I picked up The god of small things
by Arundhati Roy 14 years after I first read it. Like the first time, I was transported back to Kerela of the 60's after reading just the first few pages. It is a complicated and moving tale that can get quite heavy at times; one do need to have a break from the book, to regroup, to digest and to contemplate from time to time before continuing. During one of those breaks, I walked out of the dark and stuffy Ipe family's Paradise Pickles and Preserves factory and stepped right back into my bright, airy kitchen to start another batch of my very own spiced tomato relish.
There are always jars of condiments (preserves, chutneys, relishes) in our fridge as I am a firm believer that a good condiment can turn a dull meal into an good one and a good meal into an excellent one. However, good shop bought condiments can be quite pricey but fortunately I am pretty good at making them and more importantly I do really enjoy making them.
I think everyone should have a jar of this very delicious and extremely versatile relish in the pantry. We are using it with everything and in every possible way at the rate of one jar per week. I will show you different ways to enjoy this addictive relish in the coming days, meanwhile make a large batch today so you can share it with your love ones too.
If you also like to have a condiment of some sort with your meal, you might want to check out these versatile relish/sauce of mine;
P.S more relishes and chutneys on the way so please stay tuned!
recipe from the tummies' kitchen
makes ~500 ml
100 ml of olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 slices of ginger or 2 tsp of ginger powder
3 to 4 bird chilies, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 star anise
a small piece of cassia or cinnamon bark
450 ml diced or crushed tomatoes
1 sprig of rosemary
1 stalk of basil
2 heaped tbs of brown sugar
4 heaped tbs of vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Saute onion, garlic, chilies, bay leaves and dried spices with olive oil over medium heat until onion is soften. Don't be alarm by the amount of oil used, the attractive red tint oil will serve as a protector for the precious relish.
Add canned tomatoes, herbs, sugar and vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well.
Simmer uncovered on very low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until the sauce is thickish. Check for seasonings, it should be savoury, sour, sweet and extremely aromatic.
Remove solids and allow to cool completely before bottle in sterilized jars. It can be refrigerated for up to 2 months.
It goes perfectly with some delicious stuffed meatballs, recipe coming up.