Chipotle and hibiscus hot sauce


First published in 2019
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Despite its cultivation all over the world, the chilli pepper plant is native to Mexico, where people use the fruits to enhance bright, fresh salsas and deep, smoky sauces. The chipotle – a smoked red jalapeno – is an essential chilli in Mexican cuisine which is commonly preserved in a rich sauce and called chipotle en adobo. These chillies can then be added to recipes as needed along with their sauce to add a touch of spice and smoke, or as the basis for a hot sauce as per the recipe below.

Chipotle chillies are hot, so remove the seeds unless you enjoy your sauces very spicy. This recipe makes 600ml of hot sauce.




Place the chipotles in a saucepan and add water until just covered (about 300ml). Cover and simmer for 30 minutes to soften
Add the onion, garlic, cumin, chillies and 200ml of their cooking water to a blender (add enough water to make up 200ml if you don’t have enough) and blend to a paste. Transfer the mixture into a saucepan
Add the vinegar, tomato purée, sugar and a large pinch of salt and simmer very gently on the lowest heat with a lid on for 10 minutes, stirring frequently
Meanwhile, steep the hibiscus flowers in 200ml of boiling water for 5 minutes
Strain out and discard the hibiscus flowers and add 150ml of the steeping liquid to the sauce. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. If you find the sauce too hot then simply add some more water – there’s enough flavour here that you don’t need to worry about diluting it (within reason). This sauce can be stored in the fridge for 2–3 weeks
First published in 2019
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