Homemade Tomato Paste and Curry Paste

I’ve received requests for the tomato paste recipe. It’s not actually a recipe per se, merely an experiment with about 6 kilos of leftover fresh tomatoes. It seems to have worked quite well. I simply dehydrated the (sliced) tomatoes until they were about one third of their original size, then pureed them in batches in the food processor, adding a pinch of salt and sugar.

The resulting paste I then spooned into 125ml round freezer containers. The end weight of the paste was 1.5kg. I’m quite pleased with it – it’s remarkably tasty and I think will be well worth the minimal effort of making it.

There was also a request for the recipe for curry paste. Here is the one I used yesterday. I used to use cinnamon sticks, but last time wrecked my electric spice grinder doing so; therefore it’s ground cinnamon from here on in.

Curry Paste

½ cup coriander seeds
½ cup cumin seeds
¼ cup fennel seeds
¼ cup fenugreek seeds
¼ cup cardamom pods, bruised
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Juice 1 lemon
1 cup cider vinegar
½ cup water
1 cup olive oil, plus extra

Dry roast the coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek and cardamom in a frying pan until fragrant. Cool slightly, then grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and mix with the cinnamon, chilli flakes and turmeric.
Combine spices, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar and water in a bowl and mix to a paste.
Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan, add the paste mixture and cook, stirring, for several minutes until thick. Spoon into sterilised jars, making sure there are no air pockets. Pour a little extra oil on top and wipe any smears of the paste from the rim of the jar.
The paste will keep for weeks in the fridge.

Now for any who might be wondering about Tom’s progress, he is doing very nicely and is again ruling the roost. Truffles the kitten is much more settled as he is her protector from the fractious Rosie.

Tom is still exhausted though, and this morning chose Poppy the Puppy’s bed into which to face plant. Poppy dared to go near to complain but, in the somewhat adulterated words of that old Rime, and in the manner of the Ancient Mariner, Tom fixed her with his glittering eye – the old cat had his will. There he has remained undisturbed all day – as idle as a painted cat upon a painted cushion.


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