Shatta (middle eastern chilli paste) – Sami Tamimi


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time:

Serves: Make 1 medium jar :

If you like spicy food, and you always keep a jar of harissa (Moroccan chilli paste) or jalapeños or the famous sriracha sauce in your fridge, this recipe is definitely for you. I made this recipe for my better half, he put hot sauce on everything, regardless of the food he’s eating.

Shatta is a chilli paste that is quite popular in Middle Eastern and Egyptian cuisine. In Morocco we have the famous harissa, which looks like the shatta, but contains different ingredients and requires different technique. 

I never heard of shatta before I came to live here in Dubaï. So to make the authentic one nothing better than the Palestinian chef Sami Tammi’s recipe.

You can serve it with everything : hummus, salads, grilled meat,chicken, fish… really everything, It adds that extra special something to any dish. 

This condiment is as easy to make as it is easy to become addicted to, even me who doesn’t like spicy food. 

I actually removed some seeds from the chillies to bring the heat level down, and that was perfect. 

Like most of this kind of recipes each family has its own version, so today the recipe is from one of my favorites cookbook “Falastin” and the quantities below will make one medium jar. So feel free to double the amount if you want, as you can use red or green chillies.

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Shatta (middle eastern chilli paste) - Sami Tamimi

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Serves: Make 1 medium jar :


  • 250 g red or green chillies, stems trimmed and then very thinly sliced (with the seeds)
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Olive oil to cover and seal

Method :

  • 1)

    As always with anything being left to ferment, the jar you put your chillies into needs to be properly sterilised.

  • 2)

    Place the chillies and salt in a mixing bown, mix well then put it in a medium sterilised jar. Seal the jar and store it In the fridge for 3days.

  • 3)

    On the third day, drain the chillies, transfer them to a food processor and blitz until it reachs the desired consistency, you can blitz well to form a fine paste or roughly blitz if you prefer some texture remains in your shatta.

    Add the vinegar and the lemon juice, mix to combine, then return the mixture to the same jar.

  • 4)

    Pour enough olive oil on top to seal, and keep in the fridge.

  • 5)

    Once made, the shatta will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months. The oil will firm up and separate from the chillies once it’s in the fridge, so just give a it a good stir, for everything to combine, before using.


    Enjoy !!

Tricks & Tips :

Use gloves when you cut the chillies

You can remove the seeds from the chillies to make the “shatta” mild.


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