It is not funny how the price of everything seems to be on the ascend these days. I’m not talking about things like the snazziest phone or the flattest television with the largest screen or other such gizmos that manufacturers keep trying to convince you that you cannot live without!
I’m taking about daily living essentials, mainly food. Every time I go shopping for groceries, vegetables or fruit these days, it seems like I’m paying more but bringing home less.
Yesterday, we got the shock of my life when we heard the price of green beans. A month back, a kilo of these beans cost about Rs.24.00 (about 50 c), which isn’t exactly inexpensive here, in India. Last week, they were selling for Rs.60.00 a kilo (about $1.30) and yesterday for Rs.80.00 ($1.75)! Its not like green beans are an exotic variety of vegetable.
Luckily tomatoes are still quite affordable, though I have no idea for how much longer. Last month they were really cheap, and I had bought a whole lot of them to make into pickle and chutney. I also made some into jam when I got into “jamming” mode, along with strawberry jam and some pear and raisin chutney.
This recipe is one of my own and I made it up as I went along. Please feel free to adjust or make additions (or subtractions) to the recipe to suit your taste.
7 cups tomato pulp
2 cups granulated sugar (or more if needed)
1 apple, cored and grated (not peeled)
2 tsp minced ginger/ ginger paste
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp powdered cloves
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
Put the tomato pulp, grated apple, ginger, sugar, chilli flakes and salt into a large and deep heavy walled pot. Mix well and turn up the heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the powdered cloves and turn down the heat to medium and keep cooking till the jam has thickened enough to pass the “plate” test. Add the cumin powder and cook for another minute.
Take the jam off the heat and ladle into hot sterilized jars. Cover the jars with lids to make them airtight.
I got enough jam to fill two 500 gm jam jars.
This jam is just slightly sweet, and not overly spicy. The spices and the chilli flakes just lend it a pleasant warmth.
Serve with crackers, toast or with chappathis, parathas, dosas or as you prefer.