I love making my own jams and preserves whenever I can. This way, I know what’s in them, and I can also control the amount of sugar. One of my more recent favourites is this Easy Red Pepper Jam. Preserving doesn’t get any easier than putting the ingredients in one pot and cooking it down with some stirring in between.
I usually make small batch jams and without pectin or preservatives. I live in a tropical climate. This means that though we do have seasonal fruit and vegetables, many of them are available throughout the year. So I don’t really need to do big batch preserving of produce.
If you’re wondering, Red Peppers are the same as bell peppers or what we call red capsicum in India. Did you know that the red, yellow and green peppers are generally the same fruit at different stages of ripening? There are exceptions where certain varieties produce only one colour of fruit.
It’s interesting how things are known by different names in the English in different countries. For us in India, pepper refers to the spice black pepper. Similarly, peppers or bell peppers are capsicum to us while chili peppers are chillies to us.
Today’s recipe involves red bell peppers or red capsicum. These are sweeter and fruitier and so perfect to convert into jam. My Easy Red Pepper Jam is a bit sweet with hints of spice and tang. Use this jam as a condiment in burgers and sandwiches. Try it with a mild Cheddar on crackers, or with cream cheese on a bagel. You can use it as a dip mixed with some sour cream or thick yogurt. Serve it on the side with parathas, chappathis or other Indian flatbread.
The red peppers have to be chopped and processed/ blended before making this jam. You can process them till fine in the food processor. I have done that but now prefer to blend them in my mixer-blender with a little water but not till smooth. I find I prefer the texture of jam I get from this.
Easy Red Pepper Jam
- 5 medium sized red bell peppers/ capsicum
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 2 or 3 tsp red chilli flakes
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- Trim and de-seed the red peppers, then roughly chop them into pieces. Put them in a blender (or food processor) and blend/ process them till very finely chopped. I would suggest adding about a 1/4 cup water to the chopped peppers for a more homogenous mixture. Blend/ process till fine, not to a paste.
- Pour this into a largish thick walled heavy pot. I find my stoneware pots perfect for this. Mix in the garlic paste, chilli flakes brown and granulated sugars (adjust to taste), cider vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down a bit. Let it continue to cook at a slow boil for about 10 minutes, stirring on and off.
- Then turn down the heat a bit more and let the mixture simmer till it reduces and thickens, stirring frequently. It will start turning darker. Once it has reached desired consistency, mix in the butter.
- Let it cool a bit and then transfer to clean sterilized jars. Let it cool completely, then cover and refrigerate.