RECIPE: Experience ‘a taste of Africa’ with these unique chilli sauces from Northern Zimbabwe

Check out the kicking flavours of Dr Trouble's African Lemon Chilli sauce in this comforting recipe.

Check out the kicking flavours of Dr Trouble's African Lemon Chilli sauce in this comforting recipe. Picture: Dr Trouble - Credit: Archant

An irresistible, winter-warmer with the staple ingredient being Dr Trouble’s Lemon Chilli Sauce, made using all-natural, locally-sourced ingredients from Zimbabwe.

African Lemon Chilli and Oak Smoked Chilli sauce from Dr Trouble. Picture: Dr Trouble

African Lemon Chilli and Oak Smoked Chilli sauce from Dr Trouble. Picture: Dr Trouble - Credit: Archant

The recipe for the sauce was discovered by Rob Fletcher, co-founder of the brand, in his great grandfather’s old leather diary. He’d created the foundation of the recipe some 125 years ago, and, upon reading it, Rob knew it could be something special.

The two sauces made today (African Lemon Chilli and Oak Smoked Chilli) are completely handmade using ingredients from local people on a farm in Zimbabwe. The African Lemon Chilli is medium heat with a clean lemon flavour and notes of ginger, mango masala and a touch of garlic. While the Oak Smoked Chilli sauce is mild with a full-bodied oak smoke, ideal for red meats and other barbeque dishes.

“The Dr Trouble brand is unique,” explains Albert Obenholzer, co-founder of the company. “We don’t use any commercial farmers, but instead give back to the community, using their produce and supporting their livelihoods – they’re the inspiration for the sauces after all.”

“Everything is done with the utmost care and consideration for the local people. Dr Trouble representatives even meet with the head of the tribespeople to negotiate the price of the lemons and chillies we buy from them.”

The flavours of the natural ingredients are said to be incredible alone, but Dr Trouble’s extensive fermentation process gives the sauce that extra something.

“The sauce is fermented in glass flagons in the African sun for 60 to 120 days to mature and deepen the flavour. It allows the ingredients to mellow and infuse together naturally,” Albert says.

When you buy a bottle of Dr Trouble sauce, it supports the Little Peppers Project, providing school fees and supplies for 150 local village children, and aids Rob’s anti-poaching team to prevent harm to animals and educate local people about the importance of wildlife conservation.

Visit to browse the sauces and buy online. Also available on Amazon. Call 07500 827 531 or email

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Give their mouth-watering recipe for sticky lemon chilli chicken legs a go and taste the amazing flavours of the sauce for yourself:

Serves 4

Preparation time - 30 minutes

Cooking time - 45-50 minutes


4 chicken legs

400g pumpkin, sliced

2 small red onions, cut into wedges

4 tsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1/2 lemon, juiced and peeled

1 tbsp runny honey

4 tsp Dr Trouble Lemon Chilli Sauce

250g ready-made chicken gravy

For the breadcrumbs:

40g chorizo, diced

40g fresh breadcrumbs

A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

A handful of hazelnuts, roughly chopped


1) Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/Gas Mark 6. Place the pumpkin and onion in a roasting dish and coat with half the olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, or until softened and starting to brown.

2) Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil over a medium heat in a large ovenproof pan, and cook the chicken skin-side down for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and cook for another 10 minutes.

3) Once the chicken is browned, remove from the heat. Add the garlic cloves, then nestle the roasted pumpkin, onions and lemon peel in amongst the chicken legs in the pan. Mix the honey with 2 tsp of the Dr Trouble Lemon Chilli Sauce and the lemon juice and brush over the chicken. Place back in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

4) Meanwhile, combine the chicken gravy with the remaining Dr Trouble Lemon Chilli Sauce and gently heat in a small pan.

5) In a separate pan, fry the chorizo for 5 minutes, until starting to crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the breadcrumbs to the pan with the fat from the chorizo, and fry for about 5 minutes until golden. Remove from the heat and mix with the crispy chorizo, chopped parsley and the hazelnuts. Set aside.

6) Once the chicken is cooked, pour the warm gravy over the chicken and roasted vegetables. Place back in the oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until bubbling. Serve with creamy mash or couscous, and scatter with the nutty chorizo breadcrumbs.