Norbs Jazzy Chilli Sauce

the harvest

First off, a confession. I have not tried this sauce. Not even the smallest drop of it. I’m not a fan of spicy food at all. I have just started eating dishes marked as “mild” in Asian restaurants last year and they are still too spicy for me sometimes. I once tried one of the home-grown apache chillies Norb used to make this sauce- I had to drink approximately a hectolitre of milk before I stopped crying and thinking I’m surely going to die. Yes, I’m a pussy. Norb, on the other hand, is not.

He makes a different chilli sauce each year and claims it’s the best one ever and that he definitely has to make some more again. Then he forgets the recipe and makes a completely different one the next year. This time, however, other people brave enough to try the sauce claimed it’s the best sauce ever too, so we both decided it’s time to put the recipe in a written form. And while we’re at it, why not share it with everyone else who wants to experiment with killing their taste buds…

I’m naming it “jazzy chilli sauce” simply because it needs a fun name and Norb listened to jazz all afternoon while he sweated the onions and deseeded the devilish fruits (fun fact- chilli is technically a fruit). And jazzy is such a fun food adjective (I never know what I means exactly:))


You’ll need:

  • 2 cups deseeded (or hack, leave the seeds in if you’re crazy) fresh apache chillis
  • 4 average sized onions (or 1 giant,-babys head sized one, like Norb had), chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ lemon, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato concentrate
  • 2 (400ml)cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp cider vinegar
  • bunch of fresh coriander
  • olive oil
  • salt to taste

1. Heat the olive oil. Sweat the onions with the sugar for half an hour on low heat. Add water if necessary, so the onions don’t burn. Deseed the chillies. Use gloves if you don’t want pain simulating first degree burns on your palms for 12 hours. (Like Norb had)

2. Add ginger, garlic and mustard seeds. Cook for 5 more minutes. Add the lemon and tomato concentrate. Cook for 5 more minutes.

3. Add the canned tomatoes, tumeric and fresh coriander, cook for 45 more minutes.

4. Blend the whole thing until it’s completely smooth.


5. Heat the vinegar in the pot and add the blended sauce. Cook until the sauce is thick enough (approximately 20-30 minutes).

6. Heat the glass jars in the oven for 20 minutes on 100°C. (To kill the germs and help to vacuum seal them later.)

7. Jar the sauce.


And during the whole process, listen to music like this:


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