CURRY FAVOUR

A PICKLE RECIPE, COOKED UP BY A CANNY SCOT MORE THAN 100 YEARS AGO, NEVER GOES TO WASTE TH­ESE DAYS.

Country Style - - CONTENTS - WORDS SARAH NEIL PHO­TOG­RA­PHY LISA CO­HEN STYLING LEE BLAYLOCK

Orig­i­nat­ing in Scot­land more than 100 years ago, this fam­ily recipe for green tomato pick­les is flflavoured with In­dian spices.

THE SCOTS HAVE A REP­U­TA­TION for fru­gal­ity and Sharon For­rest be­lieves this trait prompted her great-grand­mother, Is­abelle Bryce (right), born in Scot­land in 1875, to come up with this pickle recipe. “I guess there were plenty of un­ripened toma­toes at the end of the cool Scot­tish sum­mer. My great-grand­mother was no­to­ri­ous for be­ing thrifty and this was a great way of us­ing up the green fruit,” says Sharon, who’s the fourth gen­er­a­tion of her fam­ily to make the recipe. When Is­abelle em­i­grated to Aus­tralia, she brought the recipe with her and later passed it on to her son Wal­lace. “My grand­fa­ther, Wal­lace, liked to cook,” says Sharon. “My mother, Nancy, re­mem­bers help­ing her dad chop the onions and toma­toes in the kitchen of the weath­er­board home her fam­ily rented in Rich­mond, Melbourne, in the 1940s. Mum showed me how to make the recipe when I was 11 or 12, and when my daugh­ter, Hay­ley, was a teenager I got her to help me cut up the onions for the pick­les.” While she’s very proud of this fam­ily heir­loom, Sharon ad­mits to tweak­ing the cen­tury-old recipe, cut­ting down the amount of sugar used and sub­sti­tut­ing raw caster for white sugar. She be­lieves it’s es­sen­tial to use a good-qual­ity curry pow­der, which she now buys from a lo­cal In­dian gro­cery store. A jar of green tomato pick­les is al­ways set aside to serve with Christ­mas ham, and Sharon says it’s de­li­cious on corned beef sand­wiches and with ched­dar. When she put the pick­les on a cheese plat­ter at her daugh­ter’s wed­ding a few years ago, one of the groom’s mates made her prom­ise to save a jar for him the next time she made a batch. “I get th­ese re­quests ev­ery time I pull out a jar at a fam­ily cel­e­bra­tion,” says Sharon, who ends up giv­ing away half of the tomato pick­les she makes.

GREEN TOMATO PICK­LES

Makes about 8 cups 2kg green toma­toes 1kg brown onions, peeled 2 ta­ble­spoons salt 500g raw caster sugar 2½ cups brown vine­gar 2 ta­ble­spoons good-qual­ity curry pow­der 1 ta­ble­spoon brown mus­tard seeds 1 ta­ble­spoon ground turmeric ½ cup corn­flour Cut toma­toes and onions into 1.5cm chunks, then place in a large glass or ce­ramic bowl. Sprin­kle with salt and stir to com­bine. Cover with plas­tic wrap and stand overnight at room tem­per­a­ture. Drain tomato mix­ture. Place tomato mix­ture, sugar, vine­gar, curry pow­der, mus­tard seeds and turmeric in a large saucepan and bring to boil over a high heat. Re­duce heat to low and sim­mer, un­cov­ered, for 1½ hours or un­til tomato is start­ing to break down and liq­uid is re­duced by half. Com­bine corn­flour and 1/3 cup wa­ter in a small bowl. Add corn­flour mix­ture to pickle and stir to com­bine. Sim­mer, stir­ring, for 1–2 min­utes or un­til pickle thick­ens. La­dle hot pickle into warm ster­ilised jars and seal im­me­di­ately. La­bel, date and store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. Store in re­frig­er­a­tor af­ter open­ing and use within 4 weeks.

SHARE YOUR FAM­ILY FAVOURITES

Do you have a recipe that has been passed down through gen­er­a­tions? Send us your recipe, the story be­hind it and a pho­to­graph (prefer­ably a copy or scan) of the rel­a­tive who passed it on. Re­mem­ber to in­clude a day­time tele­phone num­ber. Email Sarah Neil at sarah.neil@news.com.au or send a let­ter to Heir­loom Recipe, Coun­try Style, Locked Bag 5030, Alexan­dria NSW 2015. Note: recipes may also be pub­lished on­line at home­life.com.au If you look for­ward to this page each month, you’ll love Coun­try Style Heir­loom Recipes, $16.99, a col­lec­tion of 28 recipes and the sto­ries of the peo­ple who made them spe­cial. Avail­able at mag­son­line.com. au/coun­try-style-spe­cials

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