Tomatoes – how to…

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Round/salad tomatoes

This probably sounds like a back to basics post if you already know how to cook and know some cooking tricks.
But to the discerning cook, this is a post you can really learn from…
Getting your tomatoes ready for a lovely curry can some times be tedious but I want to give you a few options today.
Ever cut up tomatoes for a meal and found that after the food was ready you had strings of tomato peel curled inside it? Here’s how to avoid these mishaps and to use the correct type of tomato.
Garden / salad tomatoes versus jam / Rosa tomatoes
Both of these can be used for making a curry or a meal that needs tomatoes.
The difference is:
Salad tomatoes are firmer, rounder and don’t break down as well, nor does it give you a lovely colour or gravy.
How to use in a meal:
It is preferable to peel and or grate or blend these tomatoes.
Jam tomatoes, an Indian cooks dream… is longish and perfect for curries and gravies. The tomatoes melt whilst cooking and also give the meal a bit of colour. It’s a softer texture tomato.
How to use these jam tomatoes:
Jam tomatoes can be chopped, grated, blended – either way, because it melts so well, you will find that either option works.
Easiest way to peel tomatoes:
Wash your tomatoes, mark the bottoms with an X and place into a deep dish. Boil a kettle of water and pour over tomatoes. Let the tomatoes stand in the boiling water for approximately 5-10 minutes. Remove and peel. The skin will easily peel off – just use your fingers.
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Tomatoes marked with the X

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Jam tomatoes soaking in boiling water

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Voila! Peel away…

Freezing tomatoes:
Yes, you can!
If you have extra tomatoes that you are not using, you can freeze it.
Simple wash your tomatoes, cut the stems out and blend the tomatoes.
As you might know, tomatoes hold plenty of water and when you freeze it, it can get very watery. So, to help make it easier, all you have to do is, place the blended tomatoes into a pot and on high heat, let the tomatoes dry up. Leave to get cold, then freeze. You can freeze the tomatoes in mini containers or ice cube trays.
When you are cooking, just add 2 blocks to your meal as you when using regular chopped tomatoes. For a tomato chutney for baked beans or butter beans, just add a quarter cup of this cooked tomato. It may look less, but remember the tomatoes are already cooked.
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Chop tomatoes

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Blend in food processor

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Tomatoes ready to be cooked

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Cooked tomatoes

Tomato Puree:
Tomato puree is a concentrate version of tomatoes and usually comes in a tin. You may add a tablespoon or two into your meal together with adding fresh tomatoes.
I hope you found this post useful. Why not share some of your cooking tips and tricks with us?
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