Salsa de peppadew

Salsa de peppadew is a piquant but not terribly hot sauce that will enhance any savoury dish. Enjoy it with beef or simply on toast, sprinkled with Parmesan-cheese.

Peppers are one of those vegetables that you can buy at the supermarket; but they will make such a splash of colour with their bright red jackets in any front garden.Try growing them yourself.

If you can grow tomatoes, so much the better. We live in the mist-belt so they are prone to fungal diseases. Those in organic gardens won't use toxic sprays; I hear that whey helps but have not tried it.

Salsa de peppadew.


  1. 6 fresh peppadews, seeds removed
  2. 3 large tomatoes or puree
  3. 1 diced shallot
  4. 1/4 cup olive oil
  5. 1/4 tsp freshly-ground cumin
  6. 3 cloves of garlic
  7. 2 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
  8. 1 TBSP natural honey
  9. Half a lemon including the pulp and some of the zest.

Go for it

  • Warm the oil in a pan.
  • Toss in the whole peppadews, cumin and garlic and stir for a minute or two.
  • Add the tomatoes and a few tablespoons of water and simmer for ten minutes, until tender.
  • Salt, black pepper and sesame seeds.
  • Use a stick blender briefly.
  • Allow to cool and then add the lemon zest, pulp and honey; puree again.
  • Finally add the finely-diced shallots.

We love the chili family simply because they add so much dash to our food; raw in a salad, warm as in salsa de peppadew and as a condiment with any beef dish.

They are the second richest source of vitamin C, after citrus, an important phytonutrient that is absolutely essential to avoid the early onset of frailty[2].

The capsaicin[4] in peppadews is a powerful anti-inflammatory, helping prevent muscle and joint pain; and arteriosclerosis too.

One can also ferment salsa de peppadew. That is one way to reduce the influence of the anti-nutrients.

It concerns some folk since anti-nutrients partially inhibit the absorption of minerals.

Fermentation deals with this issue, as does having a full-complement of the friendly bacteria in the gut, known as the microbiome. We take kefir[3]several times a week to support these important bugs that are so involved in preventing the autoimmune diseases.

The first nibble was bracing; cold and salty. Then came a tart and crunchy feeling as I munched; followed by a tingling, burning sensation I had never felt before. Slowly it crept over my tongue and danced onto my lips; with every subsequent bite, the sting of the salsa became more intense, until I was panting like an overheated dog in summer. Beads of sweat formed along my hairline and on the tip of my nose; tears welled up in my eyes. My mother panicked and with a look of concern, asked if I was alright and suggested I stop eating the assaulting food. I replied through sniffles and frenetic open-mouth breathing, “No, I am okay; I cannot stop, it’s so good!”

- chef Kate Telfeyan

Tomatoes are a favourite with almost everyone, fortunately for those from Mars; one every day reduces the risk of prostate tumours by a massive 50%.

Yet there are disturbing rumours, fake news, that we should be avoiding the nightshades because of their antinutrients; at great risk to the well-being of our nether parts.

Tomatoes, peppers and eggplant do wonders for thousands of different dishes and our wellness.

Salsa de peppadew will gladden any heart. We enjoy it on pan-fried toast.


The peppadew is a piquant fruit that was developed in South Africa, with all of the flavour of chilies but without the burn. They are easy to grow from seed but the branches become so heavy that they must be adequately staked; if they fall to the ground they will not turn red.

Bucketful of peppadews.

One of the mysteries is that off the same plant you may find a fruit that is really quite hot, and another that is more like a sweet pepper; I think it depends on where else the honeybee that pollinated the flowers has been. If your neighbour is growing the Carolina Reaper[1] then you may be in for some surprises.

Peppadew supports.

It is such a versatile fruit that we use it daily in much of our cooking. By freezing the pods at the end of summer one can have enough to last the whole year.

Enjoyed raw in a salad or cooked as in this salsa de peppadew, the fruit adds a wonderful dimension to both the nutrition and flavour.

Peppadews for a salsa.

I love salsa de peppadew as a side dish on our real bread with lashings of butter.

Peppadew sauce

A nice little variation of salsa de peppadew is to make it without tomatoes, and then ferment it for new flavours and nutrients; a different probiotic to ensure a broad spectrum of friendly flora in the gut.

Peppadew sauce takes a few days to ferment.

Research shows that it is not only increases the number of bugs in the colon which is important but also the diversity. Experimenting with fermenting different foods will improve our immunity.

This spicy peppadew mead alas is only for beekeepers. Have you thought of a hive or two in the corner of the garden?

A glass of spicy peppadew mead.

Natural wines, beers and meads fermented in the home brewery act as a healthy probiotic. Unlike commercial alcohol they contribute to wellness; in moderation obviously.

Real bread

Bread today has become a controversial food; that baked commercially undoubtedly has contributed greatly to the obesity pandemic that has swamped much of the world. And so there are any number of eating plans that totally eschew carbohydrates in general, throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.

There is nothing intrinsically bad about bread. In fact whole grains are strongly associated with greater well-being.

The difficulty of course is getting wholegrain bread; it doesn't exist on the shelves of supermarkets and can barely be found even in specialist bakeries.

There's a big fat lie in the granary business; millers are allowed to call their flour wholemeal provided they do not remove more than 40% of the goodies.

So be extremely doubtful when you read on the packaging of your bread that it is made with wholemeal flour; it is most unlikely.

In response to this serious doubt concerning the consumption of the commercial loaf, the real bread movement has sprung into life in the last decade, promoting 100% flour; the three streams of bran, germ and endosperm are not separated in any way. And no chemicals are added to the dough.

Add to this the sourdough method of baking bread and you have a wonderful, tasty and nutritious loaf; it deals with both the gluten and antinutrient issues.

Read more about our easy sourdough bread recipe.

Salsa de peppadew

Salsa de peppadew is a very quick topping using our favourite chili.

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Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

Here are the back issues.

  • What are ultra-processed foods?
  • Investing in long-term health
  • Diseases from plastic exposure
  • Intensive lifestyle management for obesity has limited value
  • A world largely devoid of Parkinson's Disease
  • The impact of friendly bacteria in the tum on the prevention of cancer
  • There's a hole in the bucket
  • Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
  • Pull the sweet tooth
  • If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
  • Nature is calling
  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home

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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa