We Found The Spiciest, Tastiest Chilli Oil in India!
Boombay’s 5 Chilli Oil is the spiciest and hence our Top Pick. How did we reach this conclusion? Find down below.
Let’s face it. Chilli oil is not just a trend anymore. It’s a part of our pantries, and we plonk a spoonful on almost everything. From fried eggs, to dumplings, noodles and even in marinations – the uses are endless. Although its origins stem from China, the rest of the world has twisted and modified chilli oil to suit their flavor preferences.
Chilli oil is not just about the heat, but also about the overall flavor and texture it lends to a simple dish. Keeping this in mind we set out to find the best chilli oil brands in India that are easily available online and are manufactured in the country.
After trying and tasting four chilli oils with multiple dishes, we chose Boombay’s 5 Chilli Oil as our Top Pick. Not only is it the most flavorful and spiciest, but the brand carries a clean ingredient list as well.
Our Review Factors
What are we looking for while searching for the best chilli oil? We were looking for a spicy chilli oil which should be fresh-tasting, slightly nutty and smoky. A clean ingredient list is a plus.
1. Heat & Flavor
To describe it in one word – Umami! Chilli oils are meant to add smoky, spicy flavors along with a touch of nuttiness in everything you drizzle it on.
Under this parameter, we checked for the spice quotient of the chilli oil, the flavor of the chillies imparted in the fat source, seasoning, use of aromatics, their balance and of course how delicious the condiment is. Apart from this we also checked if the chillies have a burnt taste.
Why do some chilli oils have a burnt taste? That’s because the temperature of the oil was extremely high and burnt the flakes leading to a very unpleasant aftertaste.
2. Texture & Appearance
Chilli oil typically can be of two types – a chilli crisp or an oil infused with chillies where the flakes are strained out. We are testing the chilli crisps where the chillies have not been strained.
We checked for –
- The ratio of oil to chillies
- Texture of the chilli skin/flesh. Is it crisp or soft and relish-like?
- Amount of chilli skin and seeds
- The color of the chilli oil. Is it a vibrant red, brown or does it have a black tone?
Chilli oils are made with sichuan peppers, their flakes, aromatics like garlic, onions, and sometimes a healthy dose of MSG. But not all chilli oils have MSG and neither do they need some if the proportions of other ingredients are correct. Via our review we answered questions like –
- What are the sources of fat used?
- Which type of chillies are used?
- Does it contain any preservatives?
- What about MSG?
- Any colors or undesirable additives?
OOF, that whiff!
What’s undeniable is the robust fragrance of chillies and bold notes of garlic that you can smell as soon as you open the jar. Which brand has the most drool-worthy aroma?
Price, packaging and shelf life were supporting parameters.
Our Review Process
As chilli oil can get a bit overwhelming to taste back to back, we conducted a taste test that spanned over three days. We used it multiple ways –
- Tasting it as is helped us gauge the flavor in its most potent, undiluted form. And yes, we did keep a few things handy to put out the fire.
- The second round of tasting was over a nest of boiled noodles which helped us check for mixability too.
- Lastly, we dunked some homemade grilled cheese sandwiches.
Best Chilli Oil in India – Detailed Review
Details about the brands, their pros and cons are mentioned down below –
1. Boombay Five Chilli Oil – Mishry Top Pick
What made us pick Boombay? Well, for starters this was the spiciest, most fresh tasting chilli oil. Plus it was the only chilli oil with a distinct, vibrant red color. Not only does this have superb mixability which will help you cook better with it, this is also the most aromatic. The fragrance of chillies, garlic and onion match with the explosion of flavors this chilli oil is.
As expected, there is a lot of oil floating on top which should be mixed well before you start using it. The chillies have a fresh, crisp bite.
The cherry on top? This has no preservatives and the ingredient list is clean. It is made using cold pressed sesame oil and made using 5 types of Indian chillies.
A 190 gram bottle of Boombay’s Chilli Oil is priced at Rs 375/- and has a shelf life of 7 months. The ingredients include – Cold pressed sesame oil, Kashmiri chilli, Onion, Mathania chilli, Garlic, Black cardamom, bay leaf, Rock salt, Boria chilli, Guntur Chilli, Byadagi chilli.
- Clean ingredient list
- Fresh, crisp chillies
- Uses cold pressed sesame oil
- Wonderful aroma
- Vibrant color
Looking for a SPICY chilli oil with a clean ingredient list? Look no further.
