Johannesburg – Greengrocers’ shelves are stocked with of chillies of every size and heat strength, from the tiny, bright-red bird’s-eye chili to the mild, large jalapeños.

It’s the perfect time to take advantage of these spicy morsels to prepare a chilli hot recipe.

Serves 4

Chilli jam

5 dried long red chillies

60ml oil

1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

2 red onions, peeled and chopped

100g palm sugar, finely grated

30ml tamarind purée


20ml peanut oil

500g chicken breast fillets, sliced into strips

1 bunch of spring onions, sliced into 3cm lengths on the diagonal

100g cashew nuts, toasted

15ml fish sauce

30ml fresh coriander, chopped

30ml fresh basil,

roughly torn

Chilli jam: Soak the chillies in hot water for 10 minutes. Then drain, remove the seeds and chop. Place in a blender with the oil, red pepper, garlic and red onion and blend until smooth. Heat a wok or frying pan over medium heat and add the chilli mixture and the grated palm sugar. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tamarind and simmer for 10-15 minutes until it reaches a jam-like consistency. Use what you need and store the rest in the fridge for later use.

Chicken: Heat the wok, add the oil and fry the chicken until brown and tender. Add the spring onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cashew nuts, fish sauce and 60ml of the chilli jam. Mix to coat well.

Stir in the coriander and basil and serve immediately.

The Angela Day recipe column is published in The Star, Pretoria News, Cape Argus and Daily News

Categories: Foodporn