Relishing the chillies

Chilli sauce croppedThis is simply the most splendid chilli sauce – packed with intense flavours and hot enough to knock your socks off.

We were going to turn our small harvest of jalapeno chillies into pickled peppers but we’re still getting through last year’s jar and wondered how hard it would be to make our own chilli sauce.

Chilli sauce is wonderful stuff. It can spice up  sausages, be drizzled on pizza or fire up stews and stir-fries. We go through bottles of the stuff.

Turns out, it is very simple to make.

For me, it was no effort at all – while I read on the couch with a book and cat, the husband rolled his sleeves up and got chopping.

Our food processor gave up the ghost recently so he had to slice everything by hand but it was all done in a jiffy and the kitchen filled with the most delicious aromas.

The smoked paprika is the secret – this brought body to the heat in a thoroughly wonderful way.
Be careful when handling chillies – you don’t want to be rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth because you can get burned. Some people even recommend wearing rubber gloves.

We didn’t quite have enough chillies so topped them up with about half of a red capsicum. It’s still plenty fiery.

David’s chilli sauce

250g chilli peppers
8 garlic cloves
Chunk of ginger
2 cups malt vinegar
1 ½ cups white sugar
3 tsp salt
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ Tbsp cornflour

  • Remove seeds and stalks from chilli and slice very fine, or food process coarsely. Peel garlic and chop with the chilli. Grate the ginger finely.
  • Put all ingredients except paprika and cornflour into a medium-sized pot and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Clean a bottle (with top), place in the oven and heat to 120 degrees while the sauce is cooking.
  • Towards the end, remove a small amount of the liquid, allow to cool slightly, and mix slowly into the cornflour to make a smooth, runny paste. Stir this back into the pot, along with the paprika.
  • Pour into bottle, using jug or wide funnel.

For dinner that night we fried some onion, sliced two left-over sausages, added some parsley, a generous swig of the new chilli sauce, and bit of water. This was served with boiled rice and by crikey, it was good.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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