Delicious Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce
This is super easy to make with only a handful of ingredients & no fancy equipment – make sure you have a few secure screw-top glass jars 😊
This recipe will make about 700ml but it’s easy to double or triple the recipe. I usually make this 4x that way I not only have a 6-month supply, but I also have plenty to add to my homemade Christmas Hampers.
7-8 chillies* Fresh or Dry is fine, but don’t throw out the seeds
5-6 garlic cloves
A thumb-size chunk of fresh ginger
2 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Cups of White Sugar
I cup of Water
2 TBL fish sauce (if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, either leave this out or replace with 1 teaspoon mushroom sauce; just don’t add more than 1 teaspoon as it could ruin the taste)
Put rubber gloves on (chilli juice & eyes are not a good mix) & this is not something you want to do around kids either.
Take chillies, cloves, ginger & I cup of vinegar, 2 TBL fish sauce, + a splash of water & blend until well blended. Add mix to a large saucepan, add sugar, remaining vinegar & water. Bring to boil & if necessary, skim the scum off the top.
Leave to boil for 25 minutes (with lid off & don’t allow to spill over). While boiling, take a small dish & place in the freezer. You will later use the cold plate to test the thickness of the sauce.
Take your jars and soak in clean, very hot water, rinse out, wash the lids & set aside. If you are planning to keep the sauce for longer than 7-10 days, you will need to ensure the temperate in each jar is at boiling. To speed things up, fill your kettle and allow to boil.
Check your sauce, it should be evaporating & starting to thicken. Don’t taste yet. If you taste too early, it’s not a true taste as it’s not thick enough as yet, and you will start to lose your taste sensations. While the sauce is still boiling, clean up. Wash and clean up your workstation, set your jars in the ready, get your ladle ready and if you have a funnel, wash and have it ready also.
Sometimes there is a lot of ‘scum’ on top, as the pot is boiling. Personally, I remove it, but that’s completely up to you. It will not impact the taste.
After 30 minutes, retrieve your plate from your freezer, take a small sample of the sauce and drop onto the plate. Wait about 30 seconds, and check (refer photo) if the sauce is thick enough to leave a line when you put your finger through it. If you have formed the line, the sauce is ready/near ready. NOTE: I prefer my sauce to be quite runny. If you like your sauce to be more syrup-like, leave for an additional 5-minutes.
Time to taste. Every time you add ingredients like garlic, ginger & chillies, you may need to adjust. You may need to add extra chilli seeds, extra sugar, or extra vinegar. Be cautious, add your sugar & vinegar by the tablespoon, and your chilli seeds as a pinch at a time. When you have the “right” balance, remove from heat.
Take a large pot, fill it with the kettle water to about 5-8 cm only and allow to come to the boil.
While the water is boiling, use the funnel and ladle and fill your glass jars. Fill a little in each one initially, to ensure the jars don’t crack. Save a little bit, even its just 1-2 tablespoons, to the side. Close the jars, and with a towel or dishcloth, hold the hot bottle while screwing the jar as tightly as possible, then put jars in the boiling pot of water. The water MUST not come to the lid. Allow to boil for 5-6 minutes. This will ensure the bottle is pressure creating hot and will create a vacuum seal which is safe & hygienic.
After 5-6 minutes, remove from the pot and allow to cool. You may hear a POP, that’s normal; this is the pressure seal creating a suction. The additional 1-2TBL of sauce is your tester. Make sure you are happy with the taste when cool and also the consistency. If its too runny, you can pour everything back into a pot and allow to boil for a further 5-10 minutes. If it’s too thick just call it CHILLI JAM! 😉
It’s not supposed to be perfect, but it will taste sensational & I guarantee you, your friends will be lining up or their own jars!
*I used Hungarian black because that’s what I grow, but any medium to hot chilli will be fine.