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Makes 1 cup

Adapted from recipe by Yottam Ottolengi in “Jerusalem”


  • 1 large ancho or pastille chile, or other dried chili with a little heat (about 1/3 oz)
  • 2 ½ TBS cayenne pepper
  • 3 ½ TBS paprika
  • 2 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp caraway seeds, ground
  • 20 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 5 TBS sunflower oil, plus a little extra to store


Place the chile in a small bowl, cover with hot water, and allow it to soak for 30 minutes. Drain away the water, and seed the chile, discarding the seeds. Cut it into large chunks and set aside.

 Spread the ground spices out in a frying pan. Place over medium-low heat and dry-roast them for about 2 minutes. Place the spices in a small food processor, along with the chile, garlic, and salt. Process a little, then, with the machine still running, pour in the oil and process until you get a sticky paste.

 To use: Smear over root vegetables or your protein of choice before roasting... mix with oil and herbs for a wonderful marinade... stir into yoghurt, or use as the flavor base for a salad dressing... mix into a chickpea salad or grain salad... The possibilities are endless!

 To store it: spoon the mixture into a sterilized jar, and cover with a film of olive oil to prevent it from drying out. Seal and store in the fridge, where it will last for up to a month.


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