It is dull and overcast with a crisp wind blowing in from the east. This is the sort of day on which I think about making preserves or jams – usually Seville oranges made into chunky marmalade filling the kitchen with intensely orange fragrance. Seville oranges are not in season until February, I shall have to wait.
Today I want to use up the red chillies I bought from the market, which have been sitting in the fridge for over a week. I start a batch of sweet chilli sauce. It is quick and easy with none of the additives of shop-bought sauce. I sometimes use this sauce as a dip for baya kyaw.
10 red chillies, stalks removed
3 garlic cloves
250 ml white rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Start with sterilising the jars.
Put the chillies and garlic into a pestle and mortar. Grind into a rough paste. Transfer to a saucepan and add vinegar, water and sugar. On moderate heart, stir until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to low, add the fish sauce and lime juice. Keep stirring the mixture on a simmer until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 15-20 minutes. Then pour into clean, dry, hot jars and seal with a lid. Once cooled, store in the fridge until needed.
Makes: 3 jars
Cooking time: 15-20 mins