Fermented Hot Chilli Sauce.
By Amy Crawford
As they say, some like it hot. I am one of those 'some'.
It's rare for me that chilli sauce isn't added to the majority of my savoury dishes. I sprinkle it on poached eggs, on salads, on gluten free pasta, on toast with avo and fresh tomato. It's welcome almost anywhere.
I recall many years ago a friend saying that I should stop doing this; that I was desensitising my taste buds, and that I'd simply need more and more to satiate my chilli cravings (she said the same about the sea salt I use). Needless to say I ignored that advice, on both counts. Pass the chilli sauce, and the sea salt please.
My summer garden produced a bountiful harvest of chillies this year; in fact it's still producing. I froze a stack to use throughout the year and made a couple of batches of this beautiful sauce.
There are oodles of chilli sauce recipes on line, all very similar - raw, cooked, fermented, you name it. This recipe has been inspired in particular by Emma Galloway from the beautiful My Lemon Thyme blog.
Makes about 250ml.
Appx 40 long red chillies, green bits removed
4 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons coconut sugar
3 teaspoons fine sea salt
4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
Roughly chop the chillies and garlic. Place the chillies, garlic, salt, coconut sugar and water into a small food processor and blend, as fine as you can get it (it won't become super smooth, given the seeds).
Put this mixture into a glass jar, secure tightly with a lid and pop into your pantry for anywhere from 3-10 days, or until air bubbles start to form. The warmer your climate, the less time this process will take so keep an eye on it. (I made this recipe over summer and it took 4, in winter it took 10 for the bubbles to really form)
Pour this mixture into your food processor with the apple cider vinegar and blend well. Grab yourself a fine sieve, pour the mixture in, and using the back of a spoon, push the liquid through the sieve.
Pour the liquid into a glass bottle to be used as a hot sauce and store in the fridge. It should last several months, though not in my house.
You may choose to discard the solid remains, however I choose to store them in a jar to be added to stir fries or as a condiment on the side of savoury meals. I also think a great idea is to store this in an ice cube maker to be pulled out across the year, as and when.
If you're new to the idea of chilli sauce on poachies, please give it a whirl. I think this sauce would be delish drizzled on my Sweet Potato Pie and definitely my kitchari, tho' I appreciate it's not very 'Ayurvedic' of me to do so. Irrespective, please do let me know how you get on with the recipe, and whether your taste buds can handle it!