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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Asian Chilli Jam

I am a big fan of Asian food.  I am lucky to visit Thailand quite often and have travelled around to different areas experiencing a wide range of different things.  Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia has opened up taste buds to a range of strange and interesting items.  Even eating plane food is an experience when traveling via India.

I love the sweet and sour mixes, the simplicity and the wide range of different courses available.   I am happy to wonder through a Thai market and sample anything that comes my way - somethings are great, somethings are bad and somethings I have no idea what it is.

Recently, while channel hopping, I came across Lorraine Pascale's Asian Chilli Jam recipe.  It seemed very easy to make and ingredient wise contained everything I like.  It did require a quick trip to John Lewis to purchase jam jars and a funnel, but apart from that tomatoes and bottle of balsamic vinegar where the only other things I needed to pick up, the rest I had in the cupboard.

After whizzing everything up all you need to do is bring to the boil and reduce for 30 minutes.  I did find that some had burnt to the bottom of the pan therefore next time I think I would reduce the boil to a strong simmer.  I only managed to get one jar full, maybe the boil was too high and resulted in too much evaporation of the liquid.  She managed two small jars - one as a gift and the other for the fridge.  

Buy a large piece of ginger, chop off what you need and stash the rest in the freezer until you need it again.  I used chilli flakes because I couldn't get red chilli from my local greengrocer. 

To sterilise my  jars and lids I ran them through the 'pots and pans' setting, this is the hottest setting my dishwasher can do.  Although you could wash and dry them and then place in a hot oven for 10 minutes to remove any germs that may spoil your jam.

Unopened this jam will last for months in a dark cupboard, once opened I think its best used up as soon as possible and store in the fridge.

Asian Chilli Jam
by Lorraine Pascale

450g fresh tomatos
2 finely chopped red chillies (or 1tbsp chilli flakes)
1cm finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves
250g granulated sugar
60ml balsamic vinegar

2x 220(ish) jam jars & lids -  small jars anyway.

Put everything in a food processor and whizz until finally chopped.  This took about 30 seconds in my processor.

Transfer to a heavy based pan - I used my glazed cast iron casserole.  

Bring to boil, then reduce to a strong simmer.  Cook, stirring from time to time, for 25 to 30 minutes until jam like and reduced.

Transfer to spotlessly clean jars and seal up.  Remember, don't stick your labels on until cold or they will just peel off ;-)