A chilli sauce with a twist..

When it comes to cooking, l’m always up for a challenge; to me, nothing is impossible, I’ll have a go at anything, as long as someone is going to eat it! So when Angie issued a recipe challenge, I was, naturally, curious…

Angie issued a Fiesta Friday Healthy Recipe Challenge – healthy eating is my thing, that posed no threat to me, however, Angie also declared that the recipe must include leafy greens (no problem) and…..pineapple….there’s my challenge…!

I don’t eat or use much fruit, and I’m not a fan of anything sweet, so the thought of including pineapple, in any form in a dish, was a real challenge for me. I needed to let my brain ruminate and ponder and create a way to use pineapple in my way, in a dish that I would eat or serve my menfolk.

Hence, this chilli sauce… Yes! This chilli sauce includes pineapple. Freeze dried powdered pineapple to be exact. I found this freeze dried version in my local supermarket and I powdered it.

A lot of recipes I read for chilli sauces include some kind of sugar, and sometimes HUGE amounts of sugar! I do not eat refined sugar in any form, I do not eat sugar substitutes, and I don’t like honey or maple syrup, and I just can’t bring myself to add the required sugar to these recipes. If I make chilli sauces I therefore don’t add any sugar, but sometimes I can taste that it needs something to give it a final finish, so have tried adding cinnamon as an alternative, or even ‘anardana’, which is dried pomegranate powder, both of which were interesting. So, you guessed it, today I tried adding a bit of dried pineapple powder; it’s extremely sweet, to me anyway, so you don’t need much, and it worked very nicely! 

I was going to then add spinach to the sauce for the leafy green vegetable element but I didn’t want to muddy the colour, so I paired the sauce with spelt, spinach, red onions and garlic, and mixed it all together to eat it…

The sauce recipe..

This makes a lot of sauce, I don’t know how to make small quantities, plus I like to maximise my cooking and make batches of everything!

2 medium red onions, peeled

2 long red peppers

5 long red chillies

1 bulb of garlic, cloves peeled 

2 bay leaves

1/2 tbsp dried oregano

1/2 tbsp dried thyme 

1 tbsp ground roasted cumin


Several tablespoons of olive oil, apple cider vinegar & lemon juice

600g  passata, or a tin of chopped tomatoes plus a splash of water

3 tbsp tomato puree 

2 tsp pineapple powder


Roughly chop then blend the first 8 ingredients together to make a rough paste 

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a wide pan over a medium heat 

Cook the paste in the olive oil for a few minutes

Add the passata, tomato puree, vinegar, lemon juice and pineapple powder and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes. 

Keep it covered to avoid splashes but stir occasionally

You can then blend the mixture again if you prefer it smoother 

It’s a tasty tasty thing! You can use it like I did, use it like a ragu, use it as a pasta sauce, whatever takes your fancy.

If you want to create this as a thicker, condiment sauce, reduce the amount of passata or even replace it with sunblushed tomatoes. 

For the spelt base, I heated olive oil in a small pan, cooked some chopped garlic, added some defrosted frozen spinach, some roasted red onions and cooked spelt and heated it all through. Mixed with the sauce, it was a lovely concoction.

My next plan is to use pineapple powder in a spice mix of some sort, possibly a barbecue spice rub…watch this space! 

So, thank you, Angie, for challenging me, I always enjoy it! And do check out what everyone else is creating

65 thoughts on “A chilli sauce with a twist..

  1. Anita Kushwaha

    PS. I really like the animated version of yourself on your profile pic! I’ve been trying to get Daniel to draw me something for months and I think he’s close to being done, hoorah!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜ I’m so glad you approve! xx

      I was very surprised to find the freeze dried pineapple, it was being sold as a small snack pack. I had intended to buy dried pineapple and dry it out further in a low oven, so it was an interesting surprise. And I wouldn’t have done any of this without your challenge ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜˜


  2. TraceyDelaplainMD.com

    I use minced carrot to bring sweetness to tomato based sauces. It works well with Italian and Mexican sauces and increases the vitamin A. I rarely need additional sweetness to finish the sauce. I would have to dehydrate fresh pineapple here in rural Mexico or bring it back from the US in my suitcase but I’ll keep this in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. TraceyDelaplainMD.com

