11 condiments you can make at home

Helen Best-Shaw 26 April 2021

From Tahini sauce to easy aoili, here are 11 ideas for make your own condiments—perfect for spicing up any meal

My fridge and kitchen cupboards are groaning with condiments of every conceivable description, from the usual—a bottle of tommy k (tomato ketchup), to innumerable jars of chilli sauces (I can rarely pass a bottle or jar of chilli sauce in any shop without a careful examination to see if that might be missing from my collection).

As well as buying, I’m also a fan of making. Here are 11 ideas for make your own condiments for spicing up any meal.

Tahini sauce

Tahini sauce

This easy to make creamy tahini sauce recipe uses only three ingredients and takes just seconds to make. Delicious and adaptable, it goes with everything. Try it with salads, as a dip or in a sandwich. A link from this recipe takes you to another recipe with seven adaptions of this sauce—how versatile!

Pesto sauce

Pesto sauce

I find a huge difference between pesto from a jar and making it fresh. There’s something so zingy about using basil leaves straight from the plant that is miss in a jar kept in the fridge or freezer. And pesto isn’t just for pasta: it works so well on all sorts of grilled chicken, whether in a sandwich or salad.

Homemade Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri sauce

Chimichurri sauce is made with parsley, coriander, garlic, oregano and olive oil. It’s a great topping for BBQ steaks and burgers: unsurprising, as it originates from Argentina. This recipe is for the green version; there is also a red version that includes sweet and hot peppers and smoked paprika.

Easy Aioli


If you adore garlic, Catalan aioli—made with garlic and oil with a smidgen of salt and lemon, will appeal. This easy recipe for mild aioli uses roasted garlic for a smooth and delicious result, with a bit less of the fiery garlic of the traditional recipe. And if you are feeling a bit overpoweringly garlicy, did you know you can temper the effects by eating some raw parsley?

Boom Boom sauce

Boom boom sauce

I just love the name of this sauce, originating from a chain of convenience stores centred in Pennsylvania, USA. It’s a combination of mayonnaise, sriracha, sweet chilli sauce, tomato ketchup, and mustard with added garlic and onion powder. It’s exactly the sort of down and dirty sauce that works so well on a thick, juicy burger. Definitely not fine dining, but no less delicious!

Homemade Sichuan Garlic Chili Oil

Sichuan Garlic Sauce

This recipe is the perfect balance of Chinese red chili heat with tongue-numbing Sichuan chili peppers and aromatic garlic. Perfect drizzled on stir fries, noodles, dumplings or rice dishes, adding heat and that moreish Sichuan numbing mouth feel.

Tkemali—Georgian Plum Sauce

Tkemali Georgian Plum Sauce

Tkemali is a very flavourful and nutritious Georgian plum sauce alternative to ketchup or cranberry sauce. Use this sweet-sour condiment for just about everything: grilled food, roasted veggies, burgers, potato wedges, any kind of protein, in salad dressings, on bread and so much more!

Indonesian Sambal Goreng Terasi

Sambal Goreng Terasi

Sambal Terasi literally means chilli sauce with dried-shrimp paste. And Sambal Goreng Terasi is the cooked version of that sauce. This famous Indonesian sauce is deliciously hot with a hint of fish thanks to the dried-shrimp paste. I’m becoming a big fan of making my own chilli sauces. I love the way I can tailor the heat to how I like it (not too hot, thanks!), and there’s so much inspiration that can be found all over the world.

Kebab Shop Garlic Sauce

Garlic sauce

This kebab shop garlic sauce is one of those I-know-I-shouldn’t-but-I-just-can’t-resist sauces. It takes bare minutes to make, but works so well on so many dishes that it’s a crying shame to relegate it to an infrequent treat with a guilty-secret kebab.

5-Ingredient Chipotle Mayo

Chipotle Lime Mayo

This is a great way of adding some smoky interest to mayonnaise. Chipotle powder is made from smoked, dried jalapeno chillies, and has a delicious warm, smoky flavour. This recipe adds smoked paprika for a double hit. I love dipping proper thick-cut chips in this sauce as a great change from tomato ketchup.  

Kebab Shop Chilli Sauce

Chilli sauce

Quick and easy kebab shop chilli sauce—takeaway style, authentic, no cook and as hot as you like and ready in three minutes. It’s perfect for drizzling over grilled meat and chicken, dolloping on rice, or for perking up a Bolognese or stew.

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