I have always adored chilli’s. My parents moved to the UK from Fiji in the 1960s and from my early days I can always remember fresh chilli’s on the table at every meal time – well maybe not breakfast!
Long thin red ones, short fat stubby green ones – I felt honoured to learn about the relevance of length, girth, colour and crunch to a chilli’s heat from my fount of all chilli knowledge – my mama…
Her genetic love of these little mouthfuls of fire led to acute ‘parent embarrassment alert’ for me and my siblings as she insisted on carrying her chilli’s around with her in in a little plastic bag and if we were ever out at a restaurant – she would surreptitiously sneak the little bag out and onto the table so she could eat them with her meal… Many’s a time I can remember we went to the one posh place I knew – The Vine in Dorset – and my mum could be seen chomping away on her Steak Diane ( 70s favourite – look it up!) with a equal measure of fresh chilli’s!
Also as I began writing this I had a fabulous chilli flashback! My mum used to decide on whether the boyfriends I brought home to visit were up to her exacting Cornelius standards by making them eat a carefully pre-selected chilli with the meal she prepared for them!! If they did not reach for a glass of water – they passed. If they coughed, spluttered or, god forbid, did not eat the entire chilli – the mother- in – law road was destined to be a rocky one!
You know, looking back it worked – my husband passed with flying colours.. roll on my daughters first serious suitor!!
Anyway back to the chilli’s – I made some chilli and tomato pickle at the weekend and all the produce used came fresh out of the garden.. tomatoes, onions, garlic – and of course chilli’s… It’s very yummy and I’m very proud.. Plus VERY importantly it was super-easy as you chop everything up and chuck it in a pan and boil the bottom off it.. my kinda cooking!
Here you go..
500G RED ONIONS – Finely sliced
1KG TOMATOES – Chopped
8-12 FRESH RED CHILL’S – roughly chopped
4 GARLIC CLOVES – finely sliced
250g BROWN SUGAR
150ML WINE VINEGAR
5 CARDAMON SEEDS
½ TABLESPOON PAPRIKA
- Place all ingredients into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Simmer for 1 hour.
- Use a handheld blender to wizz it all.
- bring to a gentle boil and let it all thicken and go shiny.
- stick in sterilised jar and eat when the yearning hits you.