Scotch bonnet chillies – Some like it hot

When it comes to chillies, there’s only one for me, the scotch bonnet -the king of chillies! It comes in traffic stopping colours and livens every dish it touches.


I love it because it gives both heat AND a delicious fruity flavour. It brings a lively zing to sauces, stews and soups and adds something different to lasagne and shepherd’s pie. For me it’s a must in marinades. Hot peppers are a defining flavour in African foods.

Scotch bonnet salsa in mortar


In Ghana, we love it with onion and tomato, ground in a pestle and mortar, seeds and all, for a fiery, fresh salsa served with fried or grilled seafood. Hot, delicious and nose-tingling and I’m always going back for just one dollop more.


If you enjoy spicy heat, then this is the one for you. If you’re not sure how hot ‘hot’ is, you can always temper it with a dash of Worcester sauce or good old tomato ketchup.


Scotch bonnet deseeded


The hottest part of the chilli is the membrane and seeds, so if you want the flavour without too much heat, simply hold down the scotch bonnet with a fork, slice it in half and scrape out the insides.





Scotch bonnet with Kpakpo shitor


Chillies come in so many shapes, sizes and hotness. If I want a milder salsa, I use what we in Ghana call kpakpo shitor. These little beauties, I call ‘baby bonnets’, have their own distinct flavour.


Chillies are very high in vitamin C and can be used straight from the freezer, although fresh ones work better in garnishes. I like to buy my scotch bonnets from Afro-Caribbean and Asian food shops as they tend to be hotter than those from supermarkets.

Did you know Shitor (sometimes spelt shito) is a Ghanaian word for chillies? It’s also the name of a seriously fiery chutney with with dried chillies as the main ingredient. Some supermarkets stock it in their world food aisles and I like to think of it as the Ghanaian equivalent of mustard.

Check out A Plate in the Sun for more ideas on salsas, sauces and spice rubs.

4 Replies to "Scotch bonnet chillies - Some like it hot"

  • comment-avatar
    Alison October 27, 2014 (7:44 am)

    Just delicious. Patti u always know how to liven anything up!! Am loving your blogs (& recipes too of course) xx

  • comment-avatar
    Sylvia Ampofo October 27, 2014 (7:58 pm)

    I love kpakpo shito, the little round green peppers so full of flavor. I didn’t realize they were from the scotch bonnet family. I love your fusion of tastes….Great job, Patti!

  • comment-avatar
    Heidi Roberts October 29, 2014 (3:48 pm)

    I am using more and more chillis in my cooking but I am still afraid of the scotch bonnet – need to try some in small doses!

    • comment-avatar
      Patti Sloley October 30, 2014 (6:12 pm)

      When it comes to chillies with flavour, you can’t beat the scotch bonnet! It has a delicious fruity flavour. The best way with it, is to hold it down with a fork..prick it with a knife and then add it to what you’re cooking to allow it to infuse. Taste as you go along, once the dish is hot enough for you, just fish the chilli out. Give it a go!

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