        Not really. I cook most of our meals and have to use local ingredients in new ways. Nothing too exotic here, although in the Western US we grow up eating Mexican foods so it isn’t exotic to us. I can find lots of fresh and dried peppers as a base for sauces. I would like to learn more authentic sauces from one of the mexicanas. The meat is very lean so I usually use wet, long cooking methods, like braising. We don’t have a large selection of vegetables but I can always get farm fresh produce and work my menus around them. Hey, I should be blogging all this. Ha ha . I really should be writing – “expat cooking in Mexico”. It’s nice to catch up with you, Tracey

        Liked by 1 person

  3. anotherfoodieblogger

    I’m a lot like you in that I don’t use fruit in savory dishes aside from some apple cider vinegar for a pork dish. I also cannot cook for two or three, no matter how much my husband presses me to cook smaller meals. It just doesn’t work out that way! I am looking forward to your BBQ sauce, I bet it would taste great on a lot of different roasted veggies!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. vanyadhanya

    Wonderful; love your twist and I can also imagine the taste. As you said, chilli sauces often need that pinch of sweetness to complete it. Next time do try out the Indian jaggery (a good alternative to sugar). In fact, it is used in many traditional Kerala dishes when sweetness is needed. I am so going to try out your version…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. polianthus

    Oh well done you! Smart use of pineapple and so delicious. Couldn’t find freeze dried pineapple here I don’t think, but of course where you are anything is possible. Funnily enough once you told me about the challenge I cast my mind back to when I last used pineapple and it has FINALLY come to me. I made a twist on a doro wat Ethiopian sauce using berbere, mekelesha and other ethiopian spices, including cardamom, garlic and ginger, I think it may have been a vegetarian version, cannot remember, but I do remember that usually I will put Samos in my Ethiopian dishes, instead of Tej (honey wine/honey mead) I use the sweet Greek wine. You cannot taste the alcohol, it just adds some sensuousness and texture to the dish. It’s lovely. So as I had some pineapple juice left over from an experiment and no alcohol anywhere, I used pineapple juice in my Ethiopian chili dish and it came out really well. There is something there that balanced the heat and also added a nice fruitiness to it. I am pretty sure pineapple would work well with habanero chilis too. Sadly too late to join in FF but perhaps next week. Happy Friday Poli

    Liked by 2 people

  6. sallybr

    Well, you definitely win a prize with this one! What a wonderful use for tough combination of ingredients.. pineapple and leafy greens! I could never do this.

    the colors are amazing, but I isn’t that the trademark of your cooking? Happy, colorful and super healthy plates!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. chefjulianna

    Darn brilliant, Elaine! I have never even heard of freeze dried pineapple! But what a great way to add sweetness to foods, without using sugar! I am going to have to search this out and try it as well! Your dish is as mouth-watering as always, with an unusual twist! Love it! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jhuls

    “Iโ€™ll have a go at anything, as long as someone is going to eat it!” – Love this line, Elaine. Maybe that’s why I don’t explore much because I am afraid that nobody will even try to eat my food. ๐Ÿ˜€

    And this chili sauce is just amazing. I have never heard of dried pineapple or pineapple powder. Wow! What a lovely sauce you have created… again. ๐Ÿ˜€ Such an awesome thing to share at the FF challenge. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      Thank you so much honey xxx
      You’ve never seen me make dishes with red meat or fish, for example, because no one in my house eats them, and who can afford to experiment with food for it to go to waste?? That’s why I needed to create a dish I actually wanted to eat and not just something that answered the challenge for the sake of it x


  9. petra08

    Freeze dried pineappe?! Wow! What a clever thing to think of it to replace sugar! I never use refined sugar but in some recipes I wish I could cut back, I will see if I can find some of this and try! The sauce sounds great, a bit on a bowl of noodles would make a lovely lunch ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Sandhya

    Elaine, that sauce looks so good, I would make a big batch too! I have never seen freeze dried pineapple- got to look for that. I wish I did not have a sweet tooth. I am trying to stay away from sugary stuff but find myself reaching for the dates instead:)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. FrugalHausfrau

    I hafta tell you that this pineapple powder idea is absolute genius! There are a lot of times I want to use a little sugar of some sort in my salsas – so many of the Mexican type salsas I make have a touch of sugar and a touch of vinegar. It’s that sweet/sour thing that gets me everytime. Dried pineapple (and I can see how it could be very sweet, especially dried because it’s all concentrated) would be a great way to add a touch of sweetness w/o adding sugar! I wish I had some of this right now!!


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Loretta

    A true genius and so very creative Elaine! I’ll bet nobody else will have the freeze dried pineapple in their mix. Gosh I wish I could say no to sweet things like you. I guess I’m not sweet enough, so am always on the hunt for something. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: GOOD LUCK

Let me know what you think..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.