Do yourself a favour and make this smoky hot and flavourful Chinese-style chili oil. Use it to drizzle over dumplings or as a sauce for stir-fried noodles and with that one secret local ingredient, you will have friends and family guessing what the magic touch is!
- 2 star anise
- 10-12 dried red chilies of your choice (Byadgi or Kashmiri work best)
- 7-8 Tirphal (a local ingredient similar to Sichuan peppercorns)
- 10-12 black peppercorns
- 6-8 garlic cloves
- 1 and ½ cups peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- First, place all the spices (Tirphal, peppercorns, star anise and chilies) in a dry pan and roast on medium heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
- Cool and grind to a coarse paste with the sea salt. Transfer this to a dry glass jar.
- Bash the garlic cloves to release their flavour.
- Heat the peanut oil in a saucepan. Once hot, add the garlic cloves and switch off the flame. Allow the garlic to steep in the oil for 5-8 minutes.
- While still hot, strain the oil into the jar containing the spices. Mix well.
- Store at room temperature for 3-4 months, topping with a little warm oil as the level goes down.