Crispy, battered, fried green tomato with a spicy dip --- mmm! I know it’s an all-time favorite for everyone. We make a lot of these deep-fried snack, especially when we have a good harvest of fresh green tomatoes from our home garden.
Last year, we had a very good tomato production in our small garden; we shared them with all our neighbors and friends and still had a plenty for ourselves! While some of the tomatoes were ripened on storage, I planned to use the rest of the green tomatoes in some other way. But how? I couldn't think of anything at that time.
Then came the summer gift market at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, where I participated as a vendor representing Curry’s. My neighbor vendor was from a family farm bringing all sorts of goodies made from their own farm produce. I bought quite a few items from them and one of them was Green Chili Jam. I was actually drooling over the taste of the jam.
The jam did not last for very long since we used it in almost everything, from our sandwiches to the roasted chicken. I started to worry about what I was going to do without this staple jam if I didn't find anything close as to its taste? I even tossed around the idea of making it myself and started to look for recipes online. I found a few very good recipes that I modified slightly with my own ingredients and spices.
Most of the recipes used green pepper along with green chilies. I couldn't think of any reason why I couldn't use green tomato instead of green pepper, so there we have it! I substituted green tomato for green pepper and much to my great expectations, it was a success! The green tomato also added sufficient body to the jam, just like the green pepper. Additionally, I chose very hot Thai green chilies for my jam so that the tanginess of the green tomato would adjust it to a desirably milder taste. Finally, I used green apple for its high pectin content to help in the gel formation but you can always use ready-to-use, commercial-grade pectin to make your cooking process faster.
My first recipe was a quite successful one but I still kept trying to modify it further so that it became easier to make and tasty at the same time, and so I’ve shared the ultimate recipe with you all. Hope you’ll like it too!
4 Thai green chilies, thinly sliced (remove the seeds, if you prefer)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp ginger powder
½ cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups green tomatoes, chopped
1 green apple, chopped
3 cups sugar
1½ tsp Curry's Garam Masala
1. In a stainless steel saucepan, cook the green chilies, garlic, and ginger powder in cider vinegar for 2-3 minutes, until the vinegar is infused with chili and garlic.
2. Cool it and transfer to a food processor.
3. Add the tomato and apple to the vinegar mixture.
4. Pulse the mixture for couple of minutes. Note that you don’t want the mixture to be pureed completely.
5. Transfer the mixture to the saucepan.
6. Add the sugar and Garam Masala and cook the mixture while stirring, until it reaches boiling temperature.
7. Bring the heat to simmer and cook with continuous stirring until the mixture thickens, about 35-40 minutes.
8. Remove the jam from the heat and cool completely before you fill up a clean, heat-sterilized glass bottle with the jam.
Dr. Gayatri Borthakur, a nutritionist turned entrepreneur, has a PhD in nutrition and a passion for delicious but healthy foods.