Time Savers: Learn About Chillies @ Reward Me

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Dissecting the little but fiery chili

Which Chilli to use?

  1. Pepperonchinis are relatively mild chillies, good for stuffing (poppers) and mild salsas.
  2. Hot pixies have a lantern shape and colours range from lime green to orange/red. This chilli has a pungent aroma.
  3. Cayenne chillies are hot! They are usually dried and ground to a powder to produce cayenne pepper.
  4. Jalepenos are mild to hot chillies, mostly picked and sold unripe and green. Smoked jalepenos are called chipotles.
  5. Serrano chilles are also hot and the predominant chilli used in Mexico.
  6. Birds eye chilli is small, but packs a serious punch!
  7. Habaneros are one of the hottest chillies. Keep a glass of milk handy!

Sweet chilli sauce

Makes: 2 small jars
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Level: 2


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sweet chilli sauce


  • 3 large chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 100ml white wine
  • 100ml water
  • 20ml white vinegar
  • 15ml tomato paste
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250ml sugar
  1. Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil until syrupy, slightly thickened and clear.
  2. Bottle, while still hot, into sterilised jars.
Chilli chocolate sauce

Makes: 250ml
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Level: 1

chilli chocolate sauce


  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 100ml cream
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and chopped
  1. Add all the ingredients into a glass bowl or jug.
  2. Heat in the microwave on medium low power for 3 minutes, stirring in between, until smooth and melted.
  3. Serve warm.
Tip An ancient Peruvian classic used mostly for savoury recipes, but can be poured over ice-cream, or used to make hot chocolate with the addition of hot milk.

Are Chilies really healthy?

  • Green chilies are particularly high in vitamin C, with twice the content of any citrus fruit.
  • All chilies promote growth and tissue repair. They are excellent purifying agents.
  • Chilies are a tremendous source of vitamin A.
  • If a chili is dried, its vitamin A content is actually boosted because of a rise in carotene during the drying process. Dried red chilies actually contain more vitamin A than fresh carrots. - It is in fact the carotene that causes chilies to be red in colour.
  • They are rich in vitamins and minerals: Thymine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), folic acid (vitamin B12), potassium, phosphorus, iron and calcium.
  • Chilies are also antioxidants. But be warned (here’s another contradiction)
  • anything in excess is never a good idea. Eat too many chilies and there’s a risk that you could increase your chances of developing colon cancer.
  • Chilies are a must for health-conscious eaters as they contain no fat, are very high in dietary fibre and have a very low kilojoule count.
  • Capsaicin is a natural antibiotic that helps slow the growth of bacteria in the body and in food products. This explains why spicy foods are less perishable.
  • The chili is known to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Finally, chillies increase the blood flow, stimulate the appetite and speed up the metabolism.

With it doing so much, no wonder it makes people sweat like they’ve just run a marathon.

Did you know? A 16th century Jesuit priest, José de Acosta, said of chillies that they were “prejudicial to the health of young folks, chiefly to the soul, for it provokes to lust.”

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