Here is my version of the classic hot sauce of Rodrigues Island. It is very thick, so feel free to thin with more water if you want. You’d think that this sauce might be sour, but it’s not–the sugar in the red chiles seems to temper it. Any fresh red chiles can be used, and you can adjust the heat level to your liking. The yield is high here, but the color is so beautiful that you should put the excess in decorative bottles as gifts for your friends. It will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. Serve it over fish or other seafood.
6 cups water
10 lemons, thickly sliced, seeds removed (or substitute limes for a different color)
8 to 10 red jalapeños, seeds and stems removed, halved
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Place the water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the lemon slices and boil for 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the water.
Place the jalapeños in a blender and add the oil. Puree to make a thick paste. Add the lemon slices, a few at a time, along with 3 cups of the reserved water, a half cup at a time. You may have to do this in batches in you don’t have a large blender. Puree to a thick sauce. Pour into bottles and label.