I am impatiently waiting for the peak preserving season which starts some time next month. In the meantime, since mangoes seem to be already in season in many parts of the world, last weekend I was very glad to be able to fill this year’s first jars with my beloved hot mango sauce. I have posted this recipe a long time ago, when I didn’t know most of my present web friends and I thought it would be such a pity if one of my most often prepared and served sauces remained forgotten or unnoticed. For me it’s such an extraordinary preserve, I think it may even merit to be posted regularly once a year.
Why do I find this sauce so exceptional? First of all, because I love mango and chili combination. Secondly, because of its simplicity. In fact, I haven’t followed any precise instructions and the recipe is the result of my experiments with chili, mango and obligatory preserving agents (vinegar and sugar). Thanks to the short ingredients list, this sauce is an extremely versatile seasoning or dip. You can serve it with roasts, stir fries, sandwiches, noodles, rice bowls,snacks…. Apart from those who hate hot and sweet combination, everyone seems to enjoy this sauce (this is one of my biggest “jar as a present” hits). Last but not least, mango season is quite long and since they are imported from different parts of the world they are available (at least in Europe) all year round, so this sauce can be prepared at practically any time of the year.
If you still hesitate wondering how you will use this sauce, here are some suggestions:
TIPS: The vinegar and sugar amounts depend on the mango sweetness and the ones below are only an example. Some mangoes require more sugar and some more vinegar. Always put down the exact amounts so that you know what you should modify next time you preserve it.
The hotness of this sauce should be adapted to your own preferences and your resistance. The below chili amounts are only an example and depend also on the chili variety. Several tips for those who are not used to handle hot peppers:
1-Wear gloves while washing or cutting them !
2- Add your peppers gradually. They vary a lot in size, in hotness, and even the same variety can be completely different depending on the season and country of origin. I always first mix peppers in a food processor and then add them gradually until the sauce acquires the desired taste.
3-Do not throw away the seeds if you want the sauce to be even hotter! (they are the hottest part of the peppers).
4- Keep in mind that the warm sauce is always hotter in taste than the cold one… (Wait for the sauce to cool down, taste it and you can reheat it once more adding more chilies if you want).
Preparation: around 30 minutes + a couple of hours for cooling + 20 minutes for processing
Ingredients: (2 mangoes will yield around 3-4 200ml jars, but it depends on the fruits’ juiciness and ripeness)
1 T salt
200 g (1 cup) sugar
200 ml (6 3/4 oz) white wine or cider vinegar (mine was 4,5% acid)
preferably fresh, red or green hot peppers (I put 3 flat tablespoons of mixed tiny “bird’s eye” chili peppers and my sauce was really hot)
Cut off the peppers’ stems. Cut in half lengthwise and throw away the seeds (or not! if you want your sauce extra hot).
Mix the peppers in a food processor. Put aside.
Peel the mangoes, cut up the flesh. Mix the mangoes in a food processor.
Place the mixed mangoes, the sugar, the salt and the vinegar in a heavy bottom pan (shouldn’t be aluminium or copper, otherwise the vinegar will react with the metal).
Add the chilies gradually (for example starting with half of the amount). Cook for around 30 minutes. Taste and, optionally, add sugar /vinegar/peppers to adjust the taste.
/At this point you can (after the sauce has cooled down) either freeze it, or keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or process it in the jars, as described below, and store it in your pantry for at least a year!/
Pour the sauce, still hot, into sterilised jars. Cover with lids. Leave the jars to cool.
Place the cool jars into a big pan, bottom lined with an old kitchen towel folded in two (this will prevent the jars from breaking), cover up with hot – but not boiling- water to the level just below the lid. Bring to boil and keep on a very low heat, in simmering water, for around 20 minutes.
Stick on self-adhesive labels, write the name of the sauce and don’t forget to mark the date (do not forget to put down the exact amounts of every ingredient you used).
In a dry place, with a moderate temperature, the jars should keep for at least a year.