Tamarillo Hot Sauce

18 March 2010

tree tomatoes, tamarillos, Sri Lanka tree tomatoes, tamarillos, Sri Lanka I saw tamarillos, or tree tomatoes, at the grocery store a few weeks back. I hadn’t seem them before and had no idea what to do with them, but couldn’t resist picking up a few *coughninecough* and seeing what inspired me.

Tamarillos should not be confused with tomatillos. They aren’t the same. I mention this because *cough* I might have confused them myself a time or two…

The first photo is of the tamarillos the day I bought them. They were still very hard, so unripe. I left them at room temperature for a couple of days, which was all it took for them to reach the point of being soft at slight pressure. Notice that they’re much less yellow, more red.

Naturally, because I had no idea in the world what to do with these tree tomatoes, I turned to Google and this recipe for Aji de tomate de árbol or tree tomato hot sauce showed up.

Hey, we’re always up for hot sauce, so I thought, why not?

It took a while for me to finally getting around to making it. Just when the tree tomatoes became ripe enough to do something with, Fahim’s parents came into town. They’re not as adventurous with their food as I am, so I tossed the tamarillos into the freezer to await a better day.

Today, I took those tree tomatoes out and made my own version of this hot sauce.

Tamarillo Hot Sauce


  • 5 tamarillos, fresh or frozentree tomatoes, tamarillos, Sri Lankatree tomatoes, tamarillos, Sri Lanka
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 12 red chillies, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime, juiced


  1. Remove outer peel and seeds of the tamarillo.
  2. If using frozen tamarillos, mash them lightly. They’ll break apart rather quickly. If using fresh, then dice.
  3. Throw all ingredients except lime into a small pot and simmer for a minute or two, then add lime juice.

This many red peppers meant that it had a nice subtle bite for Fahim and I. If you’re a normal human, depending on what kind of peppers you use, you might want to use less.

With half as many peppers or less, it would make a great pasta sauce to be matched with bell peppers, olives, onion, and tomato. Or it would make a great pizza sauce.

A friend asked me to take pictures of the insides of the tamarillo. Because I ended up freezing them, they became really really mushy when I thawed them, and that’s not so conducive to taking pics. But because Fahim and I love this hot sauce, we’ll be getting more tamarillos, and I’ll take more pictures then. 🙂

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One Response

  1. #1

    Thanks for the recipe. I tried this out and it was fantastic! My favourite tamarillo sauce is a sweet one – combine tamarillo pulp with icing sugar and lemon juice in a blender going for a thick liquid consistency. Pour over rockmellon or other fruit salad and enjoy the serious bite!

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About LMAshton

Howdy and welcome to my site! I'm Laurie and I'll be your, er, hostess today. :)

I'm a Canadian expat currently living in Singapore. I'm married to a Sri Lankan and lived in Sri Lanka for nearly a decade. We also lived in New Zealand for half a year.

I cook Sri Lankan curries, sambols, and mallungs. I bake bread using wild yeast (sourdough that isn't sour). I bake on the stove. I experiment with Indian / Malaysian / Indonesian / Thai / whatever cuisines interest me. And I experiment wildly.

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