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Chilli Jam

4 Onions, peeled and chopped
6 Garlic cloves, peeled
100 gm (3 oz) Galangal or ginger, peeled and chopped
3 stalks lemongrass, trimmed* and finely sliced
250 ml (1 cup) Peanut (groundnut) oil
6 Red capsicums (bell peppers), seeded and chopped
5 large red chillies, chopped, seeds removed
10 Ripe tomatoes, halved
100 gm (3 oz) palm sugar, chopped
60 ml (1/4 cup) fish sauce

Heat the peanut oil in a large, heavy based pot. Fry the onions,
garlic, galangal and lemongrass over medium heat, stirring
occasionally, until soft and starting to colour. This takes about
20 minutes so turn down the heat if it begins to colour too quickly.

Add the capsicums, chillies and tomatoes, stir and reduce the heat
slightly. Cook the vegetable gently until the are collapsed and
beginning to caramelize. This takes several hours so stir every
now and then to make sure it does not catch on the base of the pot.
Add the palm sugar and fish sauce and cook for another hour or so.
By this stage the vegetables should be completely collapsed and
very deeply coloured. Remove from the heat.

When the mixture has cooled slightly, puree in batches in a food
processor. Don't drain any oil from the jam, it is needed to
achieve the required colour and will be cooked out anyway. Rinse
out the pot and return the jam to a low/medium heat and cook until
the colour is a deep red and the oil has separated, about another
hour. Stir frequently as it will burn easily at this stage. Drain
off the oil and spoon into sterilised jars. Cool and refrigerate
until required. Lasts at least 1 year, probably more.

Notes: To trim lemongrass, cut off the top 1/4 and woody base from
the stem and peel off the outer layer.


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