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I Made This – Chilli Jam

Chilli Jam Recipe – Made by Louisa

I Made This 

I made this Chilli Jam

I Made This is a new Fresh Cooking Project that I aim to write each month (pending volunteers!).

  • Do you have a hankering for a food from your childhood?
  • Is there a dish you have always wanted to make but do not know how?
  • Is there something you regularly buy and wish you could make it?
  • Would you like to try a new recipe made with produce you have grown in your garden?

You can tell your friends I Made This.

I Made This is a session where I help a reader to make something that they would normally buy at a store. It is a recipe chosen by the reader. It may be a childhood recipe memory or something they do not know how to make, or something they had no motivation to make previously.

Louisa is one of my beautiful Melbourne readers who volunteered to participate in the first session. She chose to make Chilli Jam.

Why Chilli Jam?

  • Louisa does not have a garden but she does have a gorgeous chilli plant growing in a pot at the top of her stairs 
  • Chilli Jam is a favorite addition to a bacon and egg cafe breakfast with her partner
  • Louisa was keen to make something she had not made previously. 

Louisa's Chilli Plant

Store purchased Chilli Jam

Spoonfed “Hot Jam”, is a delicious product that retails at around $12.95 for 380 grams – this equates to approximately $3.40 per 100 grams. 

We met up at Louisa’s apartment on Saturday morning for our cooking session.  This is the recipe we made. 

  • Makes: Approximately 270 grams
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes (variable depending on your pan)


  • 1 kg of tomatoes – chopped finely
  • 10 red chillies – chopped finely
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cm of fresh ginger chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of celery seeds
  • A dash of olive oil
  • 500 grams of CSR Jam Sugar (or Castor Sugar)
  • 1/3 cup of white vinegar
  • 60 ml of lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce


  1. Prepare the tomatoes by chopping them
  2. Add the chillies, salt, garlic cloves, and ginger to a mortar and pestle and pound until it forms a  rough paste
  3. Add a dash of olive oil to a wide based pan and then add the spices from the mortar and pestle. Heat until fragrant
  4. Add the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients to the pan
  5. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves
  6. Increase the heat to boil and then let the ingredients simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. The Chilli Jam is ready when you can draw a spoon through the mixture and no liquid seeps into the path
  8. Spoon into steralised jars
Mortar And Pestle - Spices
Add All Ingredients
Jam is Ready
 Chilli Jam recipe
We followed up our cooking session by cooking some bacon and eggs, fresh crusty bread and of course,  Louisa’s delicious Chilli Jam – with a glass of wine. The small sample I managed to sneak home disappeared within 30 minutes of me walking in the door and Mr Fresh has already had me make a batch for home.  I doubled the recipe – see notes below.

Hints and Tips:

The pan that you use has an impact on cooking time. Louisa had a lovely wide based pan. Mine was not so wide so the cooking time was a little longer

Ensure that the spices are well stirred at the start of the cooking process so that they do not stick and burn on the bottom of the pan over the long cooking time

The cost of making the amount of Chilli Jam in the recipe was $12.00 -almost the same cost as the purchased product. Some of the ingredients such as the spice and vinegar can be used in multiple batches.

Over the weekend I also made a batch of this recipe and I doubled the ingredients.  The cost of the ingredients was $24.65. This reduced the cost to $2 per 100 ml of Chilli Jam. From this spend there was plenty of celery seed, and vinegar to re-use. We had home grown garlic and chilli that we used so there was no cost associated with those items. As tomatoes are in season the cost was a low per kilo charge. The overall costs quoted above are based on ingredient costs only and are variable.

Note – When doubling the ingredients the cook time should be increased also. With double the ingredients the yield was much greater – 1.25 litres of Chilli Jam

For detailed information on sterilizing jars for storage of Preserves review the USD Complete Guide to Home Canning (Guide 01).

**It is important that you ensure you use safe food preparation and storage techniques when preserving. You can find detailed information via the link to the USD Complete Guide to Home Canning.

Louisa’s home made version of Chilli Jam is:

  • Tastier
  • Cheaper
  • Fresher 
  • Fun to make

I asked Louisa the following questions after our cooking session:

1. What is one thing you learned today?

 “It does not require a lot of effort to make something tasty and professional looking in your own kitchen” 

2. What was the one thing that surprised you today?

How good it tasted”

3. Will you make it again?

“Yes, definitely!!”

Louisa is already planning to participate again to make a winter warming recipe. Only in Melbourne can your mind wander to winter food in Summer 🙂

I had a great day cooking with Louisa. Thank you Louisa for participating and inviting me into your kitchen.






I would love to hear from you in the Comments section below if there is a dish that you have always wanted to make. 



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{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Erin @ she cooks, she gardens February 13, 2012, 10:23 am

    What a fabulous idea! I recently joined a preserves group and made a chilli tomato sauce for our first meet up. I wish I had seen this recipe last week, I would definitely have made it – my chilli bush is going crazy at the moment! Next time. 🙂

    • Kyrstie February 14, 2012, 10:54 am

      Hi Erin, a Preserves Group sounds like fun. It is an online forum or a group in your local area? I would love to do something like that 🙂

  • Carly December 31, 2012, 10:52 am

    Oh my golly gosh, I made this yesterday and it is delicious! Thank you for a wonderful recipe and a tasty way to use up the chillis my garden is giving me (including a few scorpion chillis that gave this a really nice bite).

    • Kyrstie January 22, 2013, 12:39 pm

      Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know Carly. I am so pleased that you enjoyed it. It is one of my favourites too! I have just returned from a break and have loads of chillis waiting to be picked. Kyrstie

  • Anne Stoddart December 10, 2013, 10:31 am

    I made this Chillie Jam and would like to know how long does it keep and how store it, as I am giving it as a Christmas present and would like to know for the label. so as the person receiving it knows

    • Kyrstie Barcak December 10, 2013, 12:04 pm

      Hi Anne, I generally use within 4 months. Once open store in the fridge. It makes a lovely gift. I hope your friend enjoys it. Kyrstie

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