Making your own chilli sauce is great fun and surprisingly easy. I prefer to grow my own chillies but you can buy all sorts of interesting varieties from international food shops. Once made and bottled it will last for months in the fridge. Try tweaking the basic recipe below to suit your taste; don’t be afraid to experiment and add or subtract ingredients as you see fit. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You can try adding some garlic. Personally I like to roast the garlic first for a smoother flavour You can also try adding small quantities of fruit (dried or fresh) to add a tropical flavour. Increase the amount if you like it sweet and want to keep the heat down. Also try by adding herbs and spices. I find that hyme works really well. Adding onions, tomatoes or peppers will add a different flavour dimension and is another way or keeping the heat down. What type of sauce you end up with is all down to you. Go mild and tropical with fruit, herbs and extra sugar or be bold with fiery scotch bonnets chillies and create a real lip burner.
1. Destalk your chillies and roughly chop them up. You can choose to remove the seeds and membrane if you wish – this is where most of the heat is.
2. Place the chillies into food blender with a glug of vinegar. If you are adding any extra ingredients suggested below, add these now. While blending be careful not to splash the mixture in your eyes!
3. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan with more vinegar and sugar. These are the two essential preserving ingredients so they are required but just how much you add is down to your taste. Slowly bring to boil and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring often. A splash of water can be added if sauce seems too thick.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste and more herbs or spices if required.
5. Transfer sauce while still hot to the bottles/ jars and seal as soon as you can.