Well, I guess if I’ve put up the Muso’s recipe, you’d better have the chilli paste recipe too. After all, you’re going to have a lot more than one chilli if you followed the instructions and planted that bush… habaneras are prolific fruiters, and I think I still have three plastic shopping bags full in the freezer from one bush last season.
As you pick the chillis off the bush, freeze them straight away. The best ones to use to make a good hot paste are habaneras (the orange lantern-shaped ones) or birds’ eyes (the very small bright red banana shaped ones), but habaneras seem more uniformly hot. You need a few good handfuls for the paste.
When ready to make the paste, no need to thaw them. Just snap off the stems, or cut if they’re being difficult (but wear gloves unless you want your lover to hit the roof next time you fondle his privates).
Put enough lemon juice in a blender to cover the blades (fresh squeezed is best but the one in a squeeze pack won’t ruin the paste), then add a good heaped dessertspoon of crushed garlic (again, fresh is best but the one in the jar won’t wreck it). Start blending and add the frozen chillis one or two at a time until the blender starts to complain; add more lemon juice to keep it flowing until you’ve used all the chillis and you have a good thick paste without any surprise lumps of pure chilli (unless you like surprises). You might need to scrape down the sides of the blender and give the paste a stir from time to time if the paste gets too thick for the blender to handle.
You can do this with non-frozen chillis too if you buy them instead of growing them yourself… but home-grown will always make a superior paste.
Some people add a dash of vinegar to preserve the colour but I don’t have a problem with this so I leave it out (again, home-grown will last without discolouring). The paste will last indefinitely in the freezer, and for about three weeks or so after thawing, so put it into appropriately sized jars according to how much you use at a time.
Wash up CAREFULLY and thoroughly. Very hot water on your chilli washing-up will make fumes that clear the kitchen and bring on instant asthma in those inclined that way. (Of course, if you’re trying to kill your relatives, go for it.)
* * * * * *