Holy Basil (Tulsi) Chili Paste

Tulsi is an easy herb to grow in the garden. It is usually made in a tisane, but is equally nice when used in specific meals.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Canning, Condiment, Seasoning
Cuisine Caribbean, Indian, Mediterranean
Servings 16


  • 8 ounce canning jar
  • Small sauce pan
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board


  • 2 heads (medium) sized garlic
  • 5-10 red chili fresh or dry (if dried, soak before using) use gloves
  • 2 shallots (chopped)
  • 2-3 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp. sesame oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 3 handfuls of torn fresh holy basil


  • Peel the cloves of garlic and roast lightly on a griddle with help of few drops of oil. You can dry roast it too, but with oil it releases a great aroma.
  • If you are using fresh red chili, then you can chop them and directly proceed with the recipe. Use gloves!
  • Else if you are using dried red chili pepper, then remove seeds, and soak them in water until they become tender. Use gloves!
  • In a blender, blend garlic, red chili pepper, salt, sugar and vinegar to a fine paste.
  • Mince the shallots.
  • Heat the oil lightly, saute' the shallots gently till the rawness disappear.
  • Switch off the heat and add the chill garlic paste, then blend it well.
  • Check flavor for amount of salt and sugar needed.
  • Add fish sauce.
  • Add Holy Basil leaves.
  • Hand mix it well. Place in canning jar, and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 3 days before you use it.
  • If you don’t want to make your own, I really like this brand


This is the Holy Basil Chili Paste I use in Holy Basil Shrimp and Scallops Recipe. 
Keyword From the garden, Herbs, spices