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Ivy's Tomato Relish

  • 1 hour + standing overnight
  • 1 - 1½ hours
  • Makes 1½ Litres
Ivy's Tomato Relish

This is my Mum’s recipe and the secret lies in the curry powder. It is delicious baked on a leg or shoulder of mutton or lamb.


  • 1.5 kilograms ripe juicy tomatoes
  • 1 kilogram onions, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 kilogram sugar
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons curry powder
  • 1½ tablespoons mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Cut the core out from the tomato and cut a small cross through the skin only at the top of each tomato
  2. Plunge into boiling water for one minutes and then plunge into iced cold water to blanch. Peel away the skin.
  3. Dice the tomatoes roughly and place in a non-metallic bowl with the dice the onions and salt. Cover with a clean tea-towel and leave to stand overnight or for at least 8 hours
  4. Thoroughly strain off the salty liquid by placing the tomato mix in a colander and leaving for 1-1 ½ hours. Do not be alarmed at how much liquid there is, salting is done to draw out excess moisture and therefore preserve.
  5. Put the tomato mixture into a large jam pan or stock pot- size saucepan with the sugar, vinegar, curry and mustard powders and cayenne pepper.
  6. Simmer for 1 hour or until a nice thick colour (says Mum). That means thick and deep brown red in colour. Stir frequently to prevent catching.
  7. Remove from the heat and stand the pan on a heavy board. Carefully bottle into hot sterilised jars, cover with a clean tea towel and seal when cold.


  1. Add about 8 cloves chopped garlic if wished Add 1 cup sultanas if wished. If you would like a thicker relish, thicken with 2 tablespoons flour made to a paste with a little water just before cooking time is finished. Boil 3 minutes to ensure the flour is well cooked in.

Cooks Tips

- Use any vinegar you have to hand. My Mum only ever had malt to hand so that is the taste I prefer, but distilled, white wine or cider vinegar is all fine to use. - If you would like a thicker relish, combine 2 tablespoons of flour with a little water to make a paste and add just before cooking time is finished. Boil for 3 minutes to ensure the flour is well-cooked in.

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