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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Chilli Sauce

On my walk home from work one summer’s evening I passed a store with a stall of organic seedling plants outside. I find it difficult to pass by such plant stalls without taking a look and this time I was tempted by a punnet of yellow chilli seedlings. Now my only other experience growing chillies was something of a disaster. It was difficult to tell if they were ripe, they were extremely bitter and had no heat whatsoever! Consequently they all ended up in the garden bin.

Being yellow I decided that at least this time I would have some idea of when they would be ripe. I planted three of the seedlings (gave three away) in the corner of my glass house, with nothing more than a dressing of fresh compost. I then watered them every five or six days. Three months later I harvested near on a kg of brilliant yellow, sweet smelling chillies. Biting the end off one confirmed they were indeed hot chillies.
So what to do with them? A tip from my friend Jenny had me freezing some of the chillies, so I could use one or two when required. The rest I turned into sweet chilli sauce.
This is my recipe.
-  300g chillies, 200g red capsicum (if you want it really hot substitute capsicum for chillies), 3 garlic cloves, 3 cups white vinegar, 3 cups sugar.
-  Halve half of the chillies and put in food processor (with seeds), remove seeds of remaining chillies and add to processor.
-  Add chopped capsicum, garlic and half the vinegar to the chillies. -  Process until finely chopped.
-  Put the chilli mix, sugar and rest of the vinegar in a pot and on a low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
-  Turn up the heat until the mixture boils.
-  Turn down heat to simmer and stir every now and then for around 40mins (until sauce thickens). Don’t worry if it’s not totally thick as it will thicken more as it cools.
-  I poured the mixture into jars that had been heated in the oven to sterilise.

As an aside, I remember as a kid my dad coming out of a public restroom laughing. He then told us about the graffiti he’d read. ‘If you feel like the bottom is falling out of your world, have a chilli curry and have the world fall out of your bottom’.

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