Home RecipesPreserves Sweet, sour, spicy tomato and chilli relish

Sweet, sour, spicy tomato and chilli relish

by paddock2pixel
Old saucepan with tomato and chilli relish, resting on a wooden board with yellow and green tomatoes and red chillis

Do you grow your own tomatoes? Then this will be a familiar story:

Spring arrives, and you get all excited when the first tomato seedlings appear in the nurseries. They’re tiny, and come in packs of eight. You go home, carefully plant the little seedlings, giving them love and care for weeks. And then boom, suddenly you realise that you have 8 huge tomato plants. Oopsie. (Worse even when it comes to zucchini!).

But who buys a punnet of seedlings and then only plants half of them?!

Then summer comes along, and tomatoes start to grow. And then more. And more. Nothing wrong with that you say. I agree, but if you live in a 2 person household like me, there is a point where you have to get inventive when it comes to figuring out what to do with them

Picking – Fermenting – Preserving

Maybe it’s my German heritage but preserving produce for the long winter months is my absolute favourite way of using up excess homegrown fruit and veggies. Sugar, or salt, have been used for centuries to preserve food, and it feels nice knowing exactly what is in my relish, my jam etc.

Psst… I have a secret to share with you

I don’t follow recipes. Ok, maybe that’s a lie, I do when I bake, and then I’m strict about it, but for anything else, recipes are mere guides or idea generators. So when it comes to this tomato relish, please do me a favour and experiment. My ingredients are suggestions. There is a lot of leeway when it comes to the quantities. Replace, omit, add, modify ingredients, quantities, etc, and come up with your own version! Relishes are pretty bullet proof, I’m sure your version will be a hit!

Sweet, sour, spicy tomato and chilli relish

All the tastebuds get activated with this simple sweet, sour, spicy tomato and chilli relish. Your best friend at the next BBQ. Great for anyone who grew too many tomatoes.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chilli, preserve, relish, tomatoes
Servings: 2 jars


  • 1 dash olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion finely chopped
  • 1-5 finely chopped red chillis depends how hot you like it
  • 4-5 large heirloom tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1/4 cup vinegar red wine, white wine, apple cider will all work
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • bit of pepper

Optional ingredients

  • yellow or red capsicum
  • sultanas
  • garlic
  • basil
  • other spices


  • In a medium saucepan, sweat the onion in the olive oil until soft and translucent.
  • Add the chopped chillis and simmer for a minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, sriracha, vinegar and sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Cook on low for 45 minutes, or until the relish has reduced to a thicker consistency.
  • Fill into sterilised jars while hot and seal immediately.
  • Don't forget to label your jars with what it is and the date. Nothing worse than finding a jar of something unidentifiable in the back of the fridge a few years down the track!
  • If you want to freeze the relish, I recommend filling it into an ice cube tray. That way you can defrost small portions as required.

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