xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' Ria's Trinidad Lime Pepper Sauce

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ria's Trinidad Lime Pepper Sauce

Each Caribbean island boasts of its own unique blend of “devilish” hot sauces also known as pickled peppers. They vary from simple combinations of hot pepper (pronounced peppah) and lime juice or vinegar to more complicated concoctions of fruits(papaya), vegetables (caraille) and herbs. The heat intensity vary immensely also, from mild to super extreme. The ingredients can be blended together or cut up into pieces like this recipe.

In Trinidad, we have several fiery and mouth watering blends to choose from. Each household has their own unique, favorite blend sitting in recycled jars, bottles and containers for months, and sometimes years, on end. 

Lime pepper sauce is excellent with fried fish served with roti, fried bake or bread, including shark and bake sandwiches, but I pour it on everything. 

For me, hot pepper concoctions are an essential part of any meal. It’s an addiction I learned early on from my mother. Growing up, I was witness to the whole "congo pepper" she broke apart with her fingers and used to massage the contents of her plate. I now do the same.  No dinner of mine is ever eaten without a whole hot pepper, home made hot sauce (which I refer to the blended variety) or this lime pepper sauce. Hot Pepper in any of its forms enlivens the meal and unfortunately encourages me to eat more than I should.

[seen here with stewed chicken and jasmine rice..]

In my recipe, I diced the ingredients very small for convenience--to make it “user friendly” on my plate. There is also a nice ratio of pepper and other ingredients which add to the enjoyment. The pepper is not overpowering-unless you want it to be (increase the amount of pepper used, hence recipe calls for 8-18) and you definitely won’t have to abandon plate and food to go in search of a barrel of water to immerse your head in---to alleviate the pain.  Not saying I once did that. Not saying I never did that either.

You may use vinegar but to keep it all natural, because of my food sensitivities, I use lime juice. Not only is this “trini lime pepper sauce” delicious, it’s packed with nutrients, from the limes, garlic, carrots and onion to the super food, the daikon radish. Daikon radish is known in Trinidad as Moorai or Murai. I am not sure of the spelling but the health benefits are enormous. It has a high enzyme content, which helps in fat and starch digestion, helps fight off cancer-causing agents, is low in calories and contains a high level of vitamin C, phosphorous and potassium.

Food safety: To sterilize bottles or jars, fill them with boiling water and immerse them in a large pot with boiling water to cover by 2 inches. Boil the jars, caps and lids for 15 minutes. Leave the jars in hot water until you are ready to use them. When ready to use, remove the jars with tongs [think kitchen equipment] from hot water and drain well.

Your Safety: Please wear gloves when handling hot peppers and do not prepare on any day you are suffering from allergies. Just saying.

Ria’s Trinidad Lime Pepper Sauce

8-18 congo pepper, scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, diced
4 limes, diced
1  cup finely cubed Murai (white daikon radish)
1 small carrot, grated
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
Vinegar or lime juice
1 ½ cups of water
Salt, to taste

Stem, wash, seed and chop peppers. Leave the seed in for a hotter sauce.

Scrub the limes and dry well. Cut lime into small pieces.

In a small pot, add limes and water and boil for a few minutes until the lime changes color.

In the meantime, peel and chop garlic, dice onion and murai. Scrape, wash, dry and grate carrot.

Combine cooked lime(with liquid), hot peppers, garlic, onion, murai and carrot in a bowl.

Add salt to taste. (I used 1 tablespoon)

Transfer to a clean jar or bottle.

Add enough lime juice or vinegar to completely cover. 
[If using lime juice, always ensure that "everything" is always submerged in the juice or else the pepper sauce will start to ferment which alters the taste. I keep it in the refrigerator.]

Allow the “lime pepper sauce” to “ripen” at room temperature, or under the hot sun, for at least 24 hours, preferably 5 days to a week.

Lime pepper sauce will keep for several months at room temperature(if using vinegar), and like you and me, it just gets better with age. ;-)

I will try to post pics of my recent vacation, if time permits. Thanks again to all the folks who took the time to send me such wonderful emails. You are my inspiration. 

Talk to you soon.

Cooking with love,


Maggie Patience said...

Love this - I make all my pepper sauce at home - all different ways, with lime or vinegar, chunky or blended, with or without mustard, with cilantro, garlic, onion - morai, carrots, green mangoes or pomme cettay (sp) - sometimes really hot, most times tasty - a "Mother-In-Law" is a favorite in our house - Thanks for this!

Cooking with Ria said...

Thanks, Magz!Yummy stuff! You are most welcome. Never thought of putting green mangoes in my hot pepper sauce, been too busy putting hot peppers in my mango(chow), lol....thanks for the idea! Should also put "mother in law" on my list of things to post!

Cooking with Ria said...

Does vinegar cut the hotness of the peppers?

Cooking with Ria said...

I Just Made This and it is GREAT!

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