Chilli jam

Preparation time 30 min — Total time 1 hr 20 min

We usually serve this chilli jam with pan fried scallops and fresh langoustine. But it will add a kick to other dishes too.

Serves up a hot, sweet, sticky punch


  • 120 g red chillies
  • 2 large red peppers
  • 500 g tomatoes, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 300 g soft brown sugar
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ tsp salt

An email received way back in September 2017 prompted the inclusion of this recipe.

“We had a very enjoyable meal in your restaurant in September and your chilli jam was utterly delicious. Much better than any I have made so I would be immensely grateful if you could possibly share your recipe with me. I realise it may be a closely guarded secret but I live in Cambridge so will not be any competition!”

This one’s for you Joanna.


  1. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Add the red chillies and 2 large red peppers and cook for 15 mins, turning every few minutes, until evenly charred. This adds a light smoky flavour to the jam. The chillies and peppers should be well-charred all over so that the skins peel away easily.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Covering the bowl with clingfilm keeps the steam in the bowl, helping to soften the flesh of the peppers, and making it easier to remove the skin.
  3. As soon as the chillies and peppers are cool enough to handle, use your hands to peel the skin away from the flesh. You need to remove the charred skins, stalks and seeds.
  4. Transfer to a food processor with 500 g halved tomatoes and blitz until smooth. Tip into a large saucepan and add 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 tsp grated ginger, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 300 g soft brown sugar, 100 ml white wine vinegar, the juice of 1 lemon and ½ tsp salt; bring to a rolling boil
  5. The aim of a ‘rolling boil’ is to get the jam to its setting point as quickly as possible. It should boil rapidly so that stirring doesn’t stop it bubbling.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 45-50 mins, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until the mix is a deep red-brown colour and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Once the jam is becoming sticky, continue cooking for 10-15 mins more, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t catch and burn. It should now look like thick, bubbling lava.
  8. Cool slightly, transfer to sterilised jars or tubs then leave to completely cool. Refrigerate.