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Chilli Jam

In this installment of her new column on dips, sauces and other meal accompaniments, Clara McQuaid offers up a sweet, tangy and spicy chilli jam.

This is one of those store cupboard essentials that you will use again and again as a dip (it’s amazing with seafood), as a garnish on plates to add that extra bit of flavour to a dish, or as a drizzle on a sandwich. Homemade is miles better than shop bought sweet chilli sauce – no surprises there! This recipe makes about 450 ml, and it keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.




• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 onions, peeled and roughly diced
• 2 red peppers, roughly sliced
• 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
• 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
• 1 tbsp tomato puree
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 50 grams light muscovado sugar
• 4 ripe tomatoes, diced
• 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
• 300 ml water
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper




1. Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions, red peppers and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes until they are just beginning to soften. Stir in the chilli and tomato puree, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, sugar, tomatoes and soy sauce, and pour in 300 ml of water to just cover. Simmer for 45-50 minutes until well reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove the chilli jam from the heat and allow to cool completely, then tip into a food processor and blend to a puree. Pass through a sieve set over a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a rigid container or squeezy plastic bottle and store in the fridge.





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