TomaTo Relish



1 kg ripe tomatoes
500 g (about 4 medium) onions, diced
1 tablespoon salt
300 g brown sugar
12 cups malt vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1. Peel the tomatoes (see Hints and tips) and roughly chop. Place the tomatoes and onion in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and refrigerate overnight. This draws out the liquid and intensifies the flavour.

2. The following day, pour off the excess liquid and put the mixture in a heavy-based saucepan. add the sugar and enough vinegar to only just cover.

3. Bring the relish to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

4. While the tomatoes are simmering, dry fry the spices over medium heat in a frying pan or wok, stirring constantly to avoid burning. This will take about 30 seconds. remove the pan from the heat and add a few tablespoons of the tomato cooking liquid and mix to form a paste. add this spice paste to the tomato relish and simmer, stirring often because as it thickens it will tend to stick and burn, for another 30 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

5. ladle into hot, sterilised jars with plastic lids. relish needs to be stored for 3 months or more to allow the flavours to mature. eating this relish within weeks is fine but the flavour is overpowered by vinegar


* You will needknife, cutting board, bowl, weight, spoon and cup measures, heavy-based saucepan, wooden spoon, ladle and preserving jars and lids.

* There is surprisingly very little difference between a relish and a chutney. A relish can be made with similar ingredients used in a chutney, although in different quantities. A relish is generally cooked for less time, which helps retain the texture of the ingredients, whereas chutney is cooked for longer and the texture is therefore thicker and more even.

* To peel a tomatoscore the skin very lightly with the point of a sharp knife. Then blanch in boiling water for 1015 seconds, no morethe longer the tomato cooks, the more flesh will be ripped off when you peel the tomato. Don’t drop the tomatoes in iced water after blanching, as this will dilute their flavour.

* Relishes make great gifts and friends are always impressed when you give them something you have made yourself.

* This relish will keep in sterilised jars for up to 12 months. Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within
4 weeks.

* Serve this relish as part of an antipasto platter; it goes really well with hard cheeses.

* Substitute red tomatoes for green; they are difficult to find but if you are fortunate enough to have your own vegetable patch, it is a great way to utilise the tomatoes that do not ripen at the end of the season.

* Serve with nachos instead of sour cream for a lighter alternative.

* Because relish is a condiment, it really can be served with anything either hot or cold; use in sandwiches or with rissoles, sausage rolls, savoury scones, roast meat or cold meats.

* Use as a pizza base or in tacos.

* Over time, the relish will darken a bit which is fine as the flavour will intensify


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