Chilli Jam with Garlic

In my little courtyard garden – with its climbing tomatoes and herbs and endive and broccoli – our best crop is chillies. I have to admit, it's probably because they recover from even the most severe of human-induced droughts. … and, in fact, they punish our neglect by becoming even hotter.

(Ha! Little do they know … )

So now and then, we end up with hundreds of hot red and orange chillies; habeñero and Thai and jalapeño.
I’ve tried drying them … but we never end up using them that way. I’ve tried using them as I go … but if I don’t harvest them soon enough, the cheeky ringtail possum will come along and gobble them up. (Oh yes, hundreds. Overnight.) I’ve tried using them from my kitchen windowsill … but I end up forgetting them and they go mushy and rotten.

What’s a girl to do?

Make jam, of course.

Chilli Jam with Garlic

The time
40 min roasting + 10 min cool + 30 min puree and jam-making

The ingredients
7 large mixed chillies - stems removed
10 cloves of garlic
2 heaping cups of cherry tomatoes (or use regular tomatoes)
1-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
100 mL red wine vinegar
1 cup raw sugar
1 tsp salt

The process
1. Coat the chillies, garlic and tomatoes in the olive oil, then roast at 200C (400F) for ~40 minutes, until the garlic is melty and the chillies and tomatoes are slightly charred. Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly.

2. Push through a food mill or fine sieve, so you get all the mushy goodness with none of the seeds and skin.

3. Then, put the puree into a clean saucepan; add the vinegar, sugar and salt; and simmer (stirring regularly) until it has the consistency of applesauce.

4. Ladle hot chilli jam into warm, sterilised jars*, seal and label, and cool to room temperature. Then store in the fridge.

Use on just about anything ... like fritters, burgers, pasta ... anything you like spicy!

*I sterilise jars by washing them in hot, soapy water then drying them in an oven set to 100C or less.

The cost
I used my own chillies and my own vinegar, of course. And cheap organic cherry tomatoes. The major cost was the organic garlic! So I reckon my organic chilli and garlic jam cost me $4 to make.

The apologies
I have two. One? That I can only estimate this makes somewhere between 300-600mL of chilli jam. I didn't figure it at the time, and the jars I used are odd sizes.

The other? I have to say that though this jam is flavourful, delicious and tear-inducing ... it is decidedly not photogenic. Three separate occasions have seen me trying to get a pretty picture of the jam - with and without food to spread it on. Alas. You'll just have to make it for yourself ...

And better get some jars ready, 'cos we're going to be doing a lot of preserving this season ...
Amanda xx


  1. This chili jam would be great on some crusty bread with goat cheese!

  2. Thanks Amanda this is perfect timing as out chilli bush is loaded to the hilt at the moment. Lovely pictures as well.

  3. love this combination :) looks delicious!

  4. Perfect timing! Our jalapeno chilli bush (although they don't look like jalapenos so I'm dubious) goes bananas when everything else just looks a bit sad. I've had no idea what to do with these guys. Jam is the perfect answer! Looks like we'll be busy today... Oh - do you think it would work with green chillis?

  5. yay! the starved writer got a lovely photo of the jam, so check it out on her site! Nice. work. (and goats cheese sounds like a perfect match!)

    Steph, Sherilyn - go for it! I think this jam'll be good with any chillies. It'll vary in hotness and flavour between batches anyway :)

    Thanks, Marnely!

  6. I can't believe the possum eats your chili! I bet he'd love your very inventive jam too :)

  7. What kind of chillies are those on the photo? I have of them, but don't know their name.

  8. I'd love to have a lush garden of chilies. A few months ago my mother-in-law sent us some jalapeno jam and it was so so good! I know that I would love yours with the tomatoes and garlic,yum! Possums really eat chiles? lol :)

  9. Oooooh...this sounds so good! I've never tried a chili jam before but I sure would like to! Bet it would be wonderful to on a pizza instead of tomato sauce!!! :)

  10. This sounds incredibly tasty!

  11. Oh yes, the possums LOVE the chillies!! But they're so cute, you can't hate them.

    Sheila - I agree ... though I think you'd have to dilute it with tomato sauce in order for it to be un-hot enough to eat :)

    Mushitza - I'll get back to you on that one ... the chillies are my husband's realm of expertise!

  12. Yum I love Chilli Jam.

    So it is the possums that loved my chillies. I had blamed the blue tongue lizards.

  13. Oh, ok, I would be glad to know their name, since on my first attempt to grow them I had a great failure but I would like to try again :)

  14. @mushitza According to the expert - these are 'bird's eye' chillies! :)


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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx