Victorian Tomato Relish

"This is the tomato relish that we used to have when we were kids. It was magic then and it's magic today. Mum made it. So did both my grandmothers, and probably half the cooks in Victoria, Australia, but I had never been able to find the recipe - until recently - and I had cooked and tested just about every relish variant imaginable. The version we had when we were young had less "heat" from spices than my version, but the hotter it is the more sensational it tastes, while still keeping the original magic. It looks as if its complicated to make. It's not. It virtually makes itself. If you have one of those small vegetable choppers (rotary-type) that you bought when it impressed you at a home show and have never used since - drag it out for this as the chopping is really the only thing that takes any real effort."
photo by Chickee photo by Chickee
photo by Chickee
Ready In:
8 small jars




  • Cut up the unskinned tomatoes, onions, and unpeeled cucumbers.
  • Sprinkle with all the salt, stir it through, and leave overnight to draw out the liquid.
  • Strain off liquid- as much as you can.
  • Add sugar and vinegar.
  • Boil till tender then add mustard and cayenne pepper (you can vary this according to taste).
  • Mix flour and curry powder with extra vinegar and add to cooked tomatoes to thicken.
  • Bottle in sterilized jars.
  • Cover when cold.
  • Can be used immediately and also keeps really well.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This was a great way to get rid of a few kilos of tomatoes I picked up for just $1! Tasty and I liked the addition of cucumber for a different taste. I used a combination of vinegars (including cider, I ran out of others!) and put in a bit of paprika instead of cayenne, although I don't think it was the same. I used some hot english mustard as well. Thanks!
  2. We followed the recipe but we found that the taste was too vinigary maybe our vinigar was too strong maybe the 1/2 (1687 ml) bottle malt vinegar or white distilled vinegar was a language thing that did not translate anyway we added two tubes of tomato puree and bulked it up with ten more tomatoes and it seemed a lot better Im not knocking the recipe becuse someone has taken the time to help us the other thing that could have happend was our tomatoes might have been too small but we added an extra six at the begining so maybe a weight of tomatoes rather than a number and the recipe might work out spot on Thanks for the recipe russel oh and I rated the above revue as unhelpful becuse they have not bothered to write OWT by the way with the extra tomatoes it made 10 jars


I've been a teacher, school principal, researcher, writer, editor, consultant and counsellor. I have a keen interest in food - finding, growing, cooking, sharing . . . If I have any peeves about food it would be the kind of purist nonsense that some people carry on with and which stifles creativity and invention. Many of the very best recipes are the result of creative experimentation, fusion of ideas and tastes. Good food is not caught in a time warp - some cooks are, even some good ones.
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