Home and away chilli sauce


This might land me into trouble. I brought food back from Africa: a bag of really hot kambuzi chillies I bought on the road to Blantyre and then stashed in my suitcase. With a tropical, fruity flavour similar to that of habaneros, kambuzis are about a quarter of the size, small misshapen yellow cherries full of heat. I knew it was wrong to bring them back on the plane, but my aims were completely innocent: making the ultimate chilli sauce and saving some seeds to add to our collection of hot stuff growing in the garden. At the end of the day chillies are not bushmeat right? And while I was waiting for my luggage at Heathrow, all worries about being caught disappeared when I saw a bag-for-life sort of shopping tote full of yams circulating undisturbed on the conveyor belt.

home and away chilli sauce tastes of carolina

So when I got back home last week the weather was lovely but nights definitely cooler. We brought some potted plants indoors in our conservatory, but still have two tomato plants and four chilli plants outside. I’m planning to make fried green tomatoes with the unripe ones and use the chillies in a variety of sauces and infused olive oils.

For this sauce, I used the Malawian kambuzis with home grown scotch bonnet, Etna chillies and birds eye. The result is fiery and full of tropical heat. We had it last night with a bean and egg recipe off the Jamie Oliver Superfoods series and it tasted great.

You can use any chilli you like and in a sterilised jar it should last a couple of months. Here is how I made it.

Makes a 450g jar

220g chillies, assorted
150ml water
150ml apple cider vinegar
salt to taste
1 tbsp coconut sugar

Wash and chop the chillies. Discard the seeds if you don’t want the sauce to be too hot .
Put them in a food processor together with the water, apple cider vinegar and salt. Blend for a couple of minutes.
Transfer the mixture in a saucepan, add the sugar, cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you find the sauce has thickened too much, add some vinegar and water.
Sterilise your jar by boiling it in water for 15 minutes.
When the sauce is cooked, blend it a second time until you obtain a uniform paste. Spoon it into the jar and let cool before refrigerating.



Carolina Stupino


  1. Sibo on January 2, 2023 at 5:28 pm

    Kambuzi chillies are the best. I am from Blantyre Malawi and happy to know that you tried our chillies ❤

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