Tomato and Chilli Jam - A Random Recipe

For this month’s Random Recipe Challenge Dom of Belleau Kitchen has asked us to select  a recipe (randomly, of course) from our favourite cookbook. Well, I’ve got a fair number of favourites, mostly made up of books that remind me of good times. It’s difficult to choose just one among those, so instead I’ve gone for my favourite practical cookbook. This is the one I reach for whenever I need to remind myself how to do something or when I need a reliable recipe in a hurry. That used to be Delia, but recently it’s been Darina Allen’s ‘Ballymaloe Cookery Course’.  (Not that I’ve got anything against Delia, I hasten to add).
Chillies for Jam
On opening this weighty tome I was faced with a page of chutney and relish recipes and, since I’m currently blessed with a generous harvest of chillies from the plants on my windowsills, I seized on a Tomato and Chilli Jam recipe. Once I started to make the jam, though, I felt a bit of a fraud since it’s very similar to the recipe that I usually use for chilli jam. So, a little less random than I intended but still a really good tomato and chilli jam that’s extremely useful in marinades, on bruschettas or burgers, alongside cold meats etc etc.

Ms Allen reckons that this should make 3 pots, but she must be talking about pretty small pots. I reckon it’s about 1½ standard jam jars.
Tomato and Chilli Jam
500 g very ripe tomatoes
4 red chillies
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2.5 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
30 ml fish sauce (nam pla)
275 g golden caster sugar (actually I used soft brown sugar, just because I usually do)
100 ml red wine vinegar

Peel the tomatoes and cut them into 1 cm dice. Put them into a blender along with the chillies, garlic, ginger and fish sauce and whizz. Put the purée, sugar and vinegar into a stainless steel saucepan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally. Cook gently for 30 - 40 minutes stirring every now and then to prevent sticking.

Pour into warmed, sterilised glass jars and seal. Allow to cool and store in the fridge.

From past experience it can be a little difficult to know when this jam is thick enough. If you’re unsure, you can do a standard wrinkle test, even though it has a different consistency to a fruit jam. Chill a saucer in the freezer, put a small dollop of the jam on the saucer, wait a moment or two and if the jam wrinkles when you push it, then it’s ready.

Just between us, if you’re pressed for time you can make this with drained, tinned tomatoes, but lengthen the cooking time a little since you’re likely to be adding more liquid. Don’t tell Ms Allen I said that, though; she might not approve.


  1. well, it looks damn fine to me!... I've never eaten chilli jam before so it sounds very interesting... i'm loving this months challenge as I get to see everyone's favourites and they're just so varied, it's brilliant!... thanks so much for taking part once again... x

  2. That tinned tomato swapsie is pure genius (given that it is practically snowing outside and it will be a long time before tomatoes are at their peak. Our chillies are still growing though!
    (*tiny gloat*)

  3. What a great idea.And can be used in so many things;) Tx for the recepie:)

  4. oh goodness, how i've missed food blogging...and reading about tomato and chilli jam...what a divine way to reintroduce myself.

    thank you!

  5. Fantastic jam. Thanks for the tinned tomatoes tip. I won't tell Ms Allen that :)

  6. Sounds delicious. I think I'll have to give this one a go, although I'll definitely be going down the tinned tomato route as I'm far too lazy to peel half a kilo of tomatoes! Really must pick up that book, I keep seeing it for a tenner on the Book People website and resisting...

  7. Thanks for the comments, everyone. I certainly recommend the jam and I'd also recommend the book - you definitely get a lot of recipes for your money. Not the sort of book to carry around with you, though - it's a little heavy for that.

  8. My husband would love this!! Thanks for sharing with us ;0)

  9. I've never attempted a chilli jam before but I have a love affair with chillies and have whole plantful of them on my windowsill so it's something I may have to think about!

  10. That sounds like an excellent jam. I make chilli sauce every year from our crop of chillies, but have not yet made jam - something to be remedied (although slightly dubious about the fish sauce)!

    1. All the recipes I have found for Chilli Jam include fish sauce so there must be a good reason. Thai fish sauce is a great ingredient in many dishes and they don't turn out 'fishy'


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