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Asked by boacook. Answered on 1st January 2013

Full question

In Nigella's recipe for Adzhika is the quantity of chillis specified related to spicy hotness or volume? I have a chilli plant at home - very fiery chillis, but I am going to struggle to reach 80g let alone the 125g specified. However they are exceptionally hot!

Our answer

Adzhika is a salsa, or relish, that originates from Georgia. In her book Feast, Nigella serves the salsa with slices of melon as a palate-sharpening first course. The chillis used in the recipe are the long red chillis, such as a mirasol, which have a medium heat (about 5,000 Scoville units) and slightly fruity notes.

If your chillis are really hot, for example if they are more like Thai or Bird's eye chillis (150,000 Scoville units) then you can use less chillis and make up the difference with extra red (bell) pepper. You can taste the mixture after whizzing in the food processor and if the salsa isn't hot enought for your taste then you could add crushed chillis (red pepper flakes) a pinch at a time until the heat suits your palate.

The Adzhika will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for a week. It is also good served with cold ham and other cold meats.

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