata. Spread very thinly on toast and topped with bocconcini, fresh greens and herbs. Over plain rice. In a salad dressing. Drizzled over steamed or baked vegetables.

Tomato and Chilli Jam

Sweet Chilli Sauce

This is a simple and easy recipe for Sweet Chilli Sauce, a sauce that can be used in so many ways – with noodles or over vegetables, in a stir fry, as a dip, or as a condiment. Use it in sandwiches, add some to pasta sauces, and spread over grilled tofu or haloumi. You will find a million ways to use it.

The recipe’s heat content depends on the chillies that are used. For mild chillies, add more. For firey chillies, stay with 3 or reduce to 2. My latest batch of sauce, made with 3 ripe chillies of the purple cayenne variety, is quite sweet with a delightful mild-medium heat perfect for a dipping sauce. If you like real HEAT, add more chillies. You can also boost up the amount of garlic should you prefer a garlic twist to your chilli sauce.

Sweet Chilli Sauce

Preserved Sweet Chillies – Sweet Chilli Jam

These sweet chillies are a variation on Sweet Chilli Sauce, – red chillies are simmered in a sugar solution until tender, and then stored in a glass jar. I will usually make small portions as it is an easy recipe, using a dozen or so ripe chillies from the garden. The preserve is then used over the next few days as an accompaniment to dishes. It is pretty delicious, especially with anything involving rice.

Sweet Preserved Chillies

Balinese Sambal Dabo Lilang and Sambal Iris

This is like a raw, deconstructed chilli paste! So very delightful, I had to include it here. Use it in or on any dish that needs a lift.

Sambal Iris

Welcome! I hope you are enjoying what you see here. Thank you so much for your comment and your thoughts.

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