Shatta (Homemade Middle Eastern chili paste)

Palestinian shatta (red chili paste)

I know this recipe might come as a surprise! As many of you who have been following me for years know :Hot and spicy are not my thing but for the past couple of weeks I have been part of an attempt to document Palestinian recipes and pantry items on instagram. But since that documentation is going on in Arabic for the most part, many of my wonderful readers reached out to me asking for the recipes in English, so I have decided to share some of them here on the blog. If you have any special requests regarding Palestinian/Middle Eastern Pantry items, please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to post them soon 🙂

Shatta is one of the staples in the Palestinian pantry that I have received so many questions about over the years. I have written the recipe over and over in messages and emails but never here on the blog! well! that ends today 🙂

Simply put, shatta is a chili paste that is quite popular in Palestine, Jordan,Syria Lebanon, and in Egypt. It is hot and I mean coughing out fire and fumes hot! It is usually served with hummus, falafel, salads, foul, sandwiches and pastries, makdous, chicken or meat… you name it, you can serve shatta with it!

As was the case with the baid o batata recipe, the amount below will give you one jar. You can double or triple to yield the amount that you desire

Palestinian shatta (red chili paste)

Shatta (red chili pepper paste)

500 g red chili peppers
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
Olive oil

Instructions
1.Wash the peppers and dry them them. Leave them in the sun for 3 to 4 days. The idea is to dehydrate them a bit
2. Remove the green stems and grind the peppers in a meat grinder or using a mortar and pestle or chop them really finely. If you would like to reduce the heat, remove some of the seeds and stems
3. Add 1 teaspoon salt and mix it through then place the pepper paste in a strainer in the fridge, the next day add another half a teaspoon, mix it through and leave it to strain for 2 to 4 days . The idea is to remove most of the liquid to help preserve the shatta longer
4. Take the strained paste and place it in an airtight jar and top with olive oil .

Notes:

You can add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon vinegar if you plan on using the shatta quickly. The lemon causes the shatta to spoil faster so if you plan on adding it, place the jar in the fridge and use it quickly. You can also add chopped lemon cubes and mix them through at the time of serving

If you plan on making a big amount to store on a long time, increase the amount of salt to 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of salt/500g. The salt helps preserve the shatta and this way you can even store it outside the fridge

Shatta hot pepper paste
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