Zesty Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

Open bottle of homemade habanero hot sauce on a plate with ingredients used to make it

This is the hot sauce we’ve been swooning over for months now and could hardly wait to share with you all! It’s adapted from the Mango Habanero Hot Sauce from the Afro-Vegan cookbook by Bryant Terry (a book we’re huge fans of!). We love the original recipe and have been paring it down for ease without sacrificing on heat.

If you love hot sauce and mangoes, this is a must-try. The color is vibrant, the flavor is a delicate balance of spicy, sweet, and tart, and it’s so versatile and delicious on just about everything (plantains anyone?). Plus, it comes together in 25 minutes with just 8 simple ingredients. Let’s make hot sauce!

Plate with salt, limes, habaneros, mango, cumin seeds, lime zest, water, onion, and garlic

Origins of Mango Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is enjoyed around the world, and many different variations exist. But the common ingredient in them all? Chili peppers — which have been around for more than 6,000 years in Mexico and Central and South America.

But who came up with the genius idea of combining sweet mangoes with spicy peppers? Our search didn’t result in a clear answer, but mango in hot sauce seems to be common in the Caribbean, particularly in Jamaica and Belize.

The following is an oil-free, wonderfully spicy version adapted from the talented chef and author Bryant Terry.

How to Make Mango Habanero Hot Sauce

This hot sauce begins with sautéing onion and cumin seeds in water until the onions are tender and the seeds fragrant.

Sautéing onion, cumin seeds, habanero, and garlic in a saucepan

Next come the garlic and habaneros for mega flavor and heat, plus all of their health perks!

Capsaicin is the compound in habaneros (and other chili peppers) that makes them HOT! It’s been shown to be a pain reliever, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, promoter of beneficial gut microbes, and more. One study even found those who consumed spicy foods 6-7 days per week had a 14% lower risk of death. Give mama some peppers!

But capsaicin is irritating to the skin and eyes, so wear kitchen gloves or wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your face after chopping hot peppers.

Saucepan of mango, sautéed onion, cumin seeds, lime zest, lime juice, water, and vinegar

Once we’ve gotten the pepper chopping out of the way, we’re ready for the remaining ingredients: lime juice and zest, sweet mango to balance the heat, salt and vinegar for hot sauce classics, and water to help it blend.

Sautéed onion, cumin seeds, habanero, mango chunks, lime juice, and water in a blender

Blend it all up and you’ve got hot sauce! You can give it a taste (careful, it’s spicy!) and balance the heat with a little maple syrup, if needed. Keep in mind it will also mellow out a bit after a day or two. When using a ripe, sweet mango, we find it doesn’t need the maple syrup.

Freshly blended mango hot sauce in a blender

We hope you LOVE this mango habanero hot sauce! It’s:

& Delicious!

It’s the perfect condiment for Roasted Plantain & Black Bean Vegan Bowls, Jamaican Jerk Grilled Eggplant, Grilled Fish Tacos, and beyond! It’s also a match made in heaven for a new, super delicious bowl we have coming soon. Stay tuned, friends!

Into Spicy Food? Try These Next!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes

Total Time 25 minutes

Servings 16 (1-Tbsp servings)

Course Condiment

Cuisine Caribbean-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 2 Months (frozen into ice cubes)

Does it keep? 2 Weeks (in the fridge)

  • 2 Tbsp water, plus more as needed (for sautéing // or sub half the amount in oil)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced white or yellow onion
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds (or sub slightly less ground cumin)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 habanero chiles*, seeds removed, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup diced ripe mango (we prefer champagne mangoes)
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 2-3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 – 1 ½ Tbsp white wine vinegar (or sub apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp maple syrup (optional for extra sweetness depending on ripeness of mango)
  • To a small saucepan over medium heat, add water, onion, and cumin seeds. Sauté for 4-5 minutes covered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Turn down heat and/or add a bit more water if browning too quickly.

  • Add garlic, habanero, and salt and sauté covered for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Add mango, lime zest, and lime juice (starting with the lesser amount), vinegar (starting with the lesser amount), and water (starting with the lesser amount) and simmer covered for 3-4 minutes more.

  • Let cool slightly then blend until creamy and smooth (use a small blender safe for blending hot foods, such as a NutriBullet or Vitamix with a narrow base). Add more water to thin if too thick, then blend again.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt to taste, lime juice for brightness, vinegar for acidity, or some maple syrup (optional) to balance the heat and salt with a little sweetness (will depend on ripeness of mango).

  • Use immediately or store well sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Or freeze into ice cubes (using a mold) and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

*Recipe as written makes ~1 cup (240 ml).
*Recipe adapted from the Mango Habanero Sauce in the Afro-Vegan cookbook by Bryant Terry.
*If you don’t have habanero peppers, you can substitute another spicy chili or 1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more to taste.
*Use gloves or rinse hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes or face after handling hot peppers.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amounts where ranges are provided and without optional ingredients.

Serving: 1 Tablespoon Calories: 11 Carbohydrates: 2.5 g Protein: 0.3 g Fat: 0.1 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 74 mg Potassium: 42 mg Fiber: 0.3 g Sugar: 1.4 g Vitamin A: 85 IU Vitamin C: 7.5 mg Calcium: 6.1 mg Iron: 0.2 mg

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