October: leaves crunch, coats zip, kettles boil & soups blend. It's comfort food season, folks. And we're here for it.
In this instalment of The Tip Jar, we give you Sky's Chilli Sauce. It's pretty popular round here - and for good reason.
Open the development kitchen fridge and there is always a large jar of Sky’s Chilli Sauce. She makes bulk volumes of the stuff and from this sauce come a varying myriad of curries. Different vegetables, some coconutty soups & some with lentils. Until we saw Sky and Kai with their lunch time curries we never thought to start to add the chutney range to these spicy meals. What better way to sate the appetite as the temperature slowly falls and we can sit and gaze at the goldening of the grape vine leaves while it’s still ok to have the shutter open.
Sky’s Chilli Sauce
To make 3 litres (it'll last in the fridge)
- 45 chillis (use mostly long, red chillis but feel free to experiment with different varieties; I like adding the super-hot Prik Kee Noo Suan or fruity scotch bonnets)
- 100g fresh turmeric root
- 200g peeled ginger
- 50g coriander leaves and stalks (roots, too, if you can find them!)
- 800g tinned tomatoes
- 20tbsp fish sauce
- 10 tbsp maple syrup or palm sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground black peppercorns (use a pestle & mortar)
- 3 limes, zested and juiced
- 4 bulbs garlic
If you like extra aromatics, the sauce works well with lemongrass, galangal and grachai.
Make the Sauce
- Place all of your ingredients into a food processor and blitz into a smooth sauce. It will take a couple of goes.
If your food processor is not large enough, simply half everything or even quarter.
Make a Curry
For lunch we made an aubergine and tofu curry with this chilli sauce.
- 300g aubergine (1 or 2 should do it depending on their size)
- 400g firm tofu (drained)
- 400ml coconut milk
- 4 tablespoons of Sky's Chilli Sauce
- bunch of fresh coriander
- rice (to serve)
- England Preserves chutney (to serve)
- Add four tablespoons of the chilli sauce and a can of coconut milk into a pan.
- Chop your aubergine into bitesize chunks, and add to the pan.
- Bring your curry to a gentle simmer and place a lid on the pan. Cook until aubergine is fully cooked and tender.
- Chop tofu into similar sized chunks to the aubergine and add to the curry.
- Bring up to temperature and serve with cooked rice, fresh coriander and, of course, a tablespoon or two of chutney.
Chutney: a history
We've all shamelessly scooped out the bright orange, puréed and sweet mango chutney in our local Indian restaurants. it's one of life's great pleasures to graze away at papadums before the main meal arrives. However, chutney - roughly translating as "to lick" in Hindi - is an essential addition to most dishes in the Indian subcontinent.
Our chutneys - Pear, Date & Ale, Red Onion Marmalade and Spicy Tomato Relish - all derive from the Western-style chutneys that originate from Anglo-Indians during the time of the British Raj. Surplus English orchard fruits have a long history in preservation. However, during the time of the British Raj, these fruits were preserved using techniques from the Indian subcontinent. Rather than using traditional mustard oil, Western-style chutneys have adopted vinegar as the pickling agent.
Thanks for reading, folks.
A final word from Sky:
This chilli sauce is so important to our work and family life. Many of us will know the feeling of needing a quick lunch, or to somehow conjure up a healthy and fulfilling meal for hungry children at home. This sauce is perfect for these moments. As far as I'm concerned, every day is a good day for a curry.
|Happy Autumn! Sky, Kai & the England Preserves team