Chillies in Olive Oil


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


    Large Jar

Appears in

Falling Cloudberries

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2004

  • About

A teaspoonful of this oil (and a bit of the chilli itself) can be drizzled onto pasta or over grilled (broiled) meats and salads. The oil will initially be very hot, but as it is used you can top it up with more olive oil and it will eventually lose some of its potency. The flavour of the oil will depend entirely on your choice of chillies. Be sure to wear rubber gloves when handling the chillies, as just a little on your skin can prove uncomfortable even a few hours later (especially if you rub your eyes).


  • about 40 fresh red chillies
  • salt
  • 375 ml ( cups) olive oil


Cut the chillies into thin rounds of about 2 mm (about 1/16 inch). Put them in a colander in the sink and remove as many of the seeds as you can by tapping the colander sharply on the side of the sink. Sprinkle generously with salt and put a plate that fits inside your colander on top of the chillies to squash them and extract some of the juice. Set aside for about 24 hours.

Still using gloves, squeeze the chillies with your hands to drain away the excess salt and moisture and pack them into a clean sterilised jar. Cover them completely with olive oil. The oil will be ready in a couple of days, but will be better in a couple of weeks. Add more olive oil if the chilli oil is too strong. Store in a cool place. The chillies must remain covered by the oil at all times.