Saucy Jam

I realised a very surprising thing last evening. Tomatoes are less than 10 rupees a kilo. So immediately, I thought of tomato jam, tomato chutney, tomato juice etc etc. Tomato juice is, well, difficult to strain. Tomato chutney. Hm. Definitely maybe. But tomato jam, most definitely, why not.

So here is the break up/steps

Get 1 kilo of really ripe (even almost about to rot. this is important, the better tomatoes = the better jam) red tomatoes

Cut into pieces, size of your choice. I cut them into thin (as thin as I could get really and thats not very thin) slices and then cut those into halves.

I suppose one could blend it all and then strain the juice (I might as well make tomato juice then!). Use the juice to make the jam. But I love the big chunky pieces of fruit in my jam as much as I don’t love all that work. So it works out really well.

Now add these pieces to a big saucepan. A non stick one helps, as I have discovered. And fry them just as is with a little bit (2 tablespoons maybe) of either butter/oil. I used olive oil (it was the closest on the shelf and why not go healthy). Add a pinch of salt, three very large, liberal pinches of cinnamon powder (the old bottle of cinnamon powder from a year ago is still not half empty and why not spice it up a little/large bit).

     

As the tomatoes I got were really ripe, right out of the bottom of the crate at the vegetable shop, they gave out quite a bit of juice without adding any water. I added only a little more than half litre of water after sometime.

Stir, stir, stir, cook, cook, cook (for maybe about one and half hours on low flame). Then, add 1/2 kilo of sugar. Taste to see the whole thing does not become too sugary, sweeter the tomatoes lesser the sugar (these tomatoes were quite sweet). Stir, stir, stir, cook, cook (on high flame for about an hour or when the jam sets, this happens visibly)

Now, for the bottles. Use any old bottles at hand, sterilize them. Its important their temperatures are quite high, so that they don’t break when hot jam is poured into them. And hot sugar, is really something (good to play around when they crystallize also, remember spun sugar?)

Accidents happen/happened

Thankfully the glass didn’t get anywhere it shouldn’t have. Else, I think I would have sat down and cried. The jam was almost done by the time. Small mercies.

This is an improvised recipe that was arrived at after reading many on the internet, forgetting about them and then doing my own thing. So I got the basics right, I think, along with being able to improvise to my hearts content.

And now, for some tasty, not so sweet, almost a little saucy, tomato jam

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