Preserves pickled chilli and hot chilli sauce on table

Published on May 1st, 2016 | by Gareth


Chilli sauce and pickled chillies

Anyone who following Humble Crumble’s facebook page will know, it’s been a bit of a chilli fest lately. This was prompted by delivery of a bag containing almost 1kg of bright orange chillies from friend’s parents. As far as I can tell, they are Bulgarian carrot chilli, also know as Shipkas. They are as fiery as their colour, according to, you can expect between to be on the receiving end of 5,000-30,000 scoville heat units, (to give you some context, a jalapeno is 2,500-5,000 scoville heat units.

The Bulgarian carrot chilli has more to offer than just the burning a hole in your underpants though. It’s surprisingly crunchy making it perfect for pickling. It’s also quite sweet. Though if like me, you foolishly take a large bite, seeds and all, you won’t get to enjoy the ‘fruity tones’. Instead your tongue will feel like a pin cushion for 10 minutes. You also might cry like a baby.

I put the colourful harvest to good use and made hot chilli sauce and pickled the rest with Jalapenos, ensuring a spicy addition to tortilla and taco’s for the next few weeks.

I used Bulgarian carrot chillies in the sauce, but the recipe works with most chilli varieties and you can easily adjust the heat by reducing the number of chillies (and removing the seeds). For the pickled chilli though, I recommend jalapenos and carrot chillies.

A word of caution, wear latex or rubber gloves when prepping the chilli and make sure your kitchen is well ventilated. Might sound dumb, but the ‘fumes’ cooking from the chilli sauce, caused Nina to cough. I also found myself sweating from just chopping them.

A big thank you to Humble Crumble’s official chilli sponsor, Mr and Mrs Houston.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes for the pickled chilli, 30 minutes+ for the sauce

Double burn chilli sauce

• 15-20 fresh chillies (adjust accordingly) – finely sliced, seeds, stem and pith removed
• 1 large red onion – peeled and finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic – roughly chopped
• 1 tin chopped tomatoes
• 1-2 tbsp. soft brown sugar
• 2 tsp. ground cumin
• ½ tsp. salt (adjust to taste though)
• 1 tbsp. tomato puree
• Dash of Worcestershire sauce
• Decent lug of olive oil

• Cook the onion over a low heat in a large pan, with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes until they turn soft.
• Add the garlic and cook for a further five minutes.
• Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
• Season the sauce as necessary.
• Blend (I used a Bamix stick blender).
• If you want a smooth ketchup consistency, strain out the small bits of chilli skin with a sieve. Alternatively, you can opt for something more chunky and rustic. (I did some of both).
• Transfer the hot sauce to sterilised jars or bottle and pop the lids on whole still piping hot.

Pickled Chilli

Ingredients – makes 2 large jars

• 1 cup water
• 1 cup of white vinegar
• 4 tbsp. caster sugar
• 2 tbsp. salt
• 2 cloves garlic – peeled
• 15 jalapenos and 15 Bulgarian carrot chilli- finely sliced

• Place the water, salt, sugar, vinegar and garlic in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes until the sugar and salt dissolve.
• Add the sliced chilli (I prefer to remove the pith as it’s a little bitter, but it doesn’t harm if you eat it).
• Ensure the chilli slices are submerged, remove the pan from the heat and allow them to sit for 10 minutes.
• At this point the jalapenos should have gone from a bright green, to a dreary olive green.
• Transfer the chilli slices to sterilised jar(s) with a clean fork or tongs, then the hot pickling liquid into the jar until the chillies are fully submerged.
• It’s best to pack the jar full.
• Pop the lids on whilst the liquid is still hot.

The sauce will store well in the fridge for a few weeks and the pickled chilli will keep for a few months. That said my chilli stash is usually devoured before this becomes an issue.

Double burn chilli sauce with Bulgarian carrot chillies

About the Author

Englishman in Sydney loves a whisky, pies and all things savoury. Digital Marketer by day, cook the rest of the time. Amateur writer, photographer & aspiring anthropologists.

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