Tuesday 24 March 2020

Citrus Marmalade


There are plenty of methods for making jams. Marmalades, from the jam family, are different because they are made up of the whole fruit and are generally only used for citrus fruits. Originating from the Portuguese word marmelada, it is currently associated with a typical British breakfast.

Here is my family recipe passed down to me by my aunt Jeroo who made it with a grapefruit and several varieties of oranges, like clementine, mandarin, and navel oranges, which gives it a wonderful bold flavour.

Most Parsis have learned to enjoy it, which they picked up from their colonial British friends. I often add a peg of whisky to it while it waits to cool. This has made it a firm favourite with my father-in-law, Sam.

Bitter Marmalade

Makes 4 kg/ 8.8 lb

3 kg/ 6.6 lb mixed citrus fruits-oranges, mandarins, clementine, grapefruit, sweet lemon

1 1/2 kg/ 3.3 lb sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup whisky, vodka, or gin, optional

Wash the fruit and boil the whole fruit for 40 minutes. 

Remove the fruit and discard the water. Slice each fruit horizontally and remove the seeds. In a food processor, either pulse the cooked fruit or push it through your slicer blade. 
Keeping the cut's desired thickness or thinness 

In a deep thick pot, pour the sugar, then top it with the warm cut fruit. Add the salt and lemon juice and mix it well. On a low flame, mix the jam until all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Keep brushing the sides with cold water to remove the sugar crystals. Bring it all to a rolling boil, keep it uncovered and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. The mixture will be sticky. If you like a tight jam, boil it further. 
Add the whisky, gin, or vodka if desired.

Bring it to a boil for 5 minutes and remove it from the fire. Place it in a sterilised jar. Keep it in a cool place. 


This marmalade recipe is for slightly bitter flavours. To make a medium marmalade, add 2 kg of sugar. For a sweet marmalade, add 3 kg of sugar. The addition of more sugar will take longer to melt and longer to cook to the required thickness.

Fruit with thin skins makes the best marmalade.

 My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on Amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

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