How to make proper hot chilli jam

If you like a bit of sweet chilli jam, where you don’t particularly taste the chilli but it’s a nice dollop of something extra in your cheese sandwich, then this post may not be for you.

If, however, you buy shop bought sweet chilli jam and think to yourself ‘seriously? What even IS this pathetic excuse for a chilli jam?’ then STRAP IN my heat loving friends, as this homemade hot chilli jam is going to blow your socks off.

Hot chilli jam recipe

It’s pretty simple to make, although you might want to crack a window as the heat does get to the back of your throat a bit in a confined space. My recipe makes two jars, so scale up if you want to make a bigger batch. This homemade chilli jam would make lovely Christmas presents for friends who like a bit of spice in their life, or perhaps an enemy at work that you’d like to see spend some time on the toilet.

(Not literally SEE. No one wants that.)

My homemade hot and spicy chilli jam goes very nicely with a bit of cheese and some crackers, or even as a side to something like steak and chips. If you want to be terribly avant garde, you could even have it with a scone or two and make a savoury cream tea. NOTE: Generally I don’t approve of savoury cream teas as a concept but I’m not going to disown you or anything.

Hot chilli jam

Okay, so first up, you’ll need to sterilise a couple of jars, like you did when you made my homemade passionfruit curd. You did make my homemade passionfruit curd right? Right?? Okay, good.

Then it’s time to gather your ingredients.

Hot chilli jam – ingredients

To make your own hot and sweet chilli jam you will need:

  • Approx 10 red chillies – I was in Tesco and bought a packet of regular red chillies and a packet of bird eye chillies, (the skinny ones), and did a mix and match.
  • 4 red peppers
  • 1 tsp frozen chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp frozen chopped garlic
  • 1 small 200g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 125ml red wine vinegar

You can use fresh garlic and ginger of course, I’m just a bit of a fan of frozen herbs and whatnot, pure laziness on my part. Remember when I made that cherry and thyme clafoutis with frozen chopped thyme? That was a revelation.

Got everything you need? Good. Let’s get this spicy party started.

Spicy chilli jam recipe

Hot chilli jam – method

First up, chop the stalks off your chillies, but don’t worry about getting the seeds out. Deseed the peppers though, and roughly chop them, then blitz both along with the ginger and garlic in a food processor until it’s quite finely blended. This produces quite a bit of liquid, so I squeeze off a bit of the excess at this point, just so your chilli jam isn’t too runny.

Chuck it all in a pan with the sugar, tomatoes and vinegar and bring it all to the boil. You might get some foamy scum form initially – just scrape the worst of this off as it appears.

Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook your sweet chilli jam for about 45 minutes, stirring now and again to stop it sticking to the bottom. Towards the end it should start to get a bit thicker and more jammy looking. It doesn’t need to get to a certain temperature or anything, just cook it for ten minutes or so longer once it’s sticky looking and then transfer to your sterilised jars.

Your sweet and spicy chilli jam should keep for up to about three months in the cupboard unopened, but keep it in the fridge once you’ve opened it.

Extra hot chilli jam




  1. 16 December, 2020 / 12:58 am

    Wow. I love this recipe. Can I print this article just for personal use. I’m an amateur chef and I want to try this over the weekend.

    • Jo Middleton
      21 December, 2020 / 6:10 pm

      Of course! Good luck with it!

  2. kathy
    5 May, 2021 / 7:24 am

    Are peppers what we Australians call capsicums

    • Jo Middleton
      7 May, 2021 / 3:09 pm

      Yes! The big ones? Yep.

  3. neil stoker
    15 March, 2022 / 8:19 am

    I have 1.3 kilos of small to medium size red and green chilli’s do I just upsize your recipe or is there different quantities to use

    • Jo Middleton
      21 March, 2022 / 1:17 pm

      Just scale up I reckon!

    • Sue Neale
      31 March, 2022 / 3:26 pm

      Have you done this successfully, Neil? I also want to use a huge quantity of small homegrown chillis and I’m not sure how to equate quantities. Also the heat level will be different.

      • neil stoker
        29 April, 2022 / 2:27 am

        Not yet Sue will do it today

  4. Jenny
    13 September, 2022 / 2:08 pm

    I just used this recipe using 250 chillis! I also added smoked sea salt, dried thyme, fresh bay leaves and tomato and garlic purée. It’s wonderful. I have over 30 jars!!!

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