Pilipili, chiles in Swahili, infuse oil along with aromatics like herbs and onion to create a spicy condiment. Similar to hot sauce, these chile oils, found in Africa and across the African diaspora, provide a kick when drizzled on a dish. This version from the chef and author Bryant Terry uses fresh, small bird’s eye or Thai chiles for their vibrant taste and their availability in most supermarkets. Smoked paprika adds a bit of depth and helps to make the oil fire-engine red.
- Serves: 1 person
- 1cup olive oil
- 9small fresh bird’s eye or Thai chiles
- 2(2-inch) thyme sprigs
- 2(2-inch) rosemary sprigs
- 2teaspoons smoked paprika
Step 1In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients and heat over low, stirring occasionally, until the oil starts to sizzle and the paprika has darkened. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Step 2Transfer the mixture to a small jar or bottle, seal, and refrigerate for a few days before using. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.