Chilli jam

Karen Martini
Chilli jam.
Chilli jam. Photo: Marina Oliphant

This simple sauce is so much better than mass-produced versions. Serve with ribs, chicken wings or wontons. Stir through mayonnaise for fish and chips, or toss through noodles or steamed rice with tofu.


3 capsicums (about 450g), deseeded and roughly chopped

10 red chillies, seeds in, roughly chopped

4 bullet red chillies, chopped

10cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

6 large cloves garlic, peeled

2 tbsp tomato paste

750g golden castor sugar (raw castor sugar)

50g flaked salt

250ml red wine vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds


Tip the capsicum, chillies, ginger and garlic into a food processor, then whiz until very finely chopped.

Scrape into a heavy-based pan with the tomato paste, sugar, salt, vinegar, bay leaf and coriander seeds, then bring everything to the boil. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface, turn the heat down low and allow to simmer for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the jam becomes sticky, continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring frequently so that it doesn't catch and burn. It should now look like thick, bubbling lava.

Cool slightly, transfer to sterilised jars, then leave to cool completely. Keeps for 3 months in a cool, dark cupboard — refrigerate once opened.