OK. So, people have asked me for it, and here it is – how to make my “will burn a hole through hell’s floor” chilli mix.
Right, we need to start with the right chilli’s – personally I tend to go for the “Naga” although I’ve been known to also get “Cherry Bomb”, “Jamaican hot” or “Caribbean Red” when I couldn’t find them, or simply steal some of dad’s “Prairie Fire” hybrids from his garden.
I tend to try and find them dried – makes it easier … if not, then shove them into a pair of clean stockings and hang them from the garage rafter for a month, should dry them out nicely.
Right, once you have your dry pods, time to get crushing – personally, I go at it with a huge mortar and pestle, but I suppose a food processor could work … basically, you want to crush the pods down to nothing but specks of skin and seeds.
I also like to add a little flavour to the mix – so I tend to mix in some dried garlic (1 part to 10), aniseed (1 to 20), caraway seed (1 to 20) and Cinnamon Sticks (1 to 30) and crush it through with the pods.
Once you’ve crushed your pods (and flavour enhancers), grab a big bottle of brandy and pour it through the mix. No, you didn’t misread that.
Pour the mixture into jars and place them in the back of your pantry for about 3 weeks (or until the brandy has been completely absorbed by the chilli mix.
Now, you’ll need a good olive oil – first harvest cold pressed green olive oil. Pour the olive oil into each jar and seal it, place it upside down in the back of the pantry and let it sit for about 2 weeks. It should be ready by then.
After the two weeks you can pour the olive oil out from the jar into an oil bottle for the best chilli oil you’ll ever have – simply refill the original jar and allow it to re-ferment for another 2 weeks. I have been able to do this for about 6 refills before starting to notice a drop in the heat infusion of the oil.
Word of warning – these chilli varieties are hot – all fall in to the higher levels of the heat scale (although in the lower quartile of the “Habanero” variety – but you’re free to use those as well), so this mix is deadly! A small amount of oil is enough for most people – a teaspoon dipped in the jar and stirred through a casserole will turn it into a restaurant grade 3-Chilli curry.
Why these mixes get so hot is because of the “fermenting” process used in creating these jars which allows the ability to leach the full extent of the capsaicin from the placenta (the part that holds onto the seeds and the actual source of all that heat!), the brandy leaches it out, then in being reabsorbed by the chilli pieces, the capsaicin is evenly distributed and then slowly re-leached out into the oil in the second stage.