Monday, November 21, 2016

Spice up your life with Spicy Tomato Relish

Tomatoes are such a staple and very plentiful and quite well priced up here at the moment and I couldn't imagine life without them, could you? I still had some tomatoes that I bought at Merinda near Bowen, on the way home from Cairns which really needed to be used. I have always loved my Mum's easy tomato relish recipe, but just recently I have been enjoying relishes with a a bit more zing and heat to them, especially when eating cheesy vegetable muffins or vegetable fritters or glazed meats.

After an early trip to the farmer's markets, and using my usual tomato relish recipe as the basis, I added a couple of long red chillies, changed to malt vinegar (white is fine and gluten free), and added some more spices. Speaking of cooling down, it's hot here today, so the kitchen is officially closed for the afternoon, and a cold drink or two and a salad in front of the cricket is now the order of the day. Perhaps a rest and a read of my book later on as well, or even a movie.


1 kg fresh ripe tomatoes (the riper the better)
750 g onions
2 cups white sugar
2 dessertspoons good quality curry powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 cups malt or white vinegar
2 long red chillies, finely chopped (or use mild chilli powder instead to taste, start with 1/2 teaspoon)
salt to taste
cornflour mixed with water to thicken

  1. Prepare your tomatoes by blanching them in boiling water until the skins start to split slightly, and then place them carefully into an icy cold bowl or sink of water until you can pull the skin easily off the tomato. This whole process will be easier if you cut an X through the skin across the top of the tomato before blanching them. The skin should just slide off the tomato. Chop the tomatoes into quarters and place them in your cooking pot. 
  2. Chop the onions finely, either by hand or in the food processor.
  3. Place all the ingredients, except the salt, in the pot and bring to the boil and then simmer until cooked and the mixture is reduced by a quarter. Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from burning. I simmered mine for about an hour this morning. You will notice the mixture start to darken and thicken.
Mixture cooking in the pot
4.When cooked, add salt to taste.

   5.Thicken the mixture with cornflour and water mixed to a thin paste, and simmer gently for a few      more minutes. I used a couple of tablespoons of thickened cornflour and water to this mixture but it    will depend on it's consistency.

Bottles ready for sterilising in the oven on my Kangaroo tea towel

Best wishes and happy cooking,


An original recipe by Pauline at Happy Retirees Kitchen.


  1. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe. I have made tomato relish before but I like the idea of adding the chilli and giving it a bit more bite.
    I get a kick from preserving the harvest and love to see those jars lined up. Family and friends keep me supplied with their empty jars.


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