Hamim, red pepper paste is a hallmark of Armenian homes. Typically this paste is made with super ripe Aleppo peppers, After being prepared, it would be dried in the sun. The paste would be packed into jars and stored for use throughout the winter months. This recipe is done in a slow oven, but you could use a food dehydrator as well. This paste can be used like a tomato paste to thicken dips, flavor stews and marinades or just straight on bread with some fresh mint leaves makes a delicious sandwich.
Notes: you can vary the amount of hot chilies versus red peppers depending on how much heat you like. You can also freeze the paste in an ice cube tray and then into a zip lock, taking care to remove any air.
Hamim (Red Pepper Paste)
- 1 lb. hot red chilies Aleppo if you can find them otherwise try Fresno’s, seeded and halved membranes removed
- 3 lbs. red peppers seeded and quartered membranes removed
- 3 tablespoons coarse salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Parchment paper
- Coarsely grind the peppers in a food processor
- Toss with 3 tablespoons of coarse salt
- Spread the mixture out on 2 parchment lined baking sheets
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees
- Place the trays in the oven until the peppers are dry about 6 hours
- It will reduce quite a bit leaving you with about two cups
- Place half the peppers in a double thickness of cheesecloth and squeeze hard to emit any excess moisture. Repeat with the other half.
- In a food processor, blend the peppers with the sugar and half the oil.
- Add coarse slat to taste, it should taste slightly salty
- Pack into 2 small glass jars
- Top with the remaining oil, close tightly and refrigerate.
- The paste taste best after about 1 week in the refrigerator.