Red pepper paste

Red pepper paste

By
From
Saha
Makes
1 cup
Photographer
Matt Harvey

This is a vibrant and intensely flavoured, versatile paste that is especially popular in the north of Syria. It is often spread onto savoury breads and pastries, added to dips, soups and stews or used to flavour marinades. All varieties of red capsicum can be used – hot and sweet. In the Middle East the paste is dried in the open air in the hot season, and you can do the same over the summer months. It will need at least 2 days in full sunlight.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 large red capsicums, seeded, scraped and roughly chopped
2 red bullet chillies, seeded, scraped and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
olive oil

Method

  1. Put the capsicums and chillies into a food processor and purée to a smooth paste. Tip the paste into a large heavy-based frying pan and add the salt and sugar. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 40–45 minutes, stirring from time to time to make sure it doesn’t catch and burn.
  2. Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature. Scrape the paste into a large shallow baking tray and spread out evenly. Place in the oven for 5–6 hours, or overnight, until it dries to a very thick consistency. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Spoon into sterilised jars and pour on a film of olive oil. Seal and store in the fridge or freezer.
Tags:
Saha
Malouf
Lucy
Greg
Lebanon
Lebanese
Syria
Syrian
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