Pepper sauce

This Caribbean condiment is based on Scotch bonnet chillies – serve sparingly alongside savoury dishes or add while cooking for extra heat

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:10 mins
    plus 2 days standing
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 9
  • fat 0g
  • saturates 0g
  • carbs 2g
  • sugars 1g
  • fibre 0g
  • protein 0g
  • salt 0g


  • 1 lime
  • 12 medium-sized scotch bonnet chillies (to make it super-hot, use up to 20), stem removed, roughly chopped (wear disposable gloves)
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1½ garlic bulb, cloves peeled
  • 150ml white wine vinegar
  • 1½ heaped tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp American mustard
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ unripe papaya (green and firm to the touch), peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped


Sterilising your jars

Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Wash your jars and the lids in hot soapy water, but do not dry them. Instead, leave them to stand upside down on a baking tray while still wet. Pop the tray of jars and lids in the oven for about 15 mins. If using Kilner jars, boil the rubber seals, as dry heat damages them. 

Scotch bonnet chillies

Among the hottest on the Scoville scale (a measurement of the level of capsaicin in chilli peppers). As well as heat, they also add a slight sweetness. Ripe chillies range in colour from green to yellow, orange or red.



  1. Put the lime in a small pan and cover with cold salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10–15 mins until soft and tender. Remove from the water and set aside to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, put all the other ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

  3. Finely chop the lime (keeping the peel on), discarding any seeds, then stir into the other ingredients.

  4. Decant the sauce into a cooled, sterilised jar or bottle (see tip), pop the lid on and leave for the flavour to develop for 2 days.

  5. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper (it will take a lot of salt!) and give the bottle a good shake to distribute the seasoning. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 6 months (don’t worry about any discolouration over time).

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