Shatta sauce is a popular Middle Eastern condiment made from red or green chili peppers. Make this chile paste to use as a spicy addition to any dish!
This homemade condiment combines just a few simple ingredients to create a sauce that’s a rich, vibrant color.
Because the sauce is made primarily from pureed jalapeños, it’s a great way to use up an excess of peppers from the garden.
Plus, it’s easy to customize and adjust this shatta recipe exactly to your liking.
What is shatta sauce?
Simply put, this condiment is a Middle Eastern chili sauce. Its use is similar to the way North American countries use hot sauce or salsa.
The texture can range anywhere from a thinner liquid to a thicker paste similar to Italian pesto.
While it’s traditionally made from red chilis, the varieties used in authentic recipes can be very difficult to find in North America.
Instead, adaptations of this sauce use peppers with similar flavor and heat that are more readily available.
INGREDIENT NOTES & SUBSTITUTIONS
This particular shatta sauce recipe is made with green jalapeños, but it can easily be made with the red variety as well.
However, I recommend sticking to one color. This is because blending the two causes the sauce to turn an unpleasant shade of brown.
For a spicier sauce, try using hotter peppers, like red fresno chiles or serranos. Because the sauce is so simple to make, it’s very easy to adjust it to your liking.
Customize the flavor by blending in different combinations of herbs and spices. What to use will depend on your taste preferences, as well as what dishes you’ll be adding the sauce to.
Here are some popular choices:
- Cumin seed
Keep in mind that adding additional ingredients may shorten the shelf life to about 1-2 weeks.
How to make shatta sauce
Just dry brine the jalapeños, then blend them into a smooth or chunky puree. It’s that simple!
Prepare the chili peppers
- Slice the jalapeños into rings and discard the stems.
- Add the slices to a canning jar with the salt and seal shut.
- Shake the jar to combine and store in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Note: This is an easy way to cure the peppers. Salt draws moisture out of the peppers, which in turn, helps preserve them for a longer period of time.
Mix the sauce
- Drain the liquid from the jar of peppers, then transfer to a food processor or blender.
- Blend with the lemon juice and vinegar until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Pour back into the canning jar and top with olive oil. This keeps the sauce from oxidizing, which would cause it to spoil faster.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
- Adjusting the heat - To make this shatta recipe less spicy, remove the seeds from the jalapeños before adding them to the jar.
- Safe handling of peppers - It’s best to wear gloves when handling any kind of chili peppers, especially when removing the seeds. The oils can burn your skin or eyes and it’s easy to miss some spots when washing with soap and water.
- Flavor changes - You may notice that the flavor of the sauce changes the longer it sits in the refrigerator, especially if you use additional ingredients. This is because the flavors have had more time to combine, and the spiciness from the chilis can mellow over time as well.
Uses and serving suggestions
You can add this Middle Eastern chili sauce to just about anything you can think of! To get your creative juices flowing, here are some ideas:
- Dip for falafel or pita and labneh (a thick yogurt spread)
- Serve with grilled meat, fish, and vegetables
- Mix with hummus or salad dressing
- Spread on sandwiches
- As a drizzle sauce on flatbread
- On eggs or breakfast potatoes
If you like spicy sauces like this, try this West African pepper sauce that my friend Imma makes, too!
Red or Green Shatta – Middle Eastern Chile Paste
- 8 oz fresh jalapeños (See Note 1)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- olive oil to cover
- Trim stems from chiles and slice each pepper into thin rings, seeds included.
- Place chiles and salt in a clean sterilized jar and close lid. Turn the jar, tossing chiles to coat in salt. Refrigerate 3 days.
- Drain chiles and add to a food processor with vinegar and lemon juice. Process until smooth or leave a little chunky. Scrape back into same jar, top with enough olive oil to cover the top and seal. Keep refrigerated for up to 6 months.
- Perfect spicy condiment to be used on any grilled meat, fish and vegetables. Great with labneh and pitas, too.
- This can be made with either green or red jalapeños. I have made it with red fresno chiles and also all serranos as well for an even fiery blend. I do not recommend mixing the red and green peppers to blend as they turn the sauce a murky, unappetizing brown.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.