Chilli jam with ginger and lemon grass
- December 2004
- 1kg ripe tomatoes, washed
- 8 long red chillies, 4 left whole, 4 deseeded, plus extra whole chillies to decorate jars
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 lemon grass sticks
- 2 thumb-sized pieces fresh ginger, peeled
- 200ml red wine vinegar
- 600g golden caster sugar
- 6 star anise
- Roughly chop half the tomatoes and put into a blender. Roughly chop the chillies, garlic, lemon grass and ginger, then add to the blender. Pour over 60ml vinegar and whizz until blended and smooth. Tip into a large wide pan. Add the remaining vinegar, sugar and star anise. Cook over a medium heat, stirring, to dissolve the sugar.
- Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Dice the remaining tomatoes, add to the pan (the pectin in the seeds helps the jam set), then reduce the heat. Simmer for about 1 hour, until it has reduced and thickened.
- To test if it’s set, pop a saucer into the freezer for a couple of minutes. Spoon a little chilli jam onto it, cool, then run your finger through it – the surface will wrinkle if the jam is at setting point. Continue simmering the jam if it doesn’t set, and repeat the saucer test. Divide the hot jam among sterilised jars, seal, and set aside to cool.
- Stick red chillies onto brown labels, and attach to each gift with thin rope. Explain on the back that the jam can be stored in a cool place for up to 1 year. Keep covered in the fridge for up to 6 months after opening.
You’ll need some jars with tight-fitting lids.
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