Tomato Kasundi

Photographer: Kate
Serves many

My tomato house is literally a forest of vines right now, due to an extended summer break they really got away on me so I just decided “hey, I’m just gonna let you go”.  The results were incredible for the lack of attention and grooming, my wild child tomatoes have delivered an abundance of fruit, the problem was the bush bashing I had to do to find them, literally not being able to see the forest for the trees. Now that the weather is cooling down, the remainder will be green but a couple of weeks ago I picked nearly 10 kilos of the little red rascals, way too many for my favourite tomotoes on toast, but perfect for the best thing you can have on hand in your winter pantry, Tomato Kasundi.  This gorgeous creation is spicy and aromatic, savoury but with a soft background sweetness.  It goes on anything, spice up your steamed fish, crazy town your chicken, adorn a bowl of rice, accessorise your eggs, pop it on your pie or spice up your soup.  It’s hard to find something that it doesn’t work with this which is why my whole 10 kilos went into a decent stash of jars to get me  and a few lucky recipients through the bland, grey moments of winter.  The recipe itself is super easy to make if you have a food processor to do most of the work…no faffing around peeling and removing seeds here people!  It’s a kind of magic.


200g root ginger
100g garlic cloves peeled,
50g fresh red chillies, seeds removed
2 1/2 cups malt vinegar,
1 cup ricebran or other neutral oil
2 tblsp turmeric,
5 tblsp ground cumin,
3 tblsp chilli powder (optional to taste)
3 tblsp yellow mustard seeds ground to a powder,
2 kg tomatoes chopped,
2 1/4 cups sugar,
2 tblsp salt.


1. Place ginger, garlic and chillies with a little of the vinegar in a food processor and blitz to a paste.
2. Heat the oil in a very big pot or preserving pan.
3. Add all the ground spices and fry until they smell really aromatic then add the pureed past and continue to cook over a medium heat for a minute or two.
4. Blitz the tomatoes in the food processor to a chopped consistency and add to the pot along with the rest of the vinegar, sugar and salt.
5. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the oil floats on the top – and you are happy with the consistency (this depends greatly on the water content of your tomatoes and should be between 30min and 2 hrs)
6. Bottle in sterilised jars while hot.
7. Leave for a couple of weeks for the flavours to develop before using. 8. Store in a cool place until you want to use it, it lasts indefinitely. Makes about 1.5L .