Sweet Musings with a Bitterly Sharp Wit

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.

Sweet Green Curry Jam

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 (*2 Pouches for a firmer, more spreadable jam)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Makes 7 – 8 Cups

Printable Recipe


Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

22 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Long Peppers…

  1. My pepper plants always produce a ton of peppers. I am looking forward to trying this. Thanks for sharing.


  2. 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.


    • 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.



      • 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 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.


  3. 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!


  4. 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!!!


  5. Look at you, being wonderfully creative. I’m sharing this on Facebook.


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


  7. This sounds amazing! What a fantastic idea! We usually have so many peppers left over at the end of summer, definitely going to save this one to make for later.


  8. Such a lovely way to use up all the peppers – and how cool they arrived as a bonus!


  9. Sounds like something my husband would love.



  10. 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!


  11. Thanks for the recipe Hannah,I will surely make this as we have plenty of long spicy peppers here:)


  12. Lovely coloured curry jam this paste is a staple at my place :)

    Choc Chip Uru


  13. What a great & tasty idea! The green curry jam looks very appetizing too! Yum Yum Yummm! The uses are endless!


  14. Pingback: 2014-04-11 Fabulous Friday Finds | surviving the food allergy apocalypse

  15. 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! :)


  16. 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.


  17. I would have never thought of making this!But I would gladly welcome this in my kitchen! Can think of numerous dishes that can do with some spicing up!


  18. Pingback: 2014-04-11 Fabulous Friday Finds – surviving the food allergy apocalypse

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