Sweet Chilli Sauce

When we moved into our new house in October, the vegetable garden had only a few occupants – a handful of cabbages (which grew enormous and I had to force them on visitors before they left. We’re not huge cabbage eaters), some broccoli, which was also prolific, we have a freezer full of free-flow frozen broccoli now :), leeks which went to seed, and chillies. The chilli plants are enormous, and have enjoyed a very prolific summer. I’m having flashbacks to my treatment of the cabbages and visitors.  You see, these chillies aren’t ordinary chillies, they are hot. Quite hot for a mild-curry eater like me.  So, in my desire to do something with them (and my reluctance to pull out something productive from the garden), I decided to experiment with some sweet chilli sauce.

I trawled the ‘net for recipes, as my recipe books drew a blank. I decided on the most simple of the recipes I found, for the one reason that I didn’t know if they sauce would be edible when done, since the chillies were so hot! (Also, I had the ingredients on hand)

The chillies in my garden seem to be Rocoto chillies – I have some red, and some orange/yellow. They have black seeds and the plants have a cute purple flower. I should be worried as they are smothered in purple flowers. And purple flowers lead to heavy crops of chillies! Apparently these chilli plants require a long frost-free growing season (we have very few frosts here), and apparently plants can live for 10 plus years, although I think that the previous owner re-sowed his every year from what he told me.  So, I can  many years of home-made sweet chilli sauce in my future if things carry on like this.

I used this recipe:


500g chillies, halved, seeds out, roughly chopped.

3 garlic cloves, peeled

750ml (3 cups) white vinegar

645g (3 cups) caster sugar

I took out all of the seeds in order to make the sauce milder – the original source had 100g used whole, and the rest de-seeded.


Coarsely chop chillies and place in the food processor. Add garlic and 250ml white vinegar. Process until finely chopped.

Place the chilli mixture, remaining vinegar and caster sugar in a large saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.

Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Pour into sterilised airtight bottles and seal.


Various other recipes had you use a little soy sauce, fish sauce, or ginger, all of which would be lovely additions to the sauce and change the flavour slightly. I didn’t think DH (a vegetarian) would appreciate the fish sauce so I left that out, but I think I added a few tablespoons of soy sauce.  If I make another batch (and I need to, as the plants are laden again), I will add ginger next time. Another suggestion was that you could use equal quantities of red capsicums and chillies to make a milder sauce. Again, not a bad plan if you want to make an edible sauce from very hot chillies! I just wanted to get rid of some of my chillies though, so have left this to try another time.

Another tip – wear gloves when cutting the chillies. I didn’t and lived to regret it. Twelve hours later my fingers were still burning.  Made knitting rather hard!

My sister and family came to stay over Easter, and I sent her home with a big bag of chillies to make sauce with – here’s hoping she enjoys it. I also had a visit from the previous owner of our house, and sent him home with enough for two batches of sauce as well.  If only life weren’t so busy I could almost start a cottage industry…



1 Response to “Sweet Chilli Sauce”

  1. 1 trulymyrtle April 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Yum! Our growing season is just beginning – chilli’s might be just what we need!

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