A few weeks ago I bought a huge bag of red chillies. At the time I thought it was a good idea to buy that many because they were on special, and who walks away from a special? Right? It’s only when I realised, weeks later, that the bag wasn’t shrinking at all and I had way too much chilli that I decided to make a plan with them.
This recipe is for a chilli JAM. Not a relish or marmalade or pickle. It’s a true jam, it sets like a jam and looks like a jam BUT it doesn’t eat like a Jam (warn visitors! Nothing funnier than someone thinking it is strawberry jam and getting a teary mouthful of hot regret). I learned this the hard way last night when I excitedly threw a teaspoon into it and took a mouthful. I’m still recovering this morning! It is quite potent. What would you use chilli jam for? All sorts of things. It can be a normal spread on toast with cheese (I would recommend a fresh cheese like ricotta or feta, they compliment the heat in this jam very well), you can rub a bit into pork and chicken before grilling them (the sweet and chilli combos are legendary on wings and ribs), it’s also awesome with crackers, drizzled onto salads (you’d need to whisk it into an olive oil with some vinegar or lemon juice to make it a dressing). It can also simply be an accompanying condiment for meals.
Note: A food processor is essential for this recipe
- 20 red chillies (cut stems off)
- 3 sweet red peppers (cut into pieces)
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 3 large ripe red tomatoes
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 1 & 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- Place the peppers, chillies, ginger, garlic and tomatoes in a food processor and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick to blend, pour a little of the vinegar into the processor to loosen it up.
- Spoon the blended mixture into a pan with the sugar and vinegar, add the rest of the ingredients except the salt and then bring everything to a low boil.
- As the mixture boils, use a large spoon to skim off the scum that comes to the surface, do this regularly. This will ensure you have a clear jam in the end.
- Reduce the heat down and allow the mixture to simmer for about an hour, stirring it occasionally. Add your salt now.
- You’ll notice the jam become very thick and sticky as it cooks. Grab a clean plate and place it in your freezer for 10 minutes. Take a little bit of your jam mixture and pour it on you ice cold plate, tilt your plate slightly. If the jam sets stiff on the plate and doesn’t run it means it’s ready, if the jam still slides off the plate, boil it a bit longer.
- Pour the jam into a jug and then transfer it to sterilized jam jars. The jam will keep for up to 3 months. It will also thicken and become like a jelly once its cooled completely.