My friend John and I were walking around the Valley and saw a bag of chillies in the Asian store. Now I’m always up for a bit of heat so I broke a tiny bit off the end of one of them to see what the taste was like. HOLY CRAP that was a bad idea. It hit the back of my throat and began to burn intensely and boy did it have legs! A couple of minutes later we were walking out with a half kilo of bright red burning goodness.
We took them home, donned some surgical gloves and then spent the next half hour deseeding those little puppies. Even with surgical gloves on, our fingers were still burning! The idea being that John would take all the seeds to the farm and scatter them so that in a year or two we’d be well on our way to a chilli forest. The chilli flesh was left with me to work some magic on. I was also supposed to come up with a recipe that we could feasibly turn into a viable food product if the chilli forest actually took off.
My immediate thought was a version of Peri Peri sauce to use as a condiment and to slather on a chook for some delicious Peri Peri Chicken.
I took the deseeded chillies and basically blended it all up with some spices oil and vinegar.
NOTE: I find it’s a smoother and tastier heat with plenty enough of chilli burn without the seeds. It’s fine to leave seeds in, it’s just that we wanted the them for planting.
500g Hot Red Chillies deseeded : (You can leave the seeds in for a hotter result plus it’s less work)
4 Lemons Juiced
1 Garlic Bulb peeled and chopped finely
1 Small onion finely chopped
1 Ts Garlic Powder
1 Ts Ground Cumin
2 Ts Salt.
500ml White Vinegar (To add as required)
1. Put put everything (chillies, lemon juice, garlic powder, cumin, fresh garlic, salt) except the oil and vinegar into a blender.
2. Blend it till it’s a smooth paste.
3. Add in half a cup of vinegar and the oil and blend till it’s a smooth puree.
4. Now keep adding a little bit of vinegar at a time until you get the consistency you require.
Use a spoon to check runniness. I also like to taste it at this point.
I like my sauce to be nice and thick so that it sticks to whatever I pour it on. Use the viscosity of ketchup/ tomato sauce as a guide.
1. Chillies and other ingredient in the blender.
2. Blended paste
3. Closeup of Puree
4. Bottled goodness
Put the puree into a clean jar with a tight lid. You can use it immediately for cooking something like a Peri Peri Chicken.
However if you’re going to use it as a condiment I recommend leaving it for a few days to a week in the fridge so the at acids in the lemon juice and vinegar can ‘cook’ the chilli as well as giving the ingredients time to meld together into one delicious flavour.
Hint: If this turns out far too hot due to the chilli variety you used, you can always add sugar into it a tablespoon at a time to temper the heat till your tastebuds are hi-fiving.