Ok I confess, I do not like shop bought Sweet Chilli Sauces, in fact I don’t buy them. Please don’t get me wrong, I mean no disrespect to the many brands out there, but I am fussy, when it comes to Condiments and Hot Sauces, and in my opinion, a shop bought Sweet Chilli Sauce can be a little too runny and sweet for my liking with very little or hardly any Chilli. The way I see it, as the name suggests this sauce should have a good ratio of both ‘Sweet’ and ‘Chilli’.
A Sweet Chilli Sauce can be made with any hot variety of Chilli. Where possible use fresh chillies, not only will they give a warming taste but the colour released from the skin will add to the Sauce, as long as fresh chillies are ‘ready, red and ripe‘.
I have Jalapeño Chillies, Thai Chilli, De Cayenne and Bird’s Eye Chillies; all growing side by side and ready to harvest and any of these would be perfect for this sauce.
But I like to make this Sauce just a little more spicer, as the dishes it accompanies are not spicy therefore compliments them very well e.g Tofu Satay or Deep fried tempura Squid.
Out of the many varieties I am growing this year, I have choosen to use Habanero Chillies which have not only loved the green house conditions but the organic feeds too. This Sauce will be spicy, yet sweet and with a third tasting note: Sour. Adding a little zest of Lime with a couple of tablespoons of the juice, I find it helps to elevate this Sauce. This Sauce will give ‘3 waves’ with every mouthful, starting with first wave of Sweet ,second being Spicy and finally a touch of Sour, a perfect accompaniment with Finger food like Spring Rolls or Chicken Satay or just with some Prawn Crackers.
Wash the small jars or bottles and the lids in hot soapy water and sterilise the bottles (I place the washed bottles in a preheated oven at 100˙C for at least half an hour). Lids should be dried out throughly using paper towel and not heated in the oven.
Place the following in a blender: Approx.150g of Fresh Red Chillies (the amount in the pic), a clove of garlic, zest of half a Lime and 2 tablespoons of Lime juice topped with 100ml of water. Blend and place the content in a non reactive pan, adding 150g of granulated sugar and a measure of 200ml White Wine Vinegar. Simmer until all the sugar has dissolved and allow to boil gently until liquid starts to thicken. This should take around 10 to 15 minutes.
Do not bring to a rolling boil, it will just turn into a sticky jam like consistency, which you want to avoid.
The consistency of this Sauce is a personal choice, I do not like to serve a runny Chilli Sauce, I find just a little thicker sauce consistency holds better when placed on little ‘Finger Foods’ and not run down your fingers. I say again, its a personal choice.
Once the desired consistency is achieved, remove the jars from the oven and fill them immediately, secure the jars with the clean lids.
As this Sweet Chilli Sauce is made with ‘White Wine’ Vinegar, it is ready to use. Once opened, will keep in a refrigerator for no more than 3 months.