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(9 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 10 mins

More effort

Makes 450g/1lb
John Torode's thick chilli paste is wonderful added to Moroccan dishes or served as a condiment - it makes a great gift too!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per tbsp

  • kcal22
  • fat2g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs1g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre0g
  • protein1g
  • salt0.2g


  • 5 tbsp each coriander, cumin and fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 22 garlic cloves
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 20 red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 100ml olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…


  1. Roast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a dry pan for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Tip spice mix into a blender and grind to a fine powder, then transfer to a bowl. Add the garlic, onion, chillies, red pepper and olive oil to the blender and blitz to a paste.

  2. Tip paste into a shallow pan and cook for 15 mins until it reaches a jammy consistency, stirring constantly towards the end. Stir in the spices and 2 tsp salt, then remove from heat. Will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 2 months

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Comments, questions and tips

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Stephanie O'Brien's picture
Stephanie O&#03...
27th May, 2020
Is it too much for the obviously incorrect amounts of spice to be amended on here? All was going well until I added them and it has made the result inedible. Didn’t read the comments first.....maybe should have done but with a reputable site like this you shouldn’t have to. I shall salvage it by making a load more of the paste and cooking it off. How time consuming.
31st Jan, 2019
I have to agree with Russelld38. Unfortunately I'd already made the recipe before I saw his comment. 5 tbsps of the spices makes the paste thick, grainy and overwhelms any other flavour. Managed to somewhat salvage it by adding some tomato puree, red wine vinegar and garlic salt but don't make the same mistake I did.
23rd Apr, 2014
This recipe is incorrect, it should read teaspoons, please do not make that mistake the result is inedible!
Jane Hayward's picture
Jane Hayward
10th Apr, 2020
Read this review just before I added the spices to cooked mixture so reduced the amount I added. Agree should be tea spoons!
20th Mar, 2012
Have yey to make it
5th Mar, 2012
Absolutely spectacular!!! Fiery hot, just as it should be.
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