Weekend Herald - Canvas

Moroccan tomato sauce


3-4 red chillies, to taste 150g fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks 2 heads garlic,

cloves peeled 2 onions, coarsely

chopped 2 red peppers,

coarsely chopped ½ cup olive oil 3 Tbsp ground cumin 2 tsp fennel seeds 2kg tomatoes, diced, or 4 x 400g

cans tomatoes in juice 2 cups tomato juice or water ½ cup red wine vinegar 1 cup soft brown sugar Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated 1 Tbsp fine black pepper 1 Tbsp salt 1 packed cup torn or chopped coriander


1-2 tsp chilli flakes

Roughly chop chillies and place in a food processor with ginger, garlic, onions, peppers and oil and whizz to a coarse paste. Transfer to a very large pot or preserving pan. Add cumin and fennel seeds and cook over medium heat, stirring now and then, for about 30 minutes until softened, smelling aromatic and starting to stick. Add the tomatoes, tomato juice or water, vinegar, sugar, lemon zest, pepper, salt, coriander and chilli flakes.

Cook, uncovered, over a low heat, stirring occasional­ly to prevent catching, until it is a thick, spoonable consistenc­y (about 2 hours). You will need to stir it more frequently near the end of cooking — as it thickens it will be more likely to catch. Moroccan tomato sauce can be stored in jars in the fridge for a couple of weeks and also freezes well. Alternativ­ely, bottle in sterilised jars while hot, pouring a thin film of hot oil on top of each jar until it overflows and covering with screw-top seal lids. Stored in a cool place, the sealed jars will keep for at least a year.

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