Tomato Relish

This tomato relish recipe is based on the Edmonds recipe, but with a few tweaks. I use a stronger paste for extra flavour, and white sugar instead of brown to keep the relish a more attractive golden colour (that one was an innovation I got from my mother). I tried using cider vinegar once to lighten it further but the flavour was not as good so I went back to malt vinegar.

As always, multiply the quantities out to suit the weight of tomatoes that you have.

Core Ingredients:

  • 800 g tomatoes (weight before blanching/peeling)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 Tbsp salt (15 ml)
  • 1 cup white sugar (250 ml)
  • 300 mls malt vinegar

Paste Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp cayennne powder (2.5 ml)
  • 1 Tbsp mustard powder (15 ml)
  • 1 Tbsp mild curry powder (15 ml)
  • 1 Tbsp standard plain flour (15 ml)
  • 4 Tbsp malt vinegar (60 ml)


  • Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and let them sit in it for a few minutes to blanch the skins so they are easy to peel.
  • Peel the tomatoes and cut them into smallish pieces (e.g. 2cm chunks).
  • Cut the onions into similar sized pieces (Edmonds says quarters, but that’s way too big unless you are using very small onions).
  • Put tomatoes and onions into a non-metallic bowl, sprinkle with the Tbsp of salt and leave for 12 hours.
  • Drain the liquid off. Put into a pot, add the sugar and the large measure of vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer gently with the lid off for 90-120 minutes stirring frequently. The longer you leave it the more reduced and concentrated it will become so don’t overdo it.
  • Mix mustard, curry powder, cayenne powder, flour and the small measure of vinegar to a smooth paste and stir it into the relish. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  • Pour into sterilized jars and seal. 800 g of tomatoes should make about 800 mls of relish.


Note re sterilizing jars:

Heat glass jars in oven at 110 degrees Celcius, and boil lids and funnel in water for 10 minutes before filling and capping, leaving a small air gap in the jar/bottle. If the lid sucks down as it cools you have a good seal and the sauce can be stored in the cupboard for at least a year or so. If it doesn’t seal then keep refrigerated.


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