2. Master Chow Chilli Oil
Master Chow’s Chilli Oil, although delicious, is not too spicy and lends a desi touch. The texture of the chilli oil is more paste-like/jammy than what is expected out of a standard chilli oil.
What we loved – The fact that this needs nothing extra. If you add a spoonful to a batch of noodles or a stir fry, you won’t even need salt. It’s super versatile and would pair with almost everything you can think of – noodles, stir fry, sandwiches, on top of a pizza or as a dip with fried snacks. We also liked the garlic and onion dominant aroma.
A 170 gram glass bottle of Masterchow’s Chilli Oil is priced at Rs 295/- and has a shelf life of 9 months. The ingredients include – Sunflower oil, Red chillies, Garlic, Sichuan peppercorn, Ginger, Onion, Celery, Cinnamon, Bayleaf, Star Anise, Sugar, Soy sauce, Salt. The spice level is 3 out of 5 as per the pack.
- A flavorful chilli oil.
- Versatile. Pair with just about anything.
- Inviting aroma.
- The texture could have been better.
- Not too spicy, if heat is what you’re looking for.
Prefer desi flavors over chilli heat and smokiness? Masterchow’s Chilli Oil is a better fit for you.
3. Naagin Indian Pantry Crispy Chili Oil
Naagin’s Crispy Chilli Oil did not win because of low mixability and slightly burnt flavor of the chillies. The chillies are super crisp, but lack the vibrant freshness we were looking for. Moreover, the ingredient list could have been better. We understand that the yeast and soy add a touch of umami, but this also has multiple flavor enhancers and color.
Look wise too, this isn’t very attractive and has an uneven mix of large and small chunks of garlic and chilli skin. We are all for rustic condiments, but this attribute lowered the overall experience.
Another observation from a user’s point of view: Not that it’s a dealbreaker, but the lid could not be closed once we opened the jar.
A 140 gram glass bottle of Naagin’s Chilli Oil is priced at Rs 400/- and has a shelf life of 12 months. The ingredients include – Vegetable oil (sunflower oil), Guntur chili flakes, Garlic, Onion, Soya sauce (soybeans, refined wheat flour, spice extract, flavor enhancers (E621, E631, E627), natural color (E150c), Spices and condiments, Yeast extract, Himalayan pink salt.
- Chillies are crisp.
- This has a slightly burnt flavor.
- The ingredient list could have been cleaner.
- Texture needs slight improvement.
- Color lacks vibrancy.
4. Sassy Sauce Chilli Oil
What didn’t work for Sassy Sauce’s Chilli Oil. Firstly, the ingredient list doesn’t list out any details of the spices used. We could see a lot of saunf (fennel), which is something you don’t expect in a chilli oil. The overall taste and texture needs some improvement. In a comparative situation, this is not the best tasting chilli oil for sure.
A 220 ml glass bottle of Sassy Sauce’s Chilli Oil is priced at Rs 350/- and has a shelf life of 6 months. The ingredients include – Dry red chillies, Rice bran oil, Spice mixture.
- Taste and texture could have been better.
- More explanation on the list of ingredients is needed.
- The presence of fennel is questionable. It doesn’t add to the overall flavor profile of the product in any way.
Our Top Picks & Recommendations
Why did we choose Boombay Chilli Oil as our Top Pick? What sets it apart?
Boombay’s Chilli oil stands out for multiple reasons. It’s not only the spiciest, most potent chilli oil, but also boasts off a clean ingredient list. The red vibrant color, fresh chilli flavor, and a crisp bite together made this the best tasting, spiciest chilli oil in India.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on the best chilli oil in India.
Usually Sichuan peppers or their flakes are used to make a chilli oil. In India, most brands use a mix of dried red chillies including Guntur, Kashmiri and Byadagi.
Making chilli oil requires sichuan peppers, their flakes and seeds, hot oil, sesame seeds, spices, seasoning and flavoring agents like garlic and onions. The recipe to make a chilli oil can vary from brand to brand, the flavors altered depending on the flavors you wish to add. Some add warm, whole spices like black cardamom and star anise as well.
All of the above-mentioned brands are FSSAI approved.
Our winner uses cold pressed sesame oil. Some other brands use sunflower oil and rice bran oil. It’s best to use neutral tasting oils while making a chill oil.
Boombay’s 5 Chilli Oil is the best tasting, spiciest chilli oil in India. We loved it for the clean ingredient list, vibrant color, inviting aroma and excellent mixability.
Do you enjoy consuming chilli oil. If yes, which is your go-to brand of chilli oil in India?