Some things are meant to be! And some things are meant for me.

Nine years back, I didn’t know a chilli padi from the back of my hand. Green chillies were the spiciest food in my limited lexicon.

Had you mentioned a Bhoot Jholokia or a Trinidad Scorpion, I’d have thought you’d mixed your metaphors.

Then I moved to Singapore and met the love of my culinary life- the chilli padi. Diminutive, sizzling red and packing a wallop that would reduce strong men to jellybeans.

The Chilli Padi

While I now add a generous chilli padi or two, or six, to my dals and my salads for a good sinus clear out,  a great way to use them is to make a colourful and tasteful chilli jam.


Chilli Jam

Chopped red jalapenos and chilli padis

3-4 large garlic cloves, peeled
6 red Jalapeño peppers
6-10 chilli padis (optional– if you like the sauce really spicy)
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
3/4-1 cup sugar (I use less)
1 cup water
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch
2 tablespoons water
In the blender, purée together all the ingredients, except for the last two.
Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture thickens up a bit and the garlic-pepper bits begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
Combine the cornstarch and water to make a paste. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and continue to simmer until thick and jam like.
Let cool completely before storing in a glass jar and refrigerate.

Sweet and spicy, chilli jam
Chilli jam
Perfect over toasted bread

The jam can be enjoyed with pull apart garlic rolls or a warm slice of home baked bread, rotis or tikkis! Yum!

Try this out and you will thank me ?