Chile Recipes

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Hari Chutney (Spicy Indian Cilantro Mint Chutney) Recipe

Hari chutney (green) is a spicy preparation served as a condiment to pakora (Indian-style savory fritters) and vadai (fried urad dal). The preparation is very basic: a blend of green chiles, cilantro, mint, garlic and some sweetener to balance the flavors.

The result is a very intense, refreshing dipping sauce that contrasts extremely well with the heaviness of fried food. If you have extra spicy green chutney leftover, it makes a great companion to steamed fish. Once you try it, I'm sure you'll come up with your own uses for this truly versatile chutney.


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Spicy Garlic Chutney Recipe

Spicy Garlic Chutney

03.12.10 by Jackie

Spicy garlic chutney is meant to knock your socks off. I used Anaheim peppers which are mildly hot; you can decide on the level of spiciness by using hotter peppers such as Serrano peppers. If you're really masochistic, habanero or scotch bonnets would work as well. On the other hand, if you're like me and can't handle spicy food, you could use green bell peppers instead. 

This Indian chutney is a great condiment for subtly flavored dishes such as fish en papillote, meat, Indian potato cutlets, basmati rice and dahl or even a piece of toast. It's also very healthy for you due to the large quantity of fresh garlic. We make this chutney very often, as it stores well in the refrigerator. The only no-no would be to serve it during a romantic dinner !!


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Grapefruit Salad (Pomelo Salad) Recipe

Grapefruit Salad (Pomelo Salad)

02.25.10 by Jackie

It's been raining so much this season in the Bay Area (California) that our garden has produced a lot of citrus. Our pomelo tree has been particularly prolific. I've been pleasantly surprised by their sweetness, and I knew I was on to something delicious.

Pomelos have a subtle sweetness that is greatly enhanced by the addition of certain spices. To make this salad, I gathered the pomelo segments in a large bowl and covered them with ginger, coriander, agave nectar, sesame oil and red Thai bird chiles. It's a refreshing way to begin or end a meal.


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Cucumber Dill Salad with Tzatziki Dressing Recipe

I wanted to prepare a simple salad for dinner this evening, so I made a cucumber salad with a really easy to make tzatziki dressing.

Prepping the cucumber takes only a few steps. I wash, chop, salt and pat dry the cucumber slices and they're good to go. The tzatziki sauce is made of dried mint, dill and yogurt and is seasoned with salt and pepper. If you want to make it extra rich, you can add some sour cream or crème fraîche. Mix them together and you're ready to serve. That's it. Easy never tasted so good.


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How to Make Harissa Recipe

How to Make Harissa

10.17.09 by Jackie

Harissa is a spicy paste that is used as a condiment in Northern African cuisine. I was first introduced to harissa when I was in elementary school.

I had a friend named Inès, who was of Tunisian decent. I went over to her house one day and I remember we strolled into the kitchen and she pulled out a jar filled with a dark red paste. She dared me to spread some on a piece of baguette and have a taste.

Of course, I accepted the challenge, and oh boy was it spicy! I don't really eat hot chiles, and I could barely handle it. The harissa did have an amazing flavor though, and after a tall glass of milk to soothe my taste buds, I went back for more.

When it came to eating harissa, I was definitely a lightweight compared to Inès and her family. I could barely handle a few bites, but they ate it the way Italians consume balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.  Harissa was eaten with bread as a starter, and mixed with meat and vegetables for main course.

Harissa is not only versatile, but also very easy to make. The main ingredients are garlic, and of course, dried red chiles. The final ingredient is time. Like cheese, the longer you wait, the stronger the flavors get and the yummier it is. So prepare a jar this weekend, and you'll be well on your way to making amazing North African dishes.


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