Wednesday, September 2, 2009

West-Indian Hot Sauce, Inspired by Cindy

Cindy List is my hair stylist, and she is not only talented in the beauty department, she is also an exceptional baker and cook. Cindy is known for making her own Caribbean-style hot sauce, which I tasted one day at Crown, the NYC salon where she works. It was the best hot sauce that has ever touched my tongue, hands down, and I immediately high-tailed it to the kitchen to try and concoct my own. Cindy is a purist, and only uses local ingredients for her sauce (she even grows her own peppers!). I am less of a purist (read: lazy), and make allowances for imported fruit and peppers in my sauce. The recipe below is for a medium-hot sauce. Feel free to use your own combination of peppers to get the result you’re looking for. Use all habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers if you’re a hardcore heat freak, or milder peppers, like jalapenos, if you’re a Scoville lightweight. This sauce is great with everything. Cindy even puts it in her smoothies (purists can be a little weird sometimes).
(P.S. to get a haircut from Cindy, visit her at It’ll change your life, and she might even give you some hot sauce...)

West-Indian Hot Sauce

Makes about 3 cups

1 mango
1 red onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1 garlic clove
2 habanero peppers, cut into chunks
1 red cherry pepper, cut into chunks
1 Anaheim chili, cut into chunks
1 jalapeno pepper, cut into chunks
2 dried red peppers
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Combine the mango flesh, onion, garlic clove, peppers, ginger, mustard, spices and honey in a blender. Process, adding the water gradually, until it is smooth. Add the vinegar and salt and process until blended. The sauce will keep, stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator, for up to 6 weeks.