Then I moved to Singapore and met the love of my culinary life- the chilli padi. Diminutive, sizzling red and packing a wallop that would reduce strong men to jellybeans.
While I now add a generous chilli padi or two, or six, to my dals and my salads for a good sinus clear out, a great way to use them is to make a colourful and tasteful chilli jam.
Ingredients: 3-4 large garlic cloves, peeled 6 red Jalapeño peppers 6-10 chilli padis (optional– if you like the sauce really spicy) 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar 3/4-1 cup sugar (I use less) 1 cup water ½ tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch 2 tablespoons water Instructions: In the blender, purée together all the ingredients, except for the last two. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture thickens up a bit and the garlic-pepper bits begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water to make a paste. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and continue to simmer until thick and jam like. Let cool completely before storing in a glass jar and refrigerate.
The jam can be enjoyed with pull apart garlic rolls or a warm slice of home baked bread, rotis or tikkis! Yum!