West-Indian Pepper Sauce

west indian pepper sauce

Okay, y’all, I’ma be real with you: I don’t know dick about Jamaican food.

I’ve never even had Jamaican food. But in my mind, I know that I would love it, namely because I love me some hot peppers. Scotch bonnets, habaneros, whatever you got: Bring It. Plus, allspice and citrus?? I bet it smells like Spicy Christmas!

So imagine how horribly over-excited I was when someone I met through this show, practically a stranger, sent me some homegrown, freaky-hot peppers. From Canada. Isn’t that just rad as hell? I think it is. He sent me ghost peppers, lemon drop aji peppers, aji cristal peppers, cayenne, habanero, and bonda ma jacques. Whoa. Pepper overload! Or Pepper Overlord…?

I decided to make some kind of incredible, amazing hot sauce that I could keep in the refrigerator and prolong my pepper pleasure. I happened to have an ENORMOUS mango. I swear it weighed two pounds. Absurd. And the usual things like onions, garlic, you know. I looked up all the peppers he sent and the bonda ma jacques is from the West Indies and related to habaneros. So with all that, it seemed a Jamaican-in-my-mind sauce would be perfect. Here is what I did. This sauce is really, REALLY hot and good. And as soon as I get around to it, I’m going to figure out how to make jerk seasoning and cook myself a Jamaican chicken and put this sauce all over it.

Adapted from a recipe by Jennifer Trainer Thompson. I didn’t follow the ingredients or directions exactly, partly due to laziness, but mostly due to not reading the directions at all, which I guess also ultimately comes down to laziness. Oh well. I’m sure it will be fine in the fridge.


West-Indian Pepper Sauce

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  • Yield: 2.5 cups 1x


  • 1/2 of an ENORMOUS mango (more like, 1 1/2 cups of mango cubes)
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1” piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 bonda ma jacques peppers
  • 2 red habanero peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • dash ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Puree everything together.
  2. Pour into jars.
  3. Keep refrigerated.


Original instructions said to blend all the solids together. Then boil the vinegar, water, and salt (1/2 teaspoon – I left that out completely) and pour that over the mango mixture and stir. Cool and bottle. Refrigerate up to 6 weeks.
I’ll let you know if my lazy method results in illness or death.

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Update: “My” way totally worked. It kept well in the fridge for months.


  1. Randy on September 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Was your mango on the greenish side or ripe side?

    • Hilah on September 19, 2011 at 7:52 am

      It was ripe and yummy!!!

  2. Great Stone Face on September 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Could this be made more citrusy by adding lime juice or would that make the sauce too tart?

    • Hilah on September 19, 2011 at 7:52 am

      I think some lime juice would be good. Maybe lemon even, to highlight the fruitiness even more.

  3. JC on September 22, 2011 at 1:28 am

    How much salt do I use? And is it REALLY hot with just 4 peppers?

    • Hilah on September 22, 2011 at 7:14 am

      Hi JC!
      I didn’t use any salt but if you think it needs it, start with a quarter teaspoon and taste from there.
      It is really hot. Habaneros are about ten times hotter than serranos by the Scoville scale.

      • JC on September 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm

        The directions mention “…boil the vinegar, water, and salt…” Just asking. Not picking. Really.

        Ever eaten a raw habanero? Right before the heat kicks in, there is a flash of Juicy-Fruit-like sweetness. Awesome. Because there’s no oil in the skin or seeds of a habanero, the heat doesn’t last that long, but it’s a little intense until it goes away.

        • Hilah on September 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm

          Oh, right. Those are the original directions. The original recipe also called for 1/2 teaspoon of salt, which I left out. Super hot sauces and most baked goods are two recipe types I’ve decided are suitable for making salt-free.
          I did try each of the peppers I used in the sauce before blending them. The bonda ma jacques was delightful, better and fruitier flavor than the habanero, even.

  4. Hugh on January 21, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Why water? Totally unnecessary.

    • Hilah on January 27, 2018 at 8:42 am

      In this case, water is added for consistency. I thought that would be clear. Obviously if you want a thicker sauce, then by all means omit or reduce the water.

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