Tomatoes everywhere. I don’t know about anybody else, but our tomato plants are having a final burst of activity before the winter sets in. This means a picking each day from our small garden of at least 4 kilos. I have bottled them, and made two different types of sauce, not to mention tomato chutney and tomato jam. This week therefore I decided to try another variation and came up with the recipe for what I have called Tomato Chilli Oil Pickle. It is actually very nice with cumin and turmeric adding a hint of Indian flavour – and has a touch of heat that does not overpower the flavour of the tomatoes.
In actual fact, I couldn’t be bothered doing a great deal of chopping, so just cut the tomatoes, chillies, garlic, ginger and onions into decent sized chunks, left it to cook for about 3 hours, and then blitzed the mixture with a stick blender. Hence I guess it is more accurately a sauce. If you prefer you can chop the fresh ingredients finely and it will result in a more chutney like texture.
If you make it, you will notice that it has a film of oil settle on top (or in some of my jars, on the bottom). This doesn’t always happen, must depend on the tomatoes, but if it does, there is no cause for concern. I use this, once the jar of pickle is finished, to sauté vegetables, meat or chicken. It is delicious if you dip chunks of crusty fresh bread into it too.
Tomato Chilli Oil Pickle
2kg ripe tomatoes
250 long red chillies
2.5cm piece fresh green ginger, peeled
20 cloves garlic, peeled
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups olive oil (light is best)
1 ½ cups cider vinegar
4 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon mustard powder
3 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon salt
Roughly chop the tomatoes, chillies, onion, ginger and garlic. Place in a large saucepan with the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 3 hours by which time a chutney-like consistency will have formed. Puree with a stick blender. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately.