A recipe I’ve used for years made more delicious if one is fortunate enough to harvest one’s own tomatoes or buy somebody’s hard work. Or even buy them from a supermarket – it’s all happening right now with tomatoes. This chutney is great with anything – tasty and zingy.
5 kg ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and drained the night before (method below)
7 diced onions – chopped by hand or pulsed in a food processor
4 cups (or less) white or raw sugar
4 cups white wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 bay leaves
2 star anise
1 tbspn black mustard seeds
5 fresh hot red chillies, finely chopped
To prepare tomatoes, cut out the core at the top and cut a cross at the base of the tomato. Plunge into boiling water and after thirty seconds or so scoop tomatoes into cold water so you can easily slip off the skins and squeeze out the seeds. Put the tomatoes in a large colander to drain overnight. Put the colander over a saucepan to catch the tomato juices. When all the juice has been collected I boil it down by a third and add it to the chutney ingredients to increase the flavour, not the water content. You can chop the tomato by hand or pulse in a food processor.
Put all ingredients into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for about an hour, or until the chutney is thick and pulpy. I put my saucepan over a heat diffuser to reduce the chance of it burning. Stir and check often, removing any scum. Pour (I use a large funnel) into clean warm jars with metal lids and close quickly. Can be stored in a cool dark place.