Tomato relish is a versatile condiment that can elevate the flavor profile of countless dishes. Whether spread on a sandwich, dolloped on a burger, or used as a dipping sauce, its tangy sweetness adds depth and complexity to any meal. Making your tomato relish at home allows you to customize the flavors to your liking. It ensures a fresh, preservative-free condiment that will impress even the most discerning palates. In this article, we’ll delve into the art of crafting homemade tomato relish step by step.


  • 2 kg ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • Two large onions, finely chopped
  • Four cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • One teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • One teaspoon ground ginger
  • One teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • One teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)


Step 1: Prepare the Tomatoes. Start by washing the tomatoes thoroughly and removing any stems. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces, discarding the core. Set aside in a large bowl.

Step 2: Sauté the Onions and Garlic. In a large saucepan or pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions and minced garlic, and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add the Tomatoes. Once the onions and garlic are cooked, add the chopped tomatoes to the pot. Stir well to combine with the onions and garlic.

Step 4: Season the Mixture. Add the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, salt, black pepper, and chili flakes (if using) to the pot. Stir to combine all the ingredients evenly.

Step 5: Simmer the Relish. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered for about 1 to 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally. The relish should thicken and reduce during this time, developing a rich flavor.

Step 6: Test for Consistency To check if the relish is ready, spoon a small amount onto a plate and let it cool for a minute. If it has reached your desired consistency, it’s ready. If not, continue simmering for a bit longer.

Step 7: Adjust Seasoning Taste the relish and adjust the seasoning according to your preferences. You can add more sugar for sweetness, more vinegar for tanginess, or more chili flakes for heat.

Step 8: Bottle the Relish. Once the relish has reached your desired consistency and flavor, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly. Carefully transfer the relish into sterilized glass jars, leaving about half an inch of space at the top. Seal the jars tightly with lids.

Step 9: Store and Enjoy. Allow the relish to cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator. It will be kept for several weeks if properly stored. Serve chilled or at room temperature as a condiment with your favorite dishes.

Tips for Success:

  • Use ripe tomatoes for the best flavor. If tomatoes are not in season, you can use canned tomatoes instead.
  • Adjust the sweetness and tanginess of the relish according to your taste preferences. You can add more sugar for a sweeter relish or more vinegar for a tangier flavor.
  • Feel free to customize the spices to suit your taste. You can add more chili flakes for extra heat or omit them altogether if you prefer a milder relish.
  • Sterilize your glass jars before filling them with the relish to ensure they are clean and free from bacteria.
  • Experiment with different varieties of tomatoes for unique flavor profiles. Roma tomatoes are great for a thicker relish, while heirloom tomatoes add a burst of color and complexity.

Homemade tomato relish is a delightful way to preserve the vibrant flavors of summer tomatoes and enjoy them year-round. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can create a versatile condiment that will enhance a wide range of dishes. Whether you spread it on a sandwich, serve it alongside grilled meats, or use it as a dip for crispy fries, this tangy relish is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. So grab some ripe tomatoes and get cooking – your taste buds will thank you!

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