When Life Gives You Long Peppers…

The inability to simply say “no” or even “maybe not this time” has gotten me into a number of tricky situations, typically ending with an overload of extra work to contend with. This past weekend, however, was the first time that those missing words ended with an overload of hot long peppers.

Valley VegFest was winding down, my pie demo completed and the exhibitor’s hall quickly emptying out, when I chanced by a farm stand display of fresh produce. Picking through the remnants, two shiny, green peppers and three slightly bruised finger bananas satisfied my hunger for new ingredients. Already a dozen steps away, the proprietor flagged me down, practically foisting the whole box of perhaps 2 pounds of fresh, spicy capsicum into my arms. Okay, I’ll admit- That’s a gross exaggeration, but when asked to take the rest, I instantly felt compelled to oblige. Why would I accept such a dubious “gift,” knowing full well that I barely have a taste for spicy food beyond the most tame scoville level? That’s one I can’t begin to explain or understand, but here I was, saddled with more peppers than one person could ever consume.

Half of the bounty went towards making green sriracha, still fermenting quietly on the counter. Meanwhile, I had grander plans for the other half.

Pepper jam instantly came to mind, but most recipes called for a paltry two or three jalapenos at most, floating in a sea of food coloring. Packing the firepower of a full pound of hot long peppers, this rendition doesn’t mess around. Tempered by a good dose of sugar, it manages to balance the burn with grace, all while combining the nuanced notes of lemongrass, garlic, and ginger. Thai green curry inspired the blend, which means that it works beautifully in the place of traditional green curry paste. Softly set, the jam could be further thickened with the addition of a second pouch of pectin, but the slightly runny consistency is dynamite for drizzling over crostini or fine vegan cheeses. For the more adventurous palate, a sweet and spicy peanut butter and curry jam sandwich might be just the thing to shake off the weekday malaise. Once you start thinking about all the new possibilities, an extra pound or two of hot peppers may not seem like enough.

Yield: Makes 7 – 8 Cups

Sweet Green Curry Jam

Sweet Green Curry Jam

Pepper jam inspired by green Thai curry, this spicy spread packs some serious heat.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 Pound Shallots
  • 1 Pound Hot Long Green Peppers
  • 1.5 Ounces (About 3 Inches) Peeled Fresh Ginger
  • 4 Large Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Fresh Lemongrass
  • 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 3 Teaspoons Ground Coriander
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 4 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Spirulina Powder (Optional, for Color)
  • 1* (3-Ounce) Pouch Liquid Pectin


  1. For proper canning instructions, see the recommendations made by this very helpful .PDF right here. Otherwise, proceed as written to make a quick jam which will need to be kept refrigerated and last for no more than a month or two.
  2. Roughly chop the shallots and toss them into your food processor or blender. A high-speed blender would be best for achieving the smoothest consistency, but a coarser blend can be quite delicious, too. Stem the peppers, remove the seeds, and chop them into smaller pieces before adding them into the machine as well. Follow that with the ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. Pulse the machine a number of times to break down the vegetables into a coarse paste. Pause to introduce the salt and dry spices along with the lemon and lime juice, and then thoroughly puree, until the mixture is as smooth as desired. If you’re using a smaller food processor, plan to process the mixture in two batches, blending everything together in a larger vessel at the end.
  3. Have your jam jars out on the counter and ready to go. You’ll want enough containers to hold approximately 8 cups of jam total.
  4. Begin heating the sesame oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it begins to shimmer, pour in the green curry puree, stirring constantly but gently. Add in the sugar and spirulina (if using), and allow the mixture to come to a full boil. All the while, be sure to continuously run your spatula along the sides and bottom of the pan to prevent anything from burning. When the curry has reached a rapid bubble, pour in the liquid pectin and continue to cook for a full 10 minutes. It should significantly thicken in this time.
  5. Pour the hot, liquid jam into your prepared jars and quickly seal them or otherwise process for longer term storage. Let cool completely before refrigerating.


*Use 2 pouches for a firmer, more spreadable jam.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 34Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 58mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 0g

22 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Long Peppers…

  1. Have you looked at Pomona’s Natural Universal Pectin? I have found that my pepper jelly is a lot more powerful heat wise since I switched over to using it. The pectin is low sugar and vegan as well. And the “Jam Ladies” aka the owners are great for answering questions and helping you make sure your recipes are safe to can as well. I like this one you have but need to wait until I can get locally grown fresh peppers to try it. I have a few friends who would love it.

    1. I’ve seen Pomona’s on the shelf before, but have had bad experience with powdered pectin in the past. Maybe I just went with the wrong brand before, but I could never get my jellies or jams to set before I discovered liquid pectin. I appreciate the tip though- I’ll have to give powder another shot.


      1. Pomona’s is a low sugar pectin which is nice too. And while the box you see on the shelf is pricey, you will be able to get several batches out of one box. Check out their website at http://www.pomonapectin.com/ Their pectin is a two part pectin and takes a little bit of a learning curve to get it right. But I find it worth it. I no longer use the other brands of pectin.

  2. sounds – and looks! – delicious. i think i have your missing heat-seeking taste buds, by the way. question: i have a large-ish bag of dried kaffir lime leaves; will they do, or must i find fresh? (maybe if i run them through the spice grinder first?) thanks!

    1. Oh yes, I think that dried kaffir leaves would work just fine. If you have a high-speed blender, you can just toss them in with the rest of the mix to puree, but otherwise it would be a good idea to grind them separately first.

  3. Wow! Amazing! I love your thought process and this recipe… and I am sure I’d love the jam itself! The crostini idea sounds heavenly!!!

  4. Ooh, this is such an interesting idea! I have yet to jump on the more savory jam bandwagon,but now..it may just have to happen. Or that green sriracha will have to happen! Either, both–it’s all good. :)

  5. Lol… I can almost picture you standing there with an enormous amount of peppers in your arms… :) this does look quite good so I think you solved it well!

  6. Oh you are GOOOOOD girl! What an amazing mind must be lurking in that pretty little head to come up with something as promising and exciting as this! I will be honoured to make this ASAP and whenever I drizzle it (that’s a fib…I will eat it from the jar!) onto something that needs a hint of sweetness coupled with a hit of heady Indian spiciness I will think of you :). YOU RULE! :)

  7. No way I just talked about longhots on my blog! Great minds…are stocked with similar produce? Lol. Love the idea of this jam! I’ve never made my own but with the peppers and curry? Dayum.

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