Quick red pepper paste

Quick red pepper paste

Biber salçası

By
From
Istanbul
Makes
200 g
Photographer
Steven Joyce

Biber salçası, whether bought in a jar from a Middle Eastern store or tasted in Turkey itself, is a thick red paste with the same texture as concentrated tomato purée. It takes a long time to make and you need a good dose of sunshine to do it properly, as it gets its dark red colour from the paste spending hours drying in the sun. If you can’t find ready-made red pepper paste, this is a great substitute and doesn’t take as long to make. Keep it in the fridge in a sterilised jar with a layer of oil over the top and it will stay fresh for a couple of weeks.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 red capsicums
2 red chillies, (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
vegetable oil

Method

  1. Wash and sterilise a medium-sized glass jar with a lid. Remove the jar’s rubber seal if it has one, and then place in the oven for 30 minutes at 140˚C.
  2. Scrape the seeds out of the red bell peppers and chillies and remove the membranes from the inside. Place the flesh in a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients except the vegetable oil and blitz to a pulp.
  3. Scoop the mixture into a pan set over a medium heat and cook slowly for 30–40 minutes, stirring frequently, until well reduced and you are left with a sticky red paste.
  4. Scrape the hot paste into the sterilised jar. Pour a layer of vegetable oil over the paste to seal it then put the lid on. Keep in the fridge. Taste before using to check its spice levels.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish
Rebecca
Seal
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