Sweet Chili Sauce

Kate Punshon - Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sweet chilli sauce captures the colour and vibrancy of summer. Just a splash or a dash, either as an ingredient or as an accompaniment will add a zing to a variety of your favourite dishes.The annual spring planting of several chillies varieties in our kitchen garden always produces an abundant harvest. By autumn, the sweet chilli sauce ritual commences with kilos of fresh bright red chillies, ginger and garlic being chopped and simmered in vinegar to extract their pungent and robust flavours. This multi-award winning recipe will produce almost 2 litres of silken chilli sauce in just 60 minutes.

Preparation time:    60 minutes
Cooking time:         30 to 40 minutes
Quantity:                6 x 300ml sauce bottles

Ingredient list

300g fresh red chilli
100g garlic
50g fresh ginger
1.2 litre cider vinegar
2kg white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
60g arrowroot
30ml cold water



Sterilise sealable glass jars and lids



  1. Cut chillies in half and discard stem. For a hot chilli sauce leave seeds, for a mild sauce discard seeds
  2. Peel garlic and ginger
  3. Process the above ingredients through a small plate (4mm) mincer which provides a consistent texture or process in a food processor until all the pieces are a consistent 3 to 4mm in size.
  4. Place into a saucepan and add the vinegar, sugar and salt.
  5. Bring to the simmer, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar crystals, then simmer for approximately 30 minutes until the flavours are extracted and there is a syrupy consistency.
  6. In a separate bowl slowly add the water to the arrowroot and mix to a paste.
  7. Remove  the chilli syrup from the heat and quickly stir in the arrowroot paste.
  8. Return to the heat and stir constantly until the chilli sauce comes to the boil and then simmer for approximately 3 minutes. The mixture will thicken quickly when the arrowroot paste has been added.  The simmering process will ensure that the arrowroot is cooked.  The sauce should be clear and not milky.
  9. Place sterilised sauce bottles on a wooden board to prevent the bottles from breaking which can be caused by the heat differential between the cool bottle and hot sauce. 
  10. Use a funnel to pour the sauce into dry sterilised sealable bottles and fill to approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the top of the bottle. Seal bottles.
  11. Label with name and date.



  1. The final potency of the chilli sauce will vary on the type of chilli and amount of seeds used. As a general rule the smaller the chilli the hotter or more potent the chilli.
  2. This sauce will keep unopened in a cool dark pantry for 6 to 12 months.
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