After a week of enjoying some of the best (probably debatable) peppersauce while tasting Barbados, I thought I’d share my take on this classic Caribbean hot sauce. We were in Barbados for the annual Food and Rum Festival and like the rest of the Caribbean, there were an assortment of pepper sauces to accompany every dish we had. Bajans (Barbadians) are VERY passionate about their pepper sauces and while this recipe is not as “traditional”, it could rival any we enjoyed while in Barbados.
16 Scotch Bonnet Peppers
3/4 cup white vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chopped turmeric
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
3/4 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used Sea Salt)
Note: While this recipe falls under the gluten free category I ask you to go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. Also note that this is a “PepperSauce” so it’s meant to be VERY spicy, however you can leave out the seeds of the peppers to tame things down slightly. Wear gloves and wash your hands with spaod and water immediately after handling such hot peppers.
Wash and remove the stems from the Scotch Bonnet peppers (works well with Habanero peppers as well), then give them a rough chop. Smash the garlic and also give the cilantro a rough chop. If you’re in the Caribbean and have access to shado beni, you can use a couple leaves of that instead of the cilantro. Peel or scrape the skin off the turmeric and give it a rough chop as well. Please note that the turmeric may stain your fingers a brilliant yellow/orange color.
Then it’s just a matter of placing all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and working until it’s smooth (or you can pulse it if you want the peppersuace a bit chunky).
While speaking to people in Barbados, there seemed to be as many people who agree on cooking this sauce as there were people who said to leave it raw. I left it raw as I find that cooking takes away some of the heat of the sauce and since I used fresh turmeric, I wanted to maintain most of it’s health benefits. I must mention that the use of turmeric in not necessarily traditional to Bajan pepper sauce, but since I’m not a huge fan of mustard, I went this route (we found Bajan pepper sauces to have strong mustard undertones). If you prefer to cook this hot sauce, bring it to a boil and immediately reduce it to a gentle simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Since we used white vinegar as a base this will be fine in a bottle on your counter for a couple months or in the fridge for about 4 months. Also note that I’ve found that placing hot sauces in the fridge also tapers the heat level as time goes by.