My late step-son, Andrew was a chilli freak! He grew all sorts of chillies and used them copiously in his cooking – perhaps too generously!! Like his coffee, he liked his chilli STRONG. We would have exhaustive discussions about the merits of thickening agents, guar or agar in sauce, and using acid to preserve his chillies. One year he gave his younger step-brother a bottle of home-made chilli sauce that was so hot it was lethal – and I mean so lethal that it sat at the back of the fridge forever, as everyone was too afraid to use it!
Chilli is a healthful addition to your diet. It contains an alkaloid compound, capsaicin, which is a strong, spicy & pungent flavour. Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals. Capsaicin does not lose its pungency through the digestive tract as those, who have experienced its path both on entry and exit will be sure to attest! Despite its health giving properties, be careful and avoid it if you suffer stomach or bowel ulcers, heartburn, haemorrhoids, or a sore throat. You will make yourself worse AND miserable! Read why you should eat more chilli here.
Here is a great chilli sauce recipe that you can adjust to your tolerance of spicy hot! Many bottled chilli sauces have a large addition of vinegar or acid to help prolong the shelf life of the sauce. Home-made obviously won’t last as long but it will taste better.
If you make sure that your jars are well sterilised, the sauce will last a good 12 months in the pantry and longer in the fridge. To sterilise your jars in your Varoma see here. Make sure that you do the lids as well and that they drip dry.
Back to chilli – I use this in everything from marinades to using as an accompaniment for rice and dumplings. The addition of turmeric gives it a healthy edge with its natural anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant properties. Read about how good turmeric is for you here.
You can adjust the “heat” of this recipe a couple of ways. First of all, taste the chillies! Small birdseye chillies are extremely hot. Larger red chillies can be hot or quite mild. You can de-seed and de-pith the chillies to make them taste milder. Most of the heat is in the pith membrane and seeds of the chilli. I find this a bit fiddly (and a WHS risk!) so instead I substitute some of the chillies with red capsicum.
Andrew, you left this world too soon – this post is dedicated to you. x250g red chillies – a mix of birdseye & long red 150g red capsicum, chopped 4 cloves garlic 1 knob of fresh turmeric 150g fresh tomato 1 tab fish sauce 1 teas salt 1 tab apple cider vinegar 2 tabs rapadura sugar Remove the stem from the chillies and add all ingredients to the TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds, SP 7. Cook for 20 minutes on SP 4, 100ºC with the MC off. Give it a blitz on SP 9 for 10 seconds with the MC on!! If you would like it thicker, cook for a further 5 minutes. Bottle & seal while hot. Try using green chillies & green capsicum for a green chilli sauce. I think a handful of coriander works in this too.