Sunday 27 September 2009

Sweet Chilli Jam

This year, given that we have a sizeable baclony, I decided to try and grow my own vegetables. I bought a mains-heated propagator, planted some seeds, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. A few months later after getting my hands dirty in transporting seedlings into pots, long finger-sized cayenne chillis started appearing. Little round green cherry tomatoes popped up and ripened to a golden yellow. Most recently, bulbous aubergines have popped out of the purple flowers, making me squeal with excitement. Sadly the courgette plant withered and died a slow death. Nevertheless, I was a pleased plant mother.

As I have about 7 or 8 chilli plants, I have had an abundant crop. They haven't all turned red at once and I worried if they would at all. Slowly but surely, they did. A batch of them have been drying on the windowsill as their withered bodies would make great curry pastes but I didn't want to put these, that I picked this morning, in the fridge or freezer to use as and when; I felt they should take a more centre stage. I had a recipe for sweet chilli sauce saved up, which I thought would be the perfect way to use these, especially as it keeps for a good 2 or 3 months. I also threw in some fresh green peppercorns I had in a lovely hamper my friends put together for me as a birthday present which made it look really pretty.

Sweet Chilli Jam

10 or 11 cayenne chillis (use milder ones if you don't want it too spicy)
2 cloves of garlic
2" piece of ginger
200gr jam sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fish sauce
220ml cider vinegar
110ml water
1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder, slackened with water
A few fresh green peppercorns (optional)

Chop and deseed the chillies (I did half deseeded, half not as I like it hot). Finely mince the garlic and the ginger. Throw this minus the arrowroot in a food processor and blitz to a paste. This also works in a mortar and pestle (I don't have a food processor). Add the whole lot to a saucepan and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the slackened arrowroot to thicken the mixture. Sterilize an airtight jar and add the jam to the jar. Leave to cool completely, then put the lid on.

I've just had a taste of the jam and it is super hot, tangy and sweet at the same time. Just how I like it. If you have less of a palate for spicy foods, use less hot chillis or reduce the number of chillis you use or it might make you cry. This would go really well with spring rolls, squid, to dip wedges in... all sorts really.


Ollie said...

Looks delicious - bright colours and generous with the fruit. You could sell this stuff. So the recipe yields one biggish jar?

Hollow Legs said...

Hi Ollie,

Thanks! The recipe filled a 1l kilner jar.

Chris Pople said...

I'd certainly pay for it. Looks brill.

I also have a chilli plant, but I think it hates me because it's making chillis that are like tiny little bright red raisins. i have about 6 so far, just about enough for a teaspoon of that jam. I'll just have to steal some of yours.

Helen said...

Nice! This looks like a much better recipe than the one I used years ago. It just came out a bit thin and didn't really kick you in the face like a good chilli sauce should. Well, for me anyway!

Adam said...

But can you make chilly pepper ice cream with them?!

Browners said...

Love it. Looks like another jam/jelly idea to give a go. I've made japonica and chilli and crabapple and chilli jelly this year. Both set well and have half decent heat... but I really want to create on batch that has proper heat... and I think your jam fits the bill. Nice.

rich (them apples) said...

I've been mulling this over for a couple of weeks now, ever since I finally chucked my half used, three year out of date jar of commericial sweet chilli sauce away.

My problem is finding the chillis. My broter in law (a Londoner) grows the most beautiful plants outside, but here in the North, it's a few degrees cooler and that makes all the difference. It's just not possible, and my windowsills are already packed.

So, Leeds Market on Saturday it is then...

Naimah said...

my gosh, this is incredible! i bet it tastes so good! naimah