Tomato and Chilli Jam

Tomato and Chilli Jam via http://underthebluegumtree.comFor this month’s Random Recipe challenge, Dom over at Belleau Kitchen posed the question:

… if you had 10 seconds to grab one (recipe) book, which one would it be?… 

Well for me, it would be Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course. Not necessarily because it’s my all time favourite cookbook but because it’s a culinary compendium of some magnitude.

It contains pretty much every classic recipe you could ever think of. And it just happens to include the very best recipes for brownies, cookies and tiramisu that I know.

Randomly opening the book at page 513, I found myself with a selection of chutneys to choose from. I plumped for the Tomato and Chilli Jam because Darina says it’s great with everything and from past experience, I reckoned she was probably right.

This really is a very versatile condiment. Over the past week I’ve eaten it with cheese croquettes (as recommended by Darina) and with Scotch eggs. I’ve smothered it on chicken and steak and dipped chips in it. I’ve eaten it with cheese and oatcakes and even stirred through fried rice. Darina was right. It really does go with everything.

Tips for this recipe: (1) Darina uses fish sauce in this jam but I made a 2nd batch in which I substituted it for miso paste (making it suitable for vegetarians) and I couldn’t tell the difference (2) I belatedly realised that Darina says you should peel the tomatoes. This, IMHO, is unnecessarily faffy. (3) You can change the heat of the jam by adding more/less chilli. To my taste, two whole chillies is ample. It gives a nice gentle heat without overwhelming the tomato.

Tomato and Chilli Jam adapted from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course

Tomato and Chilli Jam via http://underthebluegumtree.comMakes about 500ml

  • 500g tomatoes
  • 2 red chillies
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce or 1 heaped tsp miso paste
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 275g caster sugar

1.  Roughly dice the tomatoes. Using a stick blender, puree the whole chillies, garlic, ginger, fish sauce or miso and red wine vinegar together. Transfer to a saucepan with the tomatoes and sugar.

2.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the mixture is quite thick and jammy (remember it will thicken further as it cools.) Remove from the heat and pour into a jar. Cool then refrigerate before serving.


  1. I couldn’t agree more about this book, it’s a tome of a book with loads of fab tips and classics… you could eat proudly for a year from this book… that jam looks so good, I do love a chilli jam, it’s a great staple to have in the fridge and beautiful, served with cheese. A lovely entry for random recipes, thank you x

  2. strongassoup

    This is a lovely recipe from a very fine book and by a strange coincidence I got the same recipe from the same book for Random Recipes back in July 2011. Given that it’s such a large book, the odds against that must be pretty high. I think we ought to buy lottery tickets this week because we seem to be defying the odds at the moment.

    • I think in some recipes peeling tomatoes has a place (although it is ALWAYS a faff) but I think you want a bit of a texture in a chutney so it seemed to me an unnecessary step. (Plus I was feeling lazy and didn’t read the recipe properly in the first place…oops!)

  3. What a gorgeous colour! I’ve got two tomato plants that are just ripening with fruit so this is such perfect timing. I don’t see the point in peeling tomatoes for recipes like this either!

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