This is an absolutely fabulous sauce come jam that can be added to anything, from a dipping sauce with thickened yoghurt served with potato wedges, ham sandwiches, bacon and egg rolls or on cracker biscuits with a layer of cream cheese. It is totally addictive.
I have come to dislike the standard sweet chilli sauce that comes in bottles and is dolloped on everything. Even MacDonalds have a “sweet chilli wrap”. It’s a cop out as a flavouring as it just comes out of a bottle and always tastes the same. This is so much better.
SWEET CHILLI JAMMY SAUCE
I used a combination of the chillis and capsicum that we had growing. The Bangalore Bullet chilli bush had reached mammoth proportions and a massive harvest was needed. I considered drying them all but this was a much better option as we had run out of sweet chilli sauce and I refused to buy more for the above reasons. The quantities do not appear to be too important but taste to get the sweetness right. I used more than double the sugar to a standard jam recipe which is normally equal sugar to fruit but hopefully the vinegar will change the proportions.
The jamsetta is necessary to assist with the setting as this has only the pectin added by the lemon and won’t set otherwise. Alternatively use 3 to 4 tablespoons of chia seeds to thicken the mix.
- total of 300 grams of chillies and red/yellow / green capsicum – approx half / half (I made it 100% chillies then had to make a batch of capsicum only and add together – far too hot with just my bangalore bullet chillies but this will depend on the type of chillies)
- juice of one lemon
- 1 kilogram sugar (add about 2x the weight of the fruit, taste and add more if necessary)
- 700ml white vinegar
- 1 tbs fish sauce (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 packet of Fowlers Vacola jamsetta, add more if necessary (about 25g) or add 3 to 4 tbs chia seeds to thicken.
- Other flavours optional – 1 tbs fish sauce, 1 stem lemon grass (bashed & finely chopped)
Wash and pick over the chillis and capsicum removing the stems and any bad spots while soaking in salted water. Deseed the capsicum and some of the chillis (if very hot), depending on their heat level and how much heat you want in the sauce. Roughly chop.
Cook slowly in a pan to soften, add some of the vinegar for liquid if necessary.
Leave to cool then put the chilli mix, garlic, lemon juice and fish sauce (and other flavours if using) into the food processor and blitz.
If using jam extra – Mix the sugar and jamsetta together and warm in the oven.
Add the vinegar and sugar mix (and chia seeds if using) to the cooked chilli mix and heat to dissolve the sugar and boil for about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust and boil a bit more.
Check for setting – see below.
When ready – turn off and leave to sit until it begins to cool (and the chia seeds have had a chance to expand – this can take all night). I prefer the mix to be able to be poured from old wine bottles but it can be made thicker and stored in jars. If using chia as a thickener this can be easily adjusted but takes time to swell.
Stir the seeds in that will have all risen to the surface. Use a coffee frothing jug to pour the mix into sterilised jars or old wine bottles (if doubling the batch) see below, or one big sterilised jar as I have done, seal and store in the fridge once it has cooled.
I use the Fowlers Vacola jam sealing lids and jars from my collection.
I sterilise the jars by placing them in warm water and bringing it up to the boil slowly then boiling for 10 minutes and use them straight from the boiling water, fill and seal. If the oven is going to be on they can be brought up to 150°C and kept there for 10 minutes, alternatively they can be run through a hot cycle in the dishwasher.
Testing for setting
To check for setting put a teaspoon of the mix on a very cold saucer (put it in the freezer at the beginning), and return the saucer to the freezer. Check to see whether it wrinkles when pushed with a finger after it has cooled,
put 1 tbs of methylated spirit in a small glass, (a shot glass is a good size) and add a tsp of the mix. Let sit for about 1 minute then try to scoop the mix with a fork. If it has formed into a ball, or for this recipe just hangs together then it is done, if it doesn’t hold together at all you could add more lemon juice or read the instructions on the jamse
With jams I store excess bottles in the freezer rather than go through the heat processing process.
Like all pickles, jams and chutneys the flavour improves over time but like all of my preserves, this one is usually half gone before it had had time for the flavours to really develop. Just so good.
NOTE TO SELF
I’d like to try a batch that includes some green chillis as they have a quite different taste to the reds. The fermented chilli sauce (like sriracha) has green chilies.