Homemade Chilli Sauce

By Melissa Katunga

Serenade Chilli


Growing up I was never a fan of hot or spicy food, anything ‘wah-wah’ was a no go! I was forever a lemon and herb girl, the one that asked how mild is the mild? Yes, salt and pepper was my go to, then dabbling in the safe paprika option and 7 to 15 cloves of garlic for extra flavour… and control myself from peeling more cloves. However over the years I have grown to LOVE spice and among my spice journey I have become a fan of chilli sauces! We are lucky here in Zimbabwe to have some fabulous locally produced chilli sauces, however for the time being, amidst a pandemic, going to the store for some grocery shopping has become an extreme sport. Therefore most of us are going the minimal, “we’ll make what we have at home” route until one simply has to go to the store for a stock up. If some chilli sauce is on that grocery list, why not give this recipe a go? I experimented with several different recipes along my chilli journey and experimented my way to this delicious concoction!

Small Red Chilli


  • 10 small garden chillies (any chillies can be used for either a hotter or milder sauce)
  • 1 large Serenade chilli
  • 6 large garlic cloves (less can be used per individual taste)
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tomato
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Simmering sauce


  1. Place all chillies, garlic, onion, tomato, juice of one lemon, 30ml olive oil, half the water and salt and pepper into a blender and blitz until combined but not too smooth, you are looking for a slightly chunky finish.
  2. Heat up remaining olive oil in a pan on medium heat and pour out the combined ingredients from the blender. Cook slightly to help bring out the aromas all ingredients.
  3. Return to blender to combine the sauce and then back into to the pan on a medium heat.
  4. Pour your remaining water into the blender and swish around to collect all remaining sauce, add to the pan and mix well.
  5. Simmer on a low heat until you reach your desired consistency.
  6. Scoop into a glass jar, wait to cool and enjoy! Keep refrigerated.
Homemade chilli sauce

Images provided by Melissa Katunga

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