Chilli Tomato Jam

This summers garden crop yield was disappointing all round…with the exception of some veg that thrived in pots. I did get some tomatoes off the plants I had growing in the old Belfast sink next to the back door, but the yield and quality wasn’t great. That said…I didn’t pay any special attention to them, and essentially left them to their own devices. But I got a couple of kilos which is better than nothing.

As usual very few ripened on the vine and I relied on my tried and trusted method of force ripening green tomatoes with a banana. So about half were red and the other half are still green. I’ll do something with those during the week, or next weekend, maybe chutney or green tomato jam. But today I decided to make Chilli Tomato Jam. I got this recipe off an old college friend two years ago, and I’ve made this before…and it’s dead easy. I would advise, weather permitting, leaving the back door and / or windows open and the extractor on high as this is a smelly cook with fish sauce and red wine vinegar, but the final result is delicious when cold. If you sterilise the jars properly the jam will keep for a couple of years. Lovely with cold meats, cheese or as an accompaniment to the home made chicken liver paté I made couple weeks ago.



500g ripe tomatoes

2-4 red chilies (or more if you like it extra hot)

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 small red onion. I only had large ones so I used a half.

3cm or 1/2 thumb size fresh ginger, peeled

310g granulated sugar

100ml red wine vinegar

2 tbsp fish sauce, (nam pla)


Place the onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, red wine vinegar and fish sauce into a food processor or blender and blitz together.


The recipe calls for skinning the tomatoes, but life’s too short and I didn’t bother. Chop the tomatoes roughly and put all of this with the sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring every now and then. Cook for forty minutes over a medium heat, stirring regularly. Keep an eye on the heat, this will boil over readily.


Again, having never met a recipe I wasn’t tempted to mess with, I roughly blitz the mixture about 10 minutes after it boiled, which nicely takes care of the tomato skins.

Steralise some small Kilner jars and fill while the jam is still hot. Close the lids loosely at first until it cools just a little then tighten completely.


Thanks to Kenneth O’Connor for the recipe.

© Blogpost by Dave Wilkins November 2014


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