The fat red chilies in the season are normally valued for the stuffed chilly pickle most people relish and even I used to make long time back. That was not because I liked pickles very much but I wanted to master them all, with an impression that pickling is something only a few can do. How stupid I was later I learned, pickling is easy as a technique, just consumes a lot of time and then I lost interest.
But these fat red chilies did not stop making me go week in my knees. I still buy a few during my weekly veggie shopping and use them in salads, in omelets and even in soups sometimes. A chilly kick is something that can transform the food. It's no secret that I love garlic and I love chilly.
I love all fruits too, the more the fruit is vibrant the more it makes me go mad about it. That's why when I saw Deeba making a lot of goodies with these Kumquats that grows abundantly in her garden, I couldn't stop asking her to bring me some next time we meet. I had told her already that they will meet my chilies to make a saucy jam.
The Kumquats are actually Calamondins, citrus fruits of the uncommon type are often difficult to identify as there are so many varieties owing to the incestuous breeding of the varieties. Some varieties of this Calamondin are way too bitter than this one and yet make wonderful marmalade. Since I had a stock of marmalade already, and Deeba had gifted me a bottle of this Kumquat/Calamondin marmalade too, I decided to convert them all fruits into this saucy marmalade.
Yes the fruit are miniature in size and there was a lot of chopping to do. The seeds were separated and enclosed in a tea strainer.
And then everything was cooked together in a wide pan.
1 cup of sliced kumquats with skin
1/2 cup of finely chopped red chilies (this is mild hot variety)
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of water
Mix everything in a wide pan and suspend the strainer with the seeds into the pan. You can tie the seeds in a muslin cloth and suspend it similarly. The idea is to extract pectin from the seeds while cooking.
The cooking mixtures turn a little frothy first and then starts becoming glossy. If you want a marmalade you can always follow the same procedure as this citrus marmalade. This one I made a little saucy so it can make a good accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish. Or just like a sweet chilly sauce.
You see the picture. There is nothing complicated about this recipe. If you make it the consistency of almost jelled it will be well preserved. If you make it a bit saucy, you would need to refrigerate it. Sugar is the preservative so reduce it enough so the sugar concentrates.
On crackers, with carrot sticks, slathered over baked potatoes and sometimes just a blob of this sauce on the side of whatever is on the plate.
You get the drift.
You can see I went bonkers clicking these pictures. Day time food photography feels great. Many of my dinner pictures are dull so I make up with these. :-)
Don't forget to see those specks of beautiful red in this jiggly marmalade.
Good cheer in the air...