chili paste! (EoMEoTE#14)

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summary: recipe for chili paste based on a recipe in “Mangoes and Curry Leaves” by Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid; hard boiled egg party trick; EoMEoTE limerick; information about EoMEoTE; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

EoMEoTE#14 – the Party Trick Edition*

edit 1 February 2006 12:53 EST:
Oh sure. NOW Cooksister! announces the theme for EoMEoTE#14. It is poetic injustice hmmm. I’ll have to see if I can somehow edit this so that it fits into the new theme… although… I might be able to argue that it is poetic injustice that the announcement came SO late.

edit 1 February 2006 13:16 EST:
I did it!***

EoMEoTE#14 – Poetic Injustice Edition

click on images to see larger versions of photos
chili paste chili paste

We just tried the most fantastic recipe for ‘hot chili oil paste’ that we read about in Mangoes and Curry Leaves by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. They say that they first tried it with hard boiled eggs and that it is now one of the standard condiments in their house. Well, we had to try it. And how fitting that we were reading about this right near the end of the month – just in time for EoMEoTE#14 (at least I think it’s taking place this month) Not to mention that we also just discovered the most amazing way to take the shell of hard boiled eggs**. I mean really. Could the timing be more perfect for EoMEoTE?

The chili paste called for green onions, which we didn’t have. But we weren’t going to let that stop us. Onions are onions. So we used regular cooking onions and added a couple of green chilies for colour.

Indian Chili Paste
based on a recipe in Mangoes and Curry Leaves by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

  • 7 dried red cayenne peppers
  • 1 inch long ginger, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • salt, to taste (should be salty – it’s a condiment)
  • black pepper
  • ¼ medium sized onion, chopped finely (the original recipe calls for green onions but we didn’t have any)
  • 2 green chillies, chopped finely
  • ¼ c vegetable oil, (canola, safflower, sunflower…)


  1. Grind dried peppers, ginger, garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar (or use a food processor).
  2. Heat oil in a small pan until it is almost smoking. Add spice mix, onions and green chili. Cook and stir for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in a clean glass jar with decent lid.
  3. Alford and Duguid say this will keep up to a month in the refrigerator.

Serve with hard boiled eggs. It is also good as a garnish for soup or rice.

We boiled some eggs and OH MY!! This really is the best thing for hard boiled eggs!! I want to have hard boiled eggs EVERY day! Oh yes, and the requisite “toast” for EoMEoTE? We had pita bread.

chili paste * Because there has not yet been an official announcement from Cook Sister! about the theme for this month’s EoMEoTE, I have made an executive decision and decided that this month’s theme is Party Tricks – because there is a big party at the end of January. (There must be a big party somewhere! Oh yes!! It’s Chinese New Year….)

click on images to see larger versions

** Hard Boiled Egg Party Trick: Rap the hard boiled egg on both ends. Remove a tiny amount of shell from the narrow end and some of the shell from the large end. Making sure that you have sealed any side holes and blow on the top end. The egg pops right out of the bottom part of the shell. Really. You’ve GOT to try it!

yet another edit 2 February 2006 10:47 EST:
Here is the wonderful movie we were sent via email showing the egg peeling in action. Take a look!
We tried the chili paste in some left over Asian style chicken soup. We didn’t have noodles on hand but there was some left over rice in the fridge. Yup, chicken rice soup (Asian style) with Indian chili paste is FANTASTIC!

And last night we had a Bengali fish curry, rice and steamed green beans. We thought it would go well with the green beans. It was good, no doubt. But I have to say that lime pickle was a better complement.

edit 1 February 2006 13:16 EST:

EoMEoTE#14 – poetic injustice

*** Ha. It only took me about 20 minutes. Not bad, eh?

My egg is cracked at both ends

My egg is cracked at both ends
I have to hold it tight
So one, two blows, and
oh, my friends –
It pops out oh so right


This entry was posted in cookbooks, etc., crossblogging, EoMEoTE, food & drink, Indian, posts with recipes, side, spicy, vegetarian on by .

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11 responses to “chili paste! (EoMEoTE#14)

  1. ejm Post author

    heh! Clearly, I don’t really mind at all. (although I really shouldn’t let you off the hook so easily now that you remind me about the sonnet I needless wrote and had to change into a limerick….)

    I’m actually not all that familiar with any other St.VincentMillay’s poetry even though I do like that particular one. I’m afraid I am one of those terribly undereducated people who doesn’t generally read poetry. (I love to have it read to me though)

  2. Mats

    I don’t want to harp on your photo posting, but, for me, it’s lifted the whole blog to a new level. It is so cool to SEE all the cooking that you are describing.
    You didn’t run into Edna in high school? I still have my handy 1965 edition of “A Pocket Book of Modern Verse” ($0.75 !!!!)

  3. ejm Post author

    Harp away, harp away, Mats! (I’m glad you like the photos.)

    Yes, in fact high school is where I first heard “My candle burns at both ends” and I loved it. But did I love it enough to go out and read more of her poetry? Sadly, no. (I am a bad student.)

  4. Mats

    Heck, this is a “food” theme:

    Edna St. Vincent Millay

    Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
    Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;


    (read the rest of “Love is Not All” here:

    Or, as Saul Bellow might say, “More Die Of Heartbreak”

  5. sam

    i have to try the party trick sometime. It sounds incredible!
    Jeanne did that late thing on me once or twice. I have learnt my lesson now and patiently wait for her to make the annoncement. Well – at least her themes are ALWAYS FUN!

  6. Cyndi

    Great poem! And now I just HAVE to try that recipe. Please explain the green chilies, though. What I have access to here are jalapenos, about 2-3″ long and sort of “chubby,” and serranos, which are about 1-2″ long, but skinnier. Which is closest to what you used?

  7. ejm Post author

    Yes, do try it! It’s fantastic. We don’t think we’ll ever have hard-boiled eggs any other way.

    I’m guessing that any green chili would work, Cyndi, depending on how hot you like things. We added them mainly for colour because we HADN’T used green onions as per the recipe in Mangoes and Curry Leaves.

    However, I just looked at Cook’s Thesaurus – fresh chilies and I would say that serranos are closer to what we use. The green chillies we use are often labelled Thai chilies. What we buy might be green cayenne chillies though. Whatever they are, they are very hot.

    (Thank you for your kind words on the poem. I’ll agree that the original poem is great… I just hope that the poetry police won’t come and arrest me for what I did to it! :-D)

  8. Jeanne

    Cringe, cringe… apologies for my chronic lateness, Sam & Elizabeth!! I was late being born and nothing has changed in the intervening decades! I do always have the best intentions though… ;-)

    And Elizabeth, you must try and get some more of Edna’s stuff – I love her sonnets!

  9. ejm Post author

    No need to apologize, Jeanne! One of the things I love about EoMEoTE is the flexibility of the deadlines. (if there even IS a deadline.)

    Jeanne, I will revise my ways and get some poetry volumes out of the library. I have loved reading the real poems (as well as the revised ones) that have appeared so far in this month’s EoMEoTE.


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