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Tomatoes are still abundant at the moment and it is a great time to get preserving. Tomato chilli jam is sticky, sweet and tangy.
It is a great go-to condiment as it goes alongside almost anything. Do not be put off by the word ‘‘jam’’ as it is easy to prepare and to cook and it only gets better with time.
Tomato, chilli jam
Makes 4 330g jars
1½kg tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1 red onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp black peppercorns
6 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
600g raw cane sugar
200ml red wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and ginger to a large, heavy-based pot. Grind the cumin, coriander and peppercorns together to a medium-fine powder. Add this to the tomatoes.
Add the chopped chillies, sugar, vinegar and salt. Stir together and place over a moderate heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the temperature to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently to prevent catching on the bottom.
I found the jam took 35-55 minutes. I used homegrown tomatoes which were extra juicy so took longer. The trick to making this jam so good is not to hurry on the cooking process and not to reduce it too much. The jam needs to stay a rich tomato colour and it should thicken and look glossy, but not be thick like a paste. It will thicken and mature when you bottle it.
While the jam is cooking, wash and sterilise the jars/bottles and lids.
When the jam has reached the desired stage let it cool briefly and ladle carefully into the jars/bottles. Seal tightly with the lids, label and date and store in a cool, dark cupboard. It can be eaten straight away or best if you can let the flavours mature for at least a couple of months.