As I have told you on numerous occasions, seasoning is important in African cuisine. That’s why I always make in advance onion purée and chili paste to add to my dishes or to marinade meats.
Traditionally, women in Congo, for example, use their wood pestle and mortar to turn onion and chili into paste or purée. However, since this method is time consuming and very noisy, most people now use their food processor. Although the texture might be different but the result when added into your preparations is very identical.
Making these two relishes doesn’t require a lot of ingredients and time. It’s very simple to make your own version, since the quantity of each ingredients is up to your taste. For those who don’t support hot food, my advice will be to remove the seeds from the chilis.
The first step will to make the onion purée which is the base of all seasoning. In fact, I use this purée in almost everything, from rice (especially when I make Riz gras) to stews. The Onion purée is later used to make the long hot chili paste.
Prep: 10 min Cook: Servings
200-300 g of Long hot peppers
6 Green onions or Spring onions
1 Bulb of garlic
2-3 tablespoons of Grated Ginger
In a food processor, blend the onions, 3 green onions and the half of the bulb of garlic together until obtaining a paste with the consistency of a purée. And it’s time to transfer the onion purée into a mason jar or any other container. Pour 1-2 tablespoon of oil (I use Grapeseed oil) on top of the purée for conservation. And set aside.
In the same food processor, blend the long hot peppers with 3 tablespoons of the onion purée, ginger, the rest of the green onions and garlic until obtaining a paste. Transfer it in another mason jar before pouring 1-2 tablespoons of oil.
Store both relishes in the fridge until it’s time to use them.
For extra heat, I usually add one green hot pepper in my onion purée preparation and one habanero in my long hot chili mixture.
Remove the seeds of the hot peppers if you don’t want your paste to be too pronounced and too spicy. My tip would be to remove the seeds of half of the peppers and keep the seeds of the other half. But it’s always up to personal preference.
You can also decide to pan fry the hot pepper paste for 5-10 minutes, like I did with my Homemade hot pepper paste, before storing it in the fridge. However, I prefer to keep it raw for other purposes.