Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How to make Chilli Oil

I am sure if you google the topic of this post, you will get a few hits. Contents however are not consistent. An Asian Indian, who can cook probably learns seasoning as the first step in cooking. Almost all of the Indian dishes have something called 'tempering' in which, oil is heated and some spices, red or green chillies are added to it and that in turn is the base of flavor. Putting hot chilli peppers to the hot oil gives the heat and this is a no brainer. But, if you heat oil too much, instead of giving heat, the same peppers can give you a bitter and sometimes rancid taste. You will be coughing and panting for breath if it starts smoking. I read through couple of posts and then decided to try it myself.
I used store bought pepper flakes. Placed 3 TBSP of chilli flakes in a jar. Poured very hot but not smoking peanut oil ( 1/2 cup). When you start pouring the oil to the jar, you will hear a sizzling sound. But, you should not get fumes out of the jar. If you get fumes, oil is too hot. If you don't hear the sizzling sound, oil is not hot enough. It has to be right temperature for it to absorb the heat from the chilli flakes. Increase the oil if you want a milder chilli oil. You can crush a garlic and place it in the jar to get chilli garlic oil. Let it sit overnight. Filter and store in refrigerator. It will stay fine for months.

Look at that lovely color.
A small bottle (maybe 4 - 6 Oz bottle) of chilli oil will cost you anywhere between 3 and 4 dollars. It is much cheaper to make it at home. You can trial with different kinds of pepper.

And I made popcorn using this oil to get a little spicy popcorn. I used 2 TBSP of this chilli oil. When hot, added about 3/4 tsp of salt to the oil and dumped 1/3 cup of corn kernels. Kept on shaking to prevent burning. There were exactly 3 un-popped kernels and that is how neat the stove top popcorn popping is. I think I have seen more un-popped kernels in microwave popcorn. When you eat this popcorn, you get an after taste heat that will make you sweat. Not too hot but pretty spicy.

Enjoy. Pin It


  1. aah! lovely tip yaar. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very informative post.Thanks for sharing..

  3. Thanks for sharing the tip..

  4. Very useful oil,thanks for sharing,love this chilli oil served on the top of the pizza..

  5. Lovely and simple

  6. I can't wait to try this! Chili oil is impossible to find (and when I do find it, it's so expensive!)


    I just used a modified version of your technique to make some herb, pepper and chili oils!

    Posted it (with credit to you) here...

  8. Erecipecards,
    Thanks for the trial and letting me know about it.

  9. looked at many recipes, tried your was perfect the popcorn is amazing, thanks for sharing


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