Chili sauce, hot sauce, pepper sauce, the name varies around the world.
Chili sauce has been around for a very long time, from South America to Asia, Europe to the Caribbean, America to the Middle East, it seems humans have invented numerous spicy sauces ever since they decided they enjoyed 'destroying their taste buds'1
Regional variations abound, as do the chili varieties, ingredients, taste, and heat of the sauces, depending upon the region.
Researcher FWR says: This particular hot sauce is a firm favourite of mine and is requested by my friends every year.
As soon as my plants start fruiting, I'm asked, 'When will Bad Wolf be ready?'
So here's an easy recipe for a rather nice (or rather macho... Thanks Ed!) chili sauce.
First, a word of caution. Chili peppers can be very, very hot. If you're going down the heat route, please wear gloves, wash your hands thoroughly, avoid touching your eyes and face. If you wear contact lenses, take them out and wear spectacles whilst cooking with hot chilis.
Although the health benefits and endorphin production caused by the capsaicin found in chilis are well documented, getting it in your eyes, or any other delicate body part, is very, very unpleasant. Also, cook your batch in a well-ventilated kitchen to minimise fumes. You have been warned!
If bottling your sauce, ensure all utensils and containers are properly sterilised.
This sauce will keep in the fridge for a week or so, or is ideal for freezing for up to three months, but nicely bottled and labelled sauce makes a great gift, and will keep much longer.
Start with a small batch, experiment with quantities and build your sauce to suit your own taste, as mild or as hot as you like.
This recipe uses different varieties of chili and tomatoes grown in my garden, but store-bought produce can be used if you don't live next door to me!
- 25 chili peppers
- 20 tomatoes
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 small red onions
- 200ml white wine vinegar
- Juice of two limes
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Good pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp hot paprika
Makes 2 pints of sauce.
- Remove stalks from peppers. Chop chilis, onion and garlic roughly. (Seeds and pith can be removed for a milder heat. Now is a good time to save some seeds for planting next year).
- Place in food processor and chop finely.
- Over a medium heat, add two tablespoons of oil and then chopped ingredients, cook gently for 5 to 8 minutes, until softened.
- Next, chop the tomatoes (again, save some seeds for planting) and add to pan. Cook down for a further 10 minutes.
- Add the vinegar, seasoning, lime juice and spices, bring to the boil, stir well, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes; the sauce should start to thicken.
- Once cooked through, check seasoning, heat, and sweetness.
- The sauce is now ready.
If you prefer a smoother finish, place in a blender until the desired consistency is reached. You can also pass the sauce through a strainer to remove seeds if desired.
If bottling, fill sterilised glass containers, seal and re-sterilise and allow to cool before adding your labels.
This is my favourite sauce, hot and tangy – but by all means, experiment.
- Obviously, more or less chili peppers is the first starting point.
- Try adding carrots, orange juice, or apple vinegar for a sweeter taste.
- Pineapple, mango, coriander and thyme, etc, will give a more Caribbean flavour.
- Roast the chilis and tomatoes for a smoky Mexican taste.
- Add fresh herbs for an Italian meatball sauce.
- Mix with melted butter for a great Buffalo wing sauce.
- Roasted bell peppers instead of tomatoes for a Turkish-style salça.
Whatever sauce you make, enjoy!