Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Spicy Plum Sauce

spicy and gloopy and delish! 

Surprisingly I love spicy food, and I love chillies.  Surprising because one of my earliest memories of eating curry was a beef dish that my Dad made for us one night.  Mum worked part time at the local hospital, so Dad would take over the cooking duties.  This particular night, he used a heap of curry powder and he left the pot on the stove and forgot about it.  Oh boy, was it burnt! Completely black like lumps of charcoal.  We were not well off so there was no question of throwing it out.  Those poor blackened and blightened bits of beef had to be eaten regardless.  

Even so, it did not diminish my love of spices.  And unlike my dad, I am very keen on chillies and garlic, and spectacular herbs like basil and coriander.  You get my drift - I love food that is full of flavour.  So we come to this recipe.  I had plums, I had spices, I had a desire to combine them into a spicy sauce.  And here it is.


600g. plums, roughly chopped - (don't bother to skin or de-seed)

250 mls. cider vinegar

250 mls. water

175g. brown sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground ginger

2 cm. piece of ginger root, grated

1/2 tsp allspice

3 cloves or 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cinnamon stick

2 small red chillies, chopped finely

2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


Place the plums (still with skin and seeds) into a large, wide-bottomed pan

Add the vinegar and water

Bring to a boil and simmer rapidly for 10 minutes

Cool for a few minutes

Press the mixture firmly with a wooden spoon through a fine sieve into a bowl or Pyrex jug

Discard the seeds and skins

Place the plummy liquid back into the pan

Now stir the sugar and all the spices into the pan

Simmer for 20-25 minutes till it thickens

Remember to take out the cinnamon stick and the 3 cloves!

Cool for a few minutes then pour into 2 small jars which have been washed in hot, soapy water then baked in a 130C oven for 20 minutes

This sauce can be used straightaway though it will taste even better in a couple of weeks

Serve as a dipping sauce with spring rolls, or anywhere you would want a spicy relish or sauce


Make sure the jars are still hot when you pour in the sauce

Test the readiness of the sauce by putting a saucer into the freezer, leaving for 10 minutes, then spooning on a blob of the mixture - if you can run a spoon through it and it stays separated, you know it is done!

You will need a jar or bottle or 2 - enough to hold about 350 mls.

ingredients gathered  

plums, vinegar and water into the pot ready for simmering  

squishing the cooked pulpy mix thru a sieve into a 1 litre Pyrex jug  

this is what you are left with after lots of squishing down  :=)   (throw it away) 

the strained liquid goes in the pan with all the sugar and spices for 20-25 mins. simmering  

all done - 2 small jars of tangy sauce for your delectation   

ready for eating in a couple of weeks or now if you can't wait :=)  

Over Christmas, I had been reading the lovely book A Table in the Orchard by Tassie blogger Michelle Crawford.  She has a recipe for hawthorn berry sauce, but sadly haw berries are not to be found in my patch of Queensland.  I also came across a similar recipe from Karon of the blog Larder Love who suggests using plums instead. Both these ladies mention that the original recipe came from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - you know the curly-mopped, bespectacled, whole food, organic fella.  Haw berries nil, plums the go for my hybrid, spicy version of this sauce.  Mr P. couldn't wait and had some on his Chinese leftovers. He said it was great!

my vinegar foodle   


  1. Great timing Sherry with all of the plums at the markets and shops! I couldn't imagine cooking without herbs and spices. It would be like living life without colour.

  2. Funny how many bloggers are mentioning bumper crops of plums and recipes for them. Oh yes spices are great and essential.

  3. Oh your plum sauce looks delicious and all my men/boys would love it. Last year we had an abundance of Wild plums to forage but nothing this year. I'm totally inspired to go buy some plums and make your plums sauce now, thanks!

  4. I've been stalking this on social media so I'm glad you published this. Your Dad's curry sounds like my Step Dad's lemon mince....

    1. plums plums galore! after all these years i have never forgotten dad's curry. my sister was and is a vego so she was lucky - no beef curry for her:)

  5. Yum, I need a good recipe for spicy plum sauce. Love it but haven't made it before.

    1. hi Jem this was very easy and hubby says very tasty:)


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