“Happiness is like Jam, you can’t spread even a little without getting some on yourself”
Someone once said so wisely; only if he could ever understand that a jam is nothing but a nickname of happiness to many people. And to me it is my precious guilty pleasure, as I said before. A crusty toast with a layer of molten butter and dollop of jam on it; oh my my I can go on my knees (now you ca see the despo avatar of me) for such glorious morning treats! But as there is no such thing as ‘free lunch’ (not the breakfast, right?), I had to work on something after the last bottle of Strawberry Rose Jam. And then only my Homemade Spicy Mango Jam with No added Sugar sneaked into my kitchen pantry. This sweet tangy spicy jam also has no pectin or preservatives or any artificial coloring just like my Strawberry Rose Jam; all natural and healthy as I dint even use any sugar in it this time.
It is really hard to leave a habit easily and when we finally do most of us try to stick to it as long as possible. There are only few people (I can hope so) who try to relive their old (bad bad) habits and then keep on with it. Consider me in that headless people, sigh! I had very bad eating habit, more like eating disorder and I worked very hard to get over with it. And when I almost forgot about them, I suddenly started sneaking those habits into my life, again! Maybe this is called as ‘waking the dragon’ (too much time with A Game of Thrones, you see). Anyways the point is my craving for jam is back and I’m adding a dollop on almost everything these days.
I had bought baskets full of fresh fruits to create a distraction instead I was dreaming about variations of jams. When I visited fruit vendor last week I remembered I haven’t tasted a mango this year, what a shame! I immediately bought a cart and on my way back I had a healthy plan to enjoy those delicious Alphonso mangoes after meals. But after two days I realized I had bought too many to consume all of those without wasting and I got my inner devil back (it’s a confession, okay?)
I quickly scanned my ‘to-do’ list (where I have plenty of recipes regarding each seasonal fruits and I do nothing but looking at them occasionally) and picked mango jam to go first. As I’m trying to let go my sweet tooth again, I decided to do little twist and turn in my mother’s recipe of Mango Pineapple Jam and I’ve whisked it with spices, fresh ginger, cinnamon and my favourite red chili.
This time I tried to make this as healthy as possible, considered as a jam (yes of course, now on I can think I’m adding dollop of health to my food). I said goodbye to the sugar and welcomed honey to cut down the bad calorie. The spices I’ve used have their own benefits. Ginger in good for digestion and guts and also can lower your blood sugar level and risk of heart trouble. Cinnamon is not only known for its natural sweetness but it also reduces the risk of heart attack and lowers the glucose (sugar) level in your blood. A spoon of Red chili flakes not only increase the hot quotient in your dish but also it helps to boost your metabolism and (surprisingly) it suppresses your appetite too (now you know why after having little bit of hot dish you don’t feel hungry any more). Finally it’s turn for the star ingredient, mango; mango helps to control your weight loss & diabetes regime (shocking, right?), acts as a skin and kidney cleanser, helps in digestion and also takes care of heat strokes by keeping your immunity system active and many more with which I can go on. So now you know why (I’ve written such a long paragraph and) my Spicy Mango Jamshould be in your pantry too.
Here is the detailed recipe of Healthy Vegan Spicy Mango Jam without sugar or any pectin or preservatives or artificial coloring.
Preparation Time: 05 mins
Cooking Time: 25 mins
Resting Time: 00 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 3 cups
Read the entire recipe and tips carefully before you start cooking.
Do make sure all ingredients are at room temperature (unless mentioned) and weighted or measured correctly in appropriate weighing machine or measuring instruments such as cups or spoons. Remember these are not your regular cups or spoons which you use in your daily life.
Sweet Mangoes, fresh or frozen: 500g, I used fresh mangoes
Honey: 3-4 tbsp or any other sweetener
Fresh ginger: 2-3 thin slices
Cinnamon: 2” 1 stick
Chili flakes: 1-2 tbsp
Lemon juice: 1 tsp
A large bowl
A large heavy bottomed saucepan
Dry & clean glass bottle (or glass bowls with lid) to store
Peel the mangoes and chop in small cubes. I prefer my jam with fruity bites in my mouth so I opt for chopped fruits instead of puree. (See Tips)
Heat a deep bottomed saucepan on low flame. Pour the cubed mangoes in the pan. Stir lightly and allow to cook on very low flame.
Pour the honey or sweetener over the mangoes. And mix thoroughly with a wooden ladle/spoon. Mix until honey coats mangoes completely. (See Tips)
Keep the pan on simmer. Once you notice bubbles start forming around the edges of the pan, start stirring the jam gently. When mangoes will be turning semi liquid, add cinnamon stick & sliced ginger. Stir & continue cooking on medium low flame.
Increase the flame little and cook on medium flame. Once jam will start thickening, keep stirring to prevent burning. Simmer the jam for 1-2 mins.
Once jam reaches thick jelly like consistency, sprinkle Chili flakes on jam and mix thoroughly. Mixture will turn darker in colour; just continue stirring to prevent sticking at the bottom. (See Tips)
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and stir gently to incorporate everything.
The mixture will be thickening pretty fast now. Stir continuously on medium high flame to prevent sticking at the bottom the of pan.
The colour of the jam will be darkened by now. Mixture will turn thicker and sticky consistency. It will flow like ribbon while pouring.
Now we need to run a little test to confirm whether jam is done or not. Drop little jam on a clean & dry plate and tilt it slightly. If it glides down, cook the jam for few more seconds; if jam is stuck to the plate without sliding down, your jam has the perfect consistency.
Remove the pan from flame and bring it to room temperature naturally. Once cooled pour in air-tight sterilized glass jars and keep in cool dark place; avoid direct sunlight. Refrigerate the jam for longer shelf life. (See Tips)
Apply on your favourite toasts, cookies or on a slice of your favourite tea cake. Play with your taste buds and explore new experiences. I’ll share soon what I’ve done with this little beauty. (See Tips)
Use mango only without any spices to make regular mango jam.
Use any other spices of your choice to go with mango instead of specific spices. Like cardamom or only cinnamon or just ginger. Play with your jam.
Use apricot, peach, papaya or pineapples with mangoes in 1:3 (other fruit: mango) ratio to create variations. In this way your jam will have mango dominating taste and flavour.
1. Chop the mangoes in small cubes so that you can get pulpy jam. If you prefer smoother jam, use mango puree instead.
2. Do not, I repeat do not increase the flame too high to accelerate the process. It will cause burning and jam will stick at the bottom of the pan, not to mention the smoky flavour in your jam.
3. Stir the jam continuously to avoid sticking to the pan.
4. Store the jam in air tight container only and as the jam has no preservatives it is advisable to use sterilized jars.
5. Don’t use wet spoons or fingers in the jam, it will shorten the shelf life only. Use dry and clean spoon only and make sure to place the lid tightly after every use.
Eat, Love & Enjoy! And Repeat!!!