Monday, 20 July 2009

Pickled chillies

The market on Battersea High Street was selling huge bowls of red and green chillies on Saturday. They were so beautiful I was tempted to buy some and string them on to thread and hang them around the kitchen. Instead (thinking my housemates might object to living in a chilli grotto) I decided to pickle them.

One of my favourite kebab shops Taza, on Bayswater Road, always has a bowl of pale green pickled chillies on the counter to poke into your pitta or to nibble whilst waiting for your food. They are juicy, salty and sour, and somehow manage to taste spicy and cool at the same time.

A lot of the recipes I looked at called for peppers, bayleaves or other additions but I wanted pure, unadulterated chillies.

  • 500g chillies

  • 1 pint malt vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons salt

    Wash the chillies and put them in a large jar. They fit better if you put half of them in upside down, as they are snuggled together top-to-tail. At this point you are supposed to pour the salt on top, although I forgot and added it after the vinegar. Bring the vinegar and sugar to the boil in a small pan. Take off the heat to cool for a moment then pour over the chillies. Allow to cool then seal the jar.

    I tasted mine the next day, and although they were a bit hotter than I had hoped for, they were still good. Not quite as good as Taza's, but nearly.
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