Few things are more satisfying than growing your own fruit and veg, to pick and take straight to the kitchen. But there can come a time, usually in late summer, when you’ve got more produce than you know what to do with.
Pickling chillies is great fun and enables you to enjoy home-grown chillies during winter. It’s also a perfect way to reduce waste.
Pickling chillies is inexpensive and easy to do. You can make your pickle sweet or savoury, depending on your preference. Pickled chillies taste great added to soups, stews and curries, and work just as well with fish as they do with meat.
How to pickle chillies
The main ingredients used to pickle chillies are vinegar, salt and/or sugar. You can also add herbs and spices, such as coriander and mustard seeds, black pepper, ginger, cloves and bay leaves, to bring more flavour. Always sterilise your jars and lids thoroughly and ensure the chillies are completely covered with the pickling mixture.
More on growing chillies:
You Will Need
- Chillies (300g)
- Malt or cider vinegar (200ml)
- Unwaxed lemon or lime
- Granulated sugar (50g)
- Sea salt (1tsp)
- Herbs (1tsp), Optional
- Garlic cloves (2 cloves), Optional
Prepare your chillies by cutting them into rings, removing the seeds as you go. Here, we’ve used several different varieties of chilli to make a colourful jar. Make sure you use fresh, firm produce. Place them in a clean, sterilised jar.
Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a pan, this will give the chillies a softer texture. If you use cold vinegar they will remain quite crunchy. Add any herbs, garlic or mustard to your vinegar while it’s heating up, then pour the vinegar mixture over the chillies, making sure you reach the top of the jar. Add the lid to seal the pickled chillies immediately. Store in a cool, dark place for at least four weeks before using.