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The glut crop this week was tomatoes.  This time of year we eat a lot of fresh tomatoes, practically every meal, and use fresh tomatoes for cooking.  That usually gets through most of them with some to give away fresh to friends, family, visitors.  I bottle some as passata, and sun dry some when the weather is hot and dry, and oven dry some late in the season when I have the wood stove going so it doesn’t cost fuel.  But fresh is so much better than even home preserved, and I am lucky enough to live in a climate where I can get at least some cherry tomatoes for at least  nine months of the year, from late September right through to late June. And in mid to late winter it’s citrus season, so there are fresh lemons and limes and tangelos that fill a bit of that sweet-tart spot.  Preserves have to really pay their way in my kitchen!

But the wet weather at the moment is causing my tomatoes to split, so I have to use them straight away.  Kasundi is a good way to make bottling tomatoes good enough for gifts and treats, worth the $5 or $6 a jar they would be worth if you paid yourself for the time it takes.  It’s a rich, spicy but not too hot, tomato sauce, great with eggs or baked beans (or eggs and baked beans!), or with dhall or dosa or on bean burgers or kangaroo burgers or a sandwich with cheese.  And all the other major ingredients are in season now too.

The Recipe:

Put some jars and their lids on to sterilize by boiling for 20 minutes or pressure cooking for 10.  The recipe will make 4 medium jars like these, or around 1.7 kg.

Use a food processor, or a mortar and pestle, to blend to a paste:

  • 120 gm ( a cup) of peeled and roughly chopped ginger
  • 30 gm (¼ cup) of peeled and roughly chopped turmeric (or 2 big teaspoons of powder)
  • 1 whole corm of garlic (8-10 cloves) peeled
  • chilies – depending on how hot your chilies are and how hot your taste is.  I like spicy kasundi, so I used about 25 Brishops Crown chilis
  • 3 big teaspoons smoked paprika
  • enough vinegar to make a paste

In a big pot, put a little olive oil and add:

  • 5 big teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 3 big teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 3 big teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 big teaspoon nigella seeds (Or substitute cracked black pepper)

Cook until the seeds start to pop, then add the ginger-garlic-chili paste.  Cook, stirring, for a few minutes, then add:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves
  • 1½ kg tomatoes (or substitute mangoes and/or tamarillos for up to ½kg of tomatoes). I used my yellow tomatoes (which is why it is more yellow than most Kasundi you will see) with 4 tamarillos and a couple of ripe mangoes.
  • ½ cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons salt

Simmer, stirring occasionally, for around an hour, until it is thick and sauce-like. A good tip is to put a metal soup ladle or enamel cup in the pot so it is sterilized too.  Then you can use it to ladle the kasundi into jars.

Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.  Check that the lids pop in before storing. It will last on the pantry shelf for a long time, longer than you’ll ever hold off from eating it.


{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Christine March 5, 2013, 12:00 pm

    Yum, Linda! Our tomatoes are ripening up now and I had totally forgotten about how much we enjoy kasundi. Thanks for the reminder, your recipe looks delicious. 🙂

  • Jen March 6, 2013, 11:35 am

    My tomatoes are finished, but I’ll be keeping this recipe for some local ones from the shop! Thanks

  • Heather L March 6, 2013, 3:27 pm

    Done it! Five smallish jars on the window sill… what a great way to use the end-of-summer tomatoes. And the house smells fantastic… I’d forgotten all about kasundi / chutney type things during our Italian-ish tomato sauce making obsession of the past 6 weeks. Sadly too far south to include mangos though. Thanks for the recipe & the reminder.

  • Linda March 6, 2013, 3:31 pm

    Hi Heather, looking forward to hearing what you think of the taste when you open a jar.

  • Vanessa March 7, 2013, 12:03 pm

    Sounds yummy Linda. Never tried it but I love all those ingredients. I’ve nearly given up on growing large tomatoes but we usually get enough cherries for something like this.

  • Linda March 7, 2013, 12:17 pm

    I’m mostly cherries this time of year too – the dreaded fruit flies! I’m making mine with yellow cherries, just because it looks so beautiful. You’ll have to try kasundi. It’s addictive!

  • cityhippyfarmgirl March 8, 2013, 6:27 am

    Wonderful Linda. Unfortunately my current tomato crop of three wouldn’t cut it for this recipe but I’ll keep it in my mind for one day when I do.
    Some of this spread on some sourdough and cheese, really would be the bees knees.

  • carol March 16, 2013, 2:18 pm

    Hi Linda
    Do you peel your tomatoes for this recipe ?

  • Linda March 17, 2013, 5:04 pm

    Hi Carol, I rarely peel tomatoes for anything. Just too much work! For passata I cook the tomatoes whole then strain out the skins and seeds, but for this I just leave them in.

  • carol March 19, 2013, 1:25 pm

    I made some on the weekend- the house was full of divine smells. Suddenly our tomatoes are ripening and I have bowls full sitting in my kitchen so I think I will be making some more in the next few days.

  • dave March 28, 2014, 10:03 am

    hi sorry but it is the wrong recipie for kasundi its a bengali sauce maybe you should learn from them

  • Linda March 28, 2014, 11:30 am

    Hi Dave, authentic is what I’m not! I think there are authentic traditional cooks from all over the world would have conniptions with my versions. I’d love a link to a proper Bengali version of kasundi, but meanwhile mine, whatever it should properly be called, is a pretty good thing to do with excess chilis.

  • Carol Seeley March 13, 2015, 1:42 pm

    A question re tomatoes – if i cook and reduce a big pot of chopped tomatoes – can I store in sterilized jars or do I need to “boil” in the jars too? Same of batch of pasta sauce can this just be put in sterilised jars or do I need to pasteurise too? I have a glut of tomatoes, capsicum, eggplant, onions, zucchini I am trying to cook up and store (I have run out of room in the freezer) any ideas?

  • Linda March 13, 2015, 1:58 pm

    Hi Carol, I very rarely these days bottle things to preserve them but I used to have a whole Vacola kit (you can often find them cheap at op shops) and do a bit of bottling. I would always pasteurise anything that doesn’t have sugar, salt, vinegar added to it.

  • Carol Seeley March 14, 2015, 3:35 pm

    Thanks for the advice Linda

  • Montjoye June 28, 2019, 2:43 pm

    Letting you know I’ve just made this recipe up for the second time. Thank you. I love it.

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