Neil Perry’s Tomato Jam

15We’re firm lovers of chutneys, sauces, salsa’s and kasundi’s in this house, so when I saw this recipe in Neil Perry’s The Food I Love I put it to the top of my list of recipes to try for The Cookbook Guru for July.  The Cookbook Guru is a monthly bookclub where various food bloggers get together and create food from a chosen cookbook for the month and share their experiences together.  After a few month’s of cooking fairly traditional English style food, its nice to break out the spices again for a change.

This “jam” is not sticky or sweet in the way that you would expect, but reduced down from the slow and long cooking process, it is intense in its flavours, slightly acidic and delicious.  Perry recommends serving it with pasta or as a side with a roast or bbq.  We had our first taste with some roast chicken and potatoes but I’m going to be trying it with a cheese toastie sometime soon as I think it would be a great balance with sharp crumbly cheddar and some firm chewy sourdough bread.   I also discovered in my little photography session for my final pictures that it goes down a treat with a Jindi triple cream brie.

For this batch I halved the recipe and it made 2 x 500ml jars worth which is perfect for the next few month’s without flooding my pantry.


Tomato Jam

Sourced from Neil Perry’s The Food I Love

  • 15 vine ripened tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, roughly diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 knobs fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 400ml olive oil
  • 1 tbl sp. fennel seeds, roasted and freshly ground
  • 1 tbl sp. coriander seeds, roasted and freshly ground
  • 1 tbl. sp. cumin seeds, roasted and freshly ground
  • 70g. palm sugar (I substituted brown sugar)
  • 80ml fish sauce
  • 125ml red wine vinegar

Preheat your over to 180c.  Core the tomatoes and place onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.  Bake for approx 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and pass through a food mill, or blitz in a blender until smooth.

Whilst the tomatoes are baking, prepare your spices.  If you don’t have a coffee grinder to grind the spices in seed form, still toast your pre-ground spices as it will release the oils and improve the flavour of the jam that you are making.

In a food processor, blitz the onion, garlic, ginger and 100ml of olive oil until a smooth paste.  Add the spices and combine well.


Heat a large heavy based pan over a low heat and add the remaining olive oil.  Add the paste and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the pan.


Add the palm sugar and allow to caramalise.  The mixture will turn darker in colour.  Add the fish sauce and cook to reduce slightly, then add the vinegar and cook for about a minute to reduce.


Add the tomato sauce and stir through.  Cook over a low heat for approx 2 hours, stirring regularly to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.   The mixture will be ready when it is thick and rich in flavour with no liquid.


Store in sterilised jars with a small amount of olive oil covering the mixture and refrigerate to preserve.

Happy Preserving and Happy Eating,


8 Comments Add yours

  1. ladyredspecs says:

    I’m thinking poached eggs with your tomato jam xx


  2. More like a red tomato chutney. Lovely! I have to say that I initially cringed at the title. One of the things I could not bring myself to eat as a child was my grandmother’s tomato jam – very sweet and set firmly with pectin like any fruit jam. This, however, is vastly different and looks like something I would make and the family would eat with relish! I like you Mum’s idea of poached eggs.


    1. Leah says:

      Yes chutney is probably a better name, the jam was not at all sticky and sweet. And it was such a simple recipe I’d make it again in a heartbeat 🙂


  3. Leah says:

    Reblogged this on The Cookbook Guru and commented:

    Whilst Neil Perry might consider this jam, there is nothing sweet or sticky about it… think a delicious spicy chutney that is simple to make, even in a small batch, to go with everything that you eat from Breakfast through to Lunch and Dinner.


  4. Glenda says:

    Hi Leah, This will be a good recipe for next summer when I will, inevitably, have a mountain of tomatoes to deal with.


  5. Francesca says:

    i’ll save this one for the summer months as the shop tomatoes are so dodgy at the moment and my Niel book needs to go back to the library. Delicious.


    1. Leah says:

      Thank you, my toms in the fridge were getting a bit old so was a great solution for them 🙂


  6. Francesca says:

    Neil, fingers are faster than the brain!


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