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Hot Chile Ginger and Garlic Sauce

Asked by deborah fannie. Answered on 17th January 2016

Full question

Hi there, I just got Simply Nigella for Christmas and I love it! It is my 7th Nigella cookbook and I use them all frequently with excellent results. I have already made several successful dishes from this cookbook but the Chile, Ginger And Garlic Sauce was painfully hot and spicy! I wonder if the amounts might be incorrect? Living in Canada, I had to change the 4 ounces given into 100 grams of chiles, but I believe that is correct and that is what I used: 2 packets of 50 grams each of fresh Thai red chiles. Thank you very much. Wishing you all a happy, healthy New Year! Deborah.

Our answer

Nigella's Chilli, Ginger And Garlic Sauce (from Simply Nigella) uses 4 ounces fresh red chillies that are roughly chopped but with the seeds left in. The conversion of 4 ounces to 100 grams is correct. However we suspect that as Thai bird's eye chillies (small red chillies) were used, this was the reason for the sauce becoming so fiery.

Regular fresh red chillies (such as red serrano, fresno or Dutch finger chillies) have a medium heat and are around 10,000 units on the scoville scale (a scale used to measure the heat of chillies). Bird's eye chillies are between 100,000 and 250,000 units so are exceptionally hot in comparison. Most recipes will specify using these hotter chiles only if they are required. So we would urge you to try the sauce again with a milder chilli. To reduce the heat further you could remove the seeds from the chillies before making the sauce.

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