Chilli Jam

Chilli Jam

Chilli Jam Recipe


1kg ripe tomatoes
500g sugar
3 tbs lemon juice
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
6 long red chillies
6 small red birds eye/thai chillies
2 tsp sea salt
2 tbs fish sauce

A large pot to boil your jam, at least five small to medium size jam jars, cleaned and sterilised.


Make a cross on the bottom of the tomatoes with a sharp knife and cover with boiling water to remove the skins. Leave for a few minutes and then peel. In the meantime finely slice your chillies, you can leave the seeds in for extra heat or remove some or all of them. You can use all birds eye chillies if you are brave, the long red chillies are often milder in taste so vary the quantities depending on your taste preferences.

Finely dice the tomatoes and add to your large pot with the sugar and chillies. Leave to macerate for a few hours. At this point you can leave the tomatoes, chillies and sugar overnight but be aware that the longer you leave your mixture, the more the tomatoes will release their liquid and this means you will need to boil your chilli jam for longer to achieve the correct consistency. This not only reduces the amount of jam you will produce, but also concentrates the fiery nature of your chilli jam! Leave it at your peril!

You will need at least two hours to boil and bottle your jam and it does need to be watched closely because depending on your stove top, this mixture can catch on the bottom of your pot quite easily. Add the remaining ingredients, the lemon juice, vinegar, sea salt and fish sauce and bring to the boil. Boil at an even roll, stirring occasionally. After an hour, put a side plate into the freezer and when it is cold, start testing the jam. It needs to reduce in volume by half and should appear thickened and glossy. If a spoonful clings to the plate when you move your finger through it, the jam is ready to bottle.

I find this can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half depending on how much liquid the tomatoes release. The joy in this jam is that undercooking it doesn’t affect the taste, just the texture, producing more of a sauce-like consistency than a jam. After an hour start cleaning and sterilising your jam jars. I turn the oven onto 160 degrees C and heat the jars up gently before spooning the hot chilli jam in. Leave to set and seal with lids. This jam will keep in the fridge for six months and will even improve in flavour! Its delicious with eggs on toast, spooned over steak or scooped straight from the jar with a spoon if you are brave!

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