The Gift of giving – coriander chili jam recipe

Slow living, slow cooking, home made + hand made – all words that evoke care and love.

I love making gifts for my family and friends almost as much as I do shopping for them.  I just love gift giving really.

This recipe is a favourite of my friends and family – I have given away jars for Christmases, birthdays and ‘just because’ in years gone by but for the past few years I haven’t even made it.  Life can take a trajectory that moves you away from things that you love and things that ground you and the enjoyment of cooking was lost a bit for me lately.  But, in the spirit of new beginnings, it’s coming back and I’m revisiting things that I’ve always loved making in the past.

This delicious, sticky, slightly chili jam is the perfect partner to cheese and crackers.  Once you pop a dollop on your cheese your life will never be the same.  You will be as hooked as I am I’m sure.

It’s a simple recipe but takes time and without the time, you lose some of the deliciousness so please don’t rush it. Good things definitely take time.


OK, here we go:



2kg tomatoes, cored

10 cloves of garlic

10 small red chilies with seeds removed (I play this by ear – for me, 6 or 7 is hot enough)

2 tbsp cumin seeds

3/4 cup red wine vinegar

1  and a 1/2 cups palm sugar (best not to replace with any other type as it changes the flavour).

1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander – leaves and roots

2/3 cup olive oil

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp black (or brown) mustard seeds

1/4 cup Thai fish sauce

1tbsp ground tumeric



Rub tomatoes with oil and place in a roasting pan and cook in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes. Once roasted, remove skins (do not use the tomato juices that are left on the tray after baking – it will make the jam too watery).

While the tomatoes are roasting, process garlic, ginger, chilies, cumin and mustard seeds in a food processor until well chopped and combined.

Transfer mixture to a heavy based pan, add tomatoes, red wine vinegar, fish sauce, palm sugar and turmeric.

Simmer for 2 hours or until thick and jammy.

Process in batches until combined but still textured.

Return to heat for 5 minutes or until hot.

Stir in coriander.

Spoon into hot preserving jars and seal whilst hot.

Makes approx 6 cups.

Store in a cool place for up to 6 months,

Refrigerate once opened.


Once cooled, pop your favourite ribbon around the jar and a little gift tag (Christmas if appropriate) and you’ve just made a beautiful, delicious, heartfelt gift.  I honestly can’t think of anything nicer.


Janelle xo