Introduction: Chalt - the Condiment for 2012 and Beyond

Picture of Chalt - the Condiment for 2012 and Beyond

It is time for the antiquated dinner table reign of salt and pepper to be brought to an end. It is time to bring these pretenders together under the all encompassing power of Chili. Here I give you Chalt.

Okay, basically, I making pretty much every thing spicy but found that chili sauce can be a bit intrusive with certain dishes (for example it makes the milk go funny with your cornflakes). I also had a bit of time on my hands and had ordered to many scotch bonnet chillies than it was reasonably safe to use in one dish.

This is very straight forward but very effective. Great for using up a glut harvest of chillies.

Anyhows, here you go.

Step 1: Its Chili Time

Picture of Its Chili Time

Okay choose your chilies. for this mix I have used the fiery scotch bonnet chilies. They have a distinctive flavour and plenty of heat. As you can see in the picture I have used a fair few. Use your favourite. Take the stems off and chop roughly. Keep the seeds in for a real kick.

Get yourself some good quality sea salt. This will work with normal salt but I like to think we are doing something a little special here. Your ratio of chili to salt is up to you. I would say though that you want this to be chili flavoured salt rather than the other way round. To much chili could result in too much caking. If you want more heat get hotter chillies or use dried.

Step 2: Salt and Chili Time

Picture of Salt and Chili Time

Put your salt and chili in a frying pan and fry off over a low heat, Bit of a warning here though as the fumes can be a little noxious. No pain no gain. You are trying to take a little moisture out the mix here. Keep it mixing. You could equally well bake this mixture for safer cooking.

Step 3: Blend

Picture of Blend

Blend it all together. I used a stem blender but any blender will do. You should get a nice salty chili paste. Still a little moist though. Return to the pan on a low heat and fry on a low heat a little more to pull out as much moisture as you can.

Blend again and fill your salt grinder. The grinder means that even if it starts to cake, a good grind should get it all broken up again.

There you go Chalt. Great with everything.

My next iteration of Chalt is going to be dissolving salt in a heavy chili solution and then re-crystalising it. But until then this will keep me going.

Simple but effective.

(I added paprika, ground black pepper and cayenne to this for a little extra twist. I did this at the end and blended it one more time to mix)

It has been three months and my Chalt is still working great. the stuff that did not fit in the grinder was kept in a sealed Kilner jar.


DeusXMachina (author)2012-06-13

If you were to recrystallize from pretty much a brine-chili solution, I think you'd end up with pretty pure NaCl crystals, and little chili. That's why recrystallizations are used in industry, they're great for purifying things. You'd especially lose any subtle components that are present in the peppers in very small quantities.

Try it though, it may just work!

If you want principally the heat, you could try extracting the chilis with very high proof (higher is better, something like Everclear would work best), and let it slowly evaporate over time. If you're lucky, you'll end up with crystals of relatively pure Capsaicin and other Capsaicinoids.

Actually, be VERY careful if you attempt that last bit. Capsaicinoids, when isolated, are extremely noxious.

I've done the extraction in chem class, but now that I think about it, we were working with sub-miligram quantities.

A safer bet would be to extract with ethanol, add your salt, and concentrate down, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick. You'd end up with a similar paste as in your 'ible, but depending on how many peppers you started with, you could really dial up the heat if you were so incline.

bamboo42 (author)DeusXMachina2012-06-14

Thank you that sounds like an interesting way to go. I will look into it. A

feralmonkey4 (author)2012-06-11

You could just spread the mix in a dehydrator and let it run for several hours that would take all the moisture out, you would still want to have it in a grinder just because there might still be some caking issues.

aadball504 (author)2012-06-11

You Sir are truly and Evil Guiness scotch bonnet salt what an idea!!

lmnopeas (author)2012-06-07

Awesome! I'm thinking spicy margarita rimmer for those who can handle it! ;)

bamboo42 (author)lmnopeas2012-06-07

Ha, margarita is my favorite (check the profile pic) how did I not think of that. You sir, are a genius.

cindredm (author)bamboo422012-06-11

or rimming a bloody caesar for a sassy twist!

huntercohen (author)2012-06-10

I want to advise as a professional cook to not cook this in a non-stick pan as in the picture, rough materials will grind the coating into the food, stick to stainless steel. Otherwise, great idea thanks!

bamboo42 (author)huntercohen2012-06-11

I should have thought that one through, I have done a fair bit of chefing in my time. In all honesty there was not much agitation of the salt so there was little chance enough abrasion to lose any teflon.

But you are correct, stick to non-stick where possible. The only problem I have at the moment with using non-stick is that I only have access to an induction hob at the moment. All the pans that I can use on it are non-stick. I think iw ill stick to oven infusion.

Cheers man, any other readers - Listen to this guy. A

epimoments (author)2012-06-10

funny, I did chilli salt first too, after that it was inevitable that you start mucking around with other salts, Lime is fantastic, - goes well with tequila and had a bunch of tomatoes drying one time and ground em up with rocksalt and it worked well too.particularly on grilled cheese. carrot salt was a ittle disappointing as was banana, but all the citrus family work. and if chilli is a little too hot you can always use capsicum - better the small thin fleshed than big watery ones, once you start making flavored salts it's addictive and the sky's the limit. - enjoy..

dreadengineer (author)2012-06-10

A lot of people put some dry rice kernels in their salt shaker as a cheap dessicant. That would probably help this last longer also.

bamboo42 (author)dreadengineer2012-06-10

I did think of this and there was a little issue. If I was fully confident that there would be no caking of the salt mix then adding rice would be a great plan for a desiccant. However I was expecting a higher level of caking and for this reason I used a grinder for the salt. The grinder, I figured, would re-crush any chunks that had formed due to excess moisture. I also figured they would crush up any rice I added.

