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Tomato relish

May 17, 2011

I was shopping at the market at the weekend and I realised it was time to invest in a bag of tomatoes for the annual tomato relish cook-up. I make a few jars of it every autumn. I like it on toast for breakfast. In fact I prefer it to jam or marmalade. It’s not overly spicy so doesn’t jar on the tastebuds at the beginning of the day.

While you don't want to use tomatoes that are past their best, the odd superficial skin blemish won't hurt because you skin the tomatoes first.

This recipe has probably been made in most Kiwi homes at some time. It’s from the iconic Edmonds Cookery Book.

I compared the recipe from my 1955 edition with that from the 1980s edition and the only change, apart from metric measurements, was the number of chillies had dropped from five to three in the later issue.

I’ve reproduced the recipe previously on this site but here it is again for convenience.

Before you start, wash and core the tomatoes and cut a cross in the bottom of each. Place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Steep for about two minutes before removing, rinsing in cold water then removing the skins. Then you’re ready to go. I like to use brown vinegar for this recipe. I used about 500ml for the latest batch.

Tomato Relish

12 large tomatoes (around 1.5kg) peeled
4 large onions
25g salt
brown or white vinegar
500g brown sugar
3 chillies
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 heaped tablespoons flour

Cut the tomato into four or more pieces. Sprinkle with salt and leave overnight. Next day, pour off the liquid and, put the tomato and onion mixture in to a preserving pan (or stock pot) with sugar and chillies. Add enough vinegar to cover. Bring to the boil. Simmer 1 1/2 hours. Mix flour, curry powder and mustard to a smooth paste with a little cold vinegar. Add to mixture and boil five minutes. Put into sterilised jars and seal tightly.

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