Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tomato & Chilli Jam

I was so excited to announce the launch of Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops Sweet Heat Challenge this month. Chillies are by far one of my favourite ingredients ever – to the point I think know I am addicted(!) so starting a monthly chilli challenge seemed like a good idea (especially because I know I am not alone with this chilli addiction!!). For the first month the theme was Condiments which I was very excited about, the only problem I had was trying to narrow down my choices of what to make. In the end I went for a favourite of mine – Tomato & Chilli Jam, using not one but two of my favourite ingredients.

I had two tomato plants this year – they were both disasters! Far too much rain in June and a cool July lead to the most pathetic tomato plants you have ever seen! They tried – poor things- and after a lovely August and 2 weeks in September I did get a few from each plant but really nothing compared to what I had hoped for when I eagerly bought them in June! My chilli plants however were a completely different story! They were late in ripening due to the weather but when they did, boy did I have a bumper crop of chillies to get through!

I got the inspiration for this jam after reading a post by Janice over at Farmersgirl Kitchen, so thank you Janice! This jam is so good – especially if you are a chilli lover, as it does pack a punch, although you could easily cut down on the amount of chillies used (or of course add more for a spicier version!). This jam has a Thai influence with the ginger, garlic and my secret ingredient – Kaffir lime leaves which just round it off perfectly. The best way to describe it is as a cross between a sweet chilli sauce and a tomato and chilli jam....whatever it is, it's fantastic! It is delicious served with cheese and bread (or crackers) but I've also enjoyed it with grilled chicken, prawns, fish and even just some prawns crackers!

Makes approx. 750ml

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 red chillies
2-3 green chillies
6 fat cloves of garlic
2 lime leaves, stems removed
2 thumb sized pieces ginger
1kg fresh tomatoes, cut into quarters
2 tbsp fish sauce
300g sugar
125ml cider vinegar (or you could use red wine vinegar)

Heat the olive oil in a large pan then add the onion. Cook gently for roughly 20 minutes until golden brown and starting to turn sticky and caramelized.

While the onions are sauteing put the chillies, garlic, ginger and lime leaves into the bowl of a food processor and mix until everything is finely chopped. Add the tomatoes and pulse until everything is mixed together but still has some texture. Add the tomato and chilli mixture to the onions then add the fish sauce, sugar and vinegar. Stir well then gently bring to a boil. Once boiling turn the heat down a bit and allow the jam to simmer away for roughly 1 ½ hours, stirring from time to time and skimming off any scum from the top if it forms. As the time goes by the jam should go from a runny almost salsa-like mixture, to a thick sticky and sweet delicious jam.

When the jam is ready pour it into sterilized jars and seal while still hot. Leave to cool completely before enjoying however way you please.

*If you would like to participate in this months Sweet Heat Challenge, check out the initial post here. You have until October 25th to send your entry!


  1. I love the inclusion of chili in jam - it lends a wonderful kick and interest to the sweetness. Lovely!

  2. Pathetic is a word I could use for my tomato plans as well... I think I got 2 cherry tomatoes before the plant gave up.
    LoVE this jam! My dad would stock this and use it often. Buzzing!

  3. Tomato jam is a relatively new concept to me, but I love the idea of spicing it up! Why not - tomatoes and peppers go so well together!

  4. This looks so sweet and savory and spicy! And I love it with some cheese and crostini! Great recipe!

  5. Can we all take part in the challenge? I love chili. The jam looks incredible!

  6. Thanks everyone! It certainly isn't lasting long in my household!

    Dom - Absolutely! It is open for everyone, just check out my initial Sweet Heat Challenge post : )

  7. I love tomatoes - chutney, relish, spread, jam...The tomato chilli jam sounds fantastic!

  8. I have yet to try tomato jam but my mother in law makes a similar thing that she calls chili sauce and it is so good!

  9. Aw thanks, Lyndsey. I'm so glad you were inspired, it is one of the best relishes I have ever made and goes with just about everything. I'm not sure I'm going to have time to make another condiment for the challenge, but I'll see what I can do.

  10. Thank you all for such lovely comments!

    Janice - Im delighted you were able to take part after all! : )


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