It’s a condiment many of us have in our pantries and fridges. A condiment we associate with Thai food and, perhaps, a large bowl of fried potato wedges and sour cream at the pub.
Let’s not forget about the pints of beer, shall we?
For far too long I’ve grabbed a bottle from the shops when I felt the need for a bit of chilli sweetness. I mean, why would I bother making it myself?
To be honest I never thought about making it myself.
Now that I have – three times, mind you – I find I’m using it more in cooking. No, I’m not frying up potato wedges and having those for dinner every other day. Instead I’m sneaking my sweet chilli into marinades for meats or a spoonful added to a Thai-style coconut sauce for fish.
Have I mentioned how easy it is to make? I’ve put my Thai aunty persona on and pounded the chilli, garlic and coriander like the best of them.
It still reminds me of standing at a som tum vendor in Thailand, waiting for my green mango salad to materialise.
“Sir, you li chilli?”
“Not too much”, I’d respond.
When laziness prevails, a food processor could do the trick rather than pounding the ingredients by hand. Problem is, the seeds get pulverised as well. I prefer to see the seeds in the sauce. One way around this is to pound the small chillies and their seeds and use the processor for the rest – then combine the two.
I tried this method on the second batch I made. Good result, but the texture of the sauce is a little different. Not as many “bits”.
So next time you find yourself reaching for that bottle of sweet chilli at the shops, consider walking to the fresh produce and grabbing the ingredients, instead.