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Snake in the grass

Submitted by Chazza 05 August 2010

A powerful green chilli sauce.

In a good year even one chilli plant can make more chillis than expected. Here’s how to keep that freshness in a jar for the colder days to come. The difficult thing to do is to preserve the greenness.

Prepare all the cookware before you start.



36 long green finger chillies - stalks removed then washed and dried

6 fat cloves of very fresh garlic - skins and root scars removed. Any with brown patches should be rejected

6 fluid ounces of white/spirit vinegar

12 heaped teaspoons of sugar

6 fresh sprigs of strong mint - stalks and all leaf damage removed. Leaves should be torn off slightly away from the stem to avoid any white growth

Juice and zest of a lime - get a really dark green lime and zest it even more thinly than usual to avoid any white pith getting in


Heat some sterilised storage jars so they won’t crack when hot fluid is poured in. A microwave oven is good for this. Let them cool in there until just hot to the hand.

Put the sugar and the vinegar in a saucepan over a low heat and put the lid on. Leave for the sugar to dissolve. Place the chillies, garlic, mint and lime in the blender. Pulse it until everything is as blended as a smoothie. If you have to add water but use as little as possible. This will now look very green - you must move fast now.

Place a sieve in a bowl and pour the contents of the blender in. When most of the liquid has filtered through place the sieve in another bowl to catch any more drips, return the juice to the blender and whizz some more to get any remaining material off the blades.

Empty the blender into the sieve and wait until it has filtered through. Put the sieve with the green things in it into your refridgerator, then pour the juice into the sugar / vinegar combination. Bring this to the boil then boil hard for 10 minutes with the lid off. It should not turn to caramel, but as much water as possible should be driven off.

Remove the boiling pan from the heat. Add any more juice that has drained from green things and stir well. Allow to cool for ten minutes on a cold surface then add the green material. Stir well then pour the mixture into the storage jars. Set the jars aside to cool and cover them with a folded teatowel, which will soak off even more water. After 30 minutes cap the jars firmly.

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Please note: this recipe has been submitted by a user of this website and is not one of Delia's. We cannot, therefore, take any responsibility if the recipe contains errors, does not work or is not as you expect it to be, although, as our users are keen cooks, we are confident it will be a great dish. Delia tests each of her recipes three times, which is why you can always be sure of success.



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