However if you check my next version Chalt 2 the rice method will probably be a great help.

Thanks for the suggestion

jessyratfink (author)2012-06-05

Haha, I can't imagine how challenging it is trying to fry the liquid out. Ouch!

But it sounds amazing. :D

bamboo42 (author)jessyratfink2012-06-05

I must say that if you cry at onions or are a little irritated by military grade tear gas then you should really take care when preparing this. I have a a good strong extractor and a disregard for my own sinuses.

Prepare at own risk and in a well ventilated area.

A x

Old Silverback (author)bamboo422012-06-10

In reading the comments here it seems that one might be able to accomplish the drying process without causing to much discomfort to family members & pets as well as add the smokey flavoring described in another post by taking the mix of sea salt and chillies from the blender, placing it in a pan and putting it in a smoker. using the wood of your particukar choice in the fire box. That way you would be able to maintain a high enough heat level to dry the mix completely. I would think that 4 - 5 hours at 200 degrees while stirring the mix once per hour should do the trick.

nanaverm (author)2012-06-10

This is a great idea to do with already-dried hot pepper flakes, because I'm a heat-wimp and just want tiny particles. Thanks for the idea!

sarah05148 (author)2012-06-10

and I would suggest caution when handling the chilis- the oils can be very hard on your eyes and noses, which of course you have to scratch because of the fumes. aargh, I washed with degreaser soap several times the last time I tried this and still got a nose burn. also, the chili oil found all of the teeny teeny cuts I had in my finger tips and cuticles. ouch. I love it in the grinder though. definitely worth it.

losregni (author)sarah051482012-06-10

see if face clay works to get the oils out. I used St Ives clay when I got the stinky stuff from a fly trap on me. that takes for ever to go away,and the face cllay worked great, It absorbs oils

bamboo42 (author)sarah051482012-06-10

Hey, what is art without suffering ;)

Flyinseamnky (author)2012-06-10

Umm I'll just stick to this:

Jack of Most Trades (author)2012-06-10

I have a screen that I use to dry things in my oven. Cayenne peppers dry with no more heat than the pilot light. You have to have an old stove with a pilot light, though.

I have an aga that would be perfect for the job. sadly it is switched off for the summer (such as it is so far this year in England) to save oil. Hmm, I will have a think, while I am building my next project. A cold smoker!

Hank025 (author)2012-06-07

If you like Sriracha Sauce, Mix together with the sea salt and let sit in a single layer on a baking sheet (to dry it) or heat up your oven, turn it off. then put the mixture in there and let it dehydrate (slow is key).

I think the ratio was 5 tbs to 1/2 cup of sea salt. But I guess thats up to you!

bamboo42 (author)Hank0252012-06-07

Not a great fan of that sauce but i will try it with Super Death Sauce, one of my favourites. Cheers Hank

MarkR (author)2012-06-06

I'm with Gunther45 a dehydrator may help. I use chili piquin in a lot of stuff they are small and I air dry them so I might try this with my air dried chilies. thx!

Gunther45 (author)2012-06-06

Definitely going to try this, I love spicy ,but use more pepper than salt for most foods.

I think your ( My next iteration of Chalt is going to be dissolving salt in a heavy chili solution and then re-crystalising it ) is the way to go though, IMHO

One of the reasons I say that is , you really don't know if you are removing all the moisture. and if you keep it out in the grinder might not be that great in a week or two.

If you find a dehydrator at a yard sale that might be something to look into but an upside down bowl and a desiccant pack should work. I just think if you have infused Salt crystals it would have a much longer shelf life. But then again it sounds so good it might not last.

I like it.

bamboo42 (author)Gunther452012-06-06

Yeah I can dig that. I must say I was expecting the rest of the Chalt to cake and go wrong but it hasn't and it has been past a month now. I used good quality sea salt. I found that even if it caked in the grinder once you started to grind it, it came out well.

Next mission Chilli Salt. Will get on it tomorrow. Chilli solution salt, re-crystalisied, on it. Will report back. Thanks for comment. :)

lime3D (author)2012-06-06

You could probably use a food dehydrator for the chilies. That's what they are for.

bamboo42 (author)lime3D2012-06-06

I am sure you could. I was impressed how cheap that was. To be honest though I was pretty happy with my results and it was what I had at hand. Although knowing I can get those so cheap there is alot of stuff I want to dehydrate now. cheers

mattthegamer463 (author)2012-06-05

I'm interested, do you think that chopping the peppers and then baking at a low temp for a long time in the oven would dry them out without the cooking ordeal? Then mash with salt and put in a grinder.

bamboo42 (author)mattthegamer4632012-06-05

That would probably be a very good option. Not very rock and roll though ;). But seriously yes I think that may be a great idea. I got really good results using this technique and it was very quick. I also did not really have any idea on ratios so I was kind of adding a bit of salt here and a few peppers there by sight.

I am not scared of a little tear gas chilli and will keep using a pan (I am an idiot). What your suggestion does raise though is perhaps the addition of a hickory chip layer to add a smokey dimension to the flavour. This would work well at a slow bake.

I will get back to you on my results, thanks for your comment.

Anyone worried about searing sinus pain or red eyed pets and children, listen to this guy.

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