I recently harvested a crop of chillies from my chilli bushes which were left on there from last season. They are not a particularly hot chilli so I often put several of them in my chilli beef recipe to bulk it up. On this particular occasion I decided to try something different so I looked up some recipes for chilli jam or relish. Since I didn’t have all the correct ingredients for the recipes I looked up, I ended up making my own recipe and it turned out delicious. I’m sorry I do not know the variety of chilli that I used, only that it is a fairly mild one, hence I added some chilli flakes to add some bite! You could leave those out if you are using a hot chilli. You can also use fresh tomatoes in place of the canned ones, I just didn’t have any fresh ones available that day. This jam/relish turned out so good that I have bought a new chilli bush to plant for this year, in addition to my two existing bushes. The new one is called Firecracker, so I look forward to making copious amounts of chilli jam next season! This recipe makes two large jars or four small jars of jam/relish.

Lovely harvest of chillies.
Lovely harvest of chillies.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups chopped chillies
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups white wine vinegar (white vinegar will do)
  • 1 x 400 g can diced tomatoes
  • shake of chilli flakes
I accidentally put in some of the sugar too early, but it still worked out okay!
I accidentally put in some of the sugar too early, but it still worked out okay!

Method

  1. Place chillies, vinegar, chilli flakes and tomatoes in a large heavy based saucepan.
  2. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
  4. Simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture reduces by about half.
  5. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal.
  6. Allow to cool, then store in fridge or pantry.

Easy sterilising method

Place clean jars and lids on an oven tray and warm in the oven on 120 C for 20 minutes.

Australia, UK and USA have differing methods of sterilising canned goods, so follow your national standards, if you are not familiar with canning.

Maybe now would be a great time to plant a chilli bush at your place, they are very easy to grow and can be grown easily in a container.  In a few months you could be enjoying this delicious home-made chilli jam.

Chilli jam, delicious with cheese and crackers.
Chilli jam, delicious with cheese and crackers.