Darl, I just tried something called “Eggplant Kasundi”at a friend’s. Tasty, tasty, tasty! Where can I buy some?” asked an old neighbour, her South African drawl unmistakable over the phone.
“Hey Wendy! I’m about to make Tomato Kasundi. Would you like to try some?” I asked.
“Would I ever!” she replied.
A couple of weeks later…
“Your kasundi’s swiped clean! Now where’s that recipe of yours?”
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By the end of this week, Summer will picked up her frangipanied skirts and sashay out of Sydney.
‘Wish I could bottle up summer in a jar…’ I thought wistfully.
And then it struck me – I should do just that!
Strawberry jam. Mango ice-cream. Basil pesto. Peach conserve. Mint chutney. Watermelon icy-poles… The taste of summer. I’ve been busy making them before all the summer produce says bye-bye.
My personal favourite, though, is tomato kasundi. This spicy Indian relish is the bomb! Exploding with flavour, it adds depth to any dish.
Slather some on sandwiches and wraps for lunch; dollop it over some grilled fish or roast chicken; add a spoon to scrambled eggs on toast; stir it through sautéed veggies for a bit of oomph; serve it as part of an antipasti platter…
So here you go, Wendy. This one’s for you.
TOMATO KASUNDI RECIPE
1/2 cup oil
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 large onion, chopped finely
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch ginger, grated
1-3 red chillies, chopped (depending on your “hotness quotient”)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 cup vinegar (white or apple cider is preferable)
3/4 cup sugar
1kg ripe truss tomatoes, chopped finely
1 tin crushed tomatoes
Salt to taste
Heat oil on medium heat in a heavy-bottomed vessel. Add mustard seeds and let them pop and splatter. Then add the onions, chillies, ginger and garlic and sauté until the onions are soft.
Add tomatoes (tinned and fresh), spices, sugar and salt and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Once the tomatoes are mushy, add vinegar and simmer on low heat for another half an hour.
Allow the kasundi to cool and then spoon into clean jars. Top up the jars with some oil which prevents the kasundi from spoiling.
Do not use any water while making kasundi or else it will get mouldy.
You can leave it chunky or blitz it in your food processor (or with a stick blender) if you prefer it smoother.
You can use the kasundi immediately, but it tastes better after a week or two once the flavours have matured and mellowed.
How’s that for summer in a jar?
So tell me, do you like making jams, chutneys and spreads? And if you do, do you hoard old jam jars? What dish (or fruit) tastes like summer?