Mexicans and Indians have one thing in common, they love their chillies. Hot and bursting with flavor, red chilli peppers are not quite aromatic but they certainly make you sit up and take notice of what you’re eating. While everyone likes ketchup (tomato sauce), chilli sauce takes a little getting used.
When you first taste it, it might feel like your mouth, throat and stomach are on fire. Once you get past that stage, you will learn to love the way it tickles your taste buds. Take it from a South Asian who can’t do without chillies in her meal.
Chilli sauces can be added to spice up any dish. If you don’t like your pizza or pasta bland, add 2-3 teaspoons of chilli sauce. You can mix it into dips, sauces, curries and gravies. There are plenty of hot chilli sauces available in the market but nothing beats the homemade kind. It is fairly easy to make and doesn’t take too much time either.
- Pick out ½ pound of long fresh red chillies. This chilli sauce recipe can also be made with dried red chillies. In fact, most people buy fresh red chillies and then dry them out in the sun. This way, the spicy juices contained in the chillies are somewhat reduced.
- Soak the chillies in a pot filled with water and mix in ½ teaspoon of salt. Once your chillies are washed, dry and clean them.
- Remove the stalks. Now slit and deseed ½ of the red chillies. The other ½ can remain with the seeds in. You don’t want your chilli sauce to be inedible, particularly if you intend to feed it to your children.
- You will need the following ingredients to put your sauce together – 1 pound of ripe, red tomatoes chopped fine, 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder, 3 tablespoons of cooking oil (preferably extra virgin olive oil), 2 cloves, 8 cloves of garlic chopped fine, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 3-4 tablespoons of vinegar and salt to taste.
- Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Add the cloves and garlic and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Once the garlic turns fragrant, add the chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, sugar, salt and vinegar. Keep stirring as you add the ingredients.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid and allow the tomatoes to cook till soft. You should have a thick mixture in your saucepan. Stir from time to time to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the cloves and allow the mixture to cool. Once cooled, pour it into a food processor and blend. Store the chilli sauce in clean airtight glass containers.
Tips and Warnings
- For anyone who has never tried anything spicier than cayenne pepper or black pepper, a word of warning – it may not agree with your stomach initially. Mix in a little tomato sauce to give yourself time to get used to it.
- Try not to use plastic or melamine jars to store the chilli sauce. For some reason, sauces stored in them never taste quite the same.
Photo Credit: Indianrecipes.co.in