Urban Food Garden

Sweet Chilli Sauce

Excellent chilli sauce recipe.  Produces a rich sweet chilli sauce flavour with a hint of ginger and garlic.  I have been making at least a dozen bottles each year a good twenty years now.


  • 2 kg sugar.
  • 1.5 litres of cider vinegar
  • 300 g fresh red chillies
  • 100 g fresh garlic
  • 50 to 100 g of fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


  1. Cut chillies lengthwise and scrape away the seeds with a spoon
  2. Finely chop the ginger, garlic and chilli halves.
  3. Puree ginger, garlic and chillies with some vinegar and place in a pot.
  4. Add the rest of vinegar, sugar and salt and stir.
  5. Cook on a slow boil until a syrupy consistency is reached. 
  6. Poor into sterilised bottles and cap.

Makes around six small bottles of sauce.   I use medium hot chillies, however if you want to make it hotter add more chillies or use a hotter chilli variety such as Jalapeno.  This recipe is a little hotter than most commercial sweet chilli sauces, so if you want your sauce to be more like a commercial sweet chilli sauce then use fewer chillies.  I also use less salt than the original recipe, so people might want to add more salt.

While chilli and sugar make a great preservative I prefer to run my bottles through the Fowlers Preserving System to ensure they don’t go off.  Though unopened bottles of chilli sauce should last for a good twelve months without being preserved in a Fowlers unit.

LEFT: Chillies with stems cut off.  RIGHT: Chillies after they have had their seeds removed and been chopped up into small pieces.

The chillies that I use to make the sauce are almost always from my food garden.