TomaTo chuTney

Ingredients

 

1 kg ripe tomatoes, peeled (see tomato jam)
500 g brown onions, peeled and cut into 1-cm dice
1 tablespoon salt
250 g sultanas or raisins, chopped
250 ml white vinegar
300 g brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves



Method:


1. Dice the tomatoes and place in a glass or plastic bowl with the onion. sprinkle with salt, cover and refrigerate overnight. The following day pour off excess liquid.

2. Place the tomato and onion mixture in a pot and bring to the boil.

3. add the sultanas or raisins, vinegar, sugar and bay leaves, and simmer until the sugar is solves.

4. in a small pan or wok, toast the curry powder and spices for 30 seconds. remove the pan from the heat, and add some liquid from the tomato mixture to form a paste. Then add the spice paste to the chutney.

5. simmer for 1½2 hours or until the mixture resembles a soft jam consistency. remember to stir occasionally to prevent it from burning.

6. Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal with a lid. cool before storing in the pantry. keep refrigerated.

HINTS AND TIPS:




* You will needknife, cutting board, bowls, weight, liquid and spoon measures, heavy-based saucepan, frying pan, wooden spoon, a strong heatproof bowl or ladle and preserving jars with lids.

* Try adding 500 g peeled and diced Granny Smith apples to this recipe.

* Toasting the spices brings out their fragrance; however, it is an optional step in this recipe. Do keep in mind that it is a 30-second job and adds greatly to the end result.

* Peeling the tomatoes may not seem all that important, especially given the time it takes. But it really is essential as tomato skins do not break down once cooked and remain as chewy strips not dissimilar to rubber bands. Keep in mind that tomato chutney will last for months on end and so the extra time taken to peel the tomatoes is certainly more than made up for in preservation time.

* Like tomato relish, chutney is best stored for 46 weeks (preferably several months) before using to allow the vinegar to mellow and the flavours to marry.

* Tomato chutney, with its great preserving power, is always good to have on hand for barbecues and roasts. It’s also great with homemade pies, or spread on rolls or sandwiches.

* For a green tomato chutney, substitute the red, ripe tomatoes for green (unripe) tomatoes and add 250 g peeled and diced Granny Smith apples. Cook as per the method given.

* Consider the tomatoes used when making a chutney. Depending on the variety and the natural sweetness of the tomato, the amount of sugar used can vary. Green tomatoes will need more sugar than sweet red tomatoes. Even red tomatoes differ in natural sugars. Do not expect your first batch to be your best; the more you make and refine the recipe, the better it will become.

* As always, any homemade preserve stored in a nice bottle and labelled with a funky name makes for a great gift all year round.

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