A word of caution – Make only when your kids are not at home otherwise they will all start sneezing because of chilies.
I grow as a cook or baker by watching Nigella Lawson shows on TLC, even today after seen numerous repeated telecast of her shows, I still watch them with same curiosity, like never seen before. While watching her shows it seems like you are in a different world of food, in her world. Her charismatic personality is so appealing that you can’t ignore her shows, even if you are a non baker. But sometimes the ingredients she used are difficult to get in our local market. Like in her Chilly jam she used pectin and jam sugar which I can’t find here, so I replaced them with plane sugar. I have done this in my previous recipes of jam. Check out my previous recipes of Jams, which too can be given as Christmas gift.
Trust me those jams are still lying in my freeze and they are still as good as they were before. But certainly, you have to be very careful with the cooking time. I had that experience of spoiling all my jam just because of over cooking.
So before you try this chillicious jam, which was wonderful for the chilly lovers. I think a word of caution is necessary, so that you won’t have that same experience as I had. A little less cooking in this jam won’t do any harm, it will taste as good as thick one, but if you overcook this jam will crystallize and get wasted. When you switch off the gas, it might seem too liquid but once you stopped cooking it, it will thick by its own. I remember last to last year I tried this recipe and as suggested by her, to cook on high flame for 10 minutes. But after 7 to 8 minutes it becomes so hard that it is difficult to move my ladle and so much mess was created in order to clean that up. But last year again after watching her make that jam, I got tempted and tried again but keeping in mind my previous failure, this time I was extra careful and cook for 3 to 4 minutes and it came out so well that I made this jam again to gift this to my parents and sister. Of course, as its names suggest it has that kick but not that much as the chillies I used were deseeded. O One more thing I changed, in her recipe she used equal quantity of chilies and red bell peppers but as a big chilly lover I replaced the red bell pepper with chilies.
Storage – Keep well in the freeze for about 2 – 3 months, after that I can’t say because mine batch was finished within that period of time.
Yield: about 1.5 ltr.
Recipe minimally adapted from Nigella Christmas
- 150 grams long fresh red chilli peppers (deseeded and cut into 4 pieces)
- 150 grams red peppers (cored, deseeded and cut into rough chunks) (I used red chillies)
- 1 kilogram jam sugar (I used normal sugar)
- 600 ml cider vinegar (I used regular vinegar)
You will need 6 x 250ml / 1 cup sealable jars, with vinegar-proof lids,
- Sterilize your jars and leave to cool.
- Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped..
- Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over a low heat without stirring.
- Scrape the chilli mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Bring the pan to the boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 3 – 4 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.
- After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly (as the liquid firms up, the hints of chilli and pepper start being suspended in it rather than floating on it), ladle into your jars. If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm. Then seal tightly.