Thakkaali Yaam / Spiced Tomato Jam

(1 hr, makes 2 c. jam)

This traditional Sri Lankan condiment, featuring rich tomato flavor gently spiced and sweetened with jaggery, is typically served with thosai, pittu, idli, or rice. It’s also delicious as a component in appetizers, spread on breakfast toast, as a topping for grilled vegetables — the possibilities are endless.

1 lb. tomatoes, diced (about 1 1/2 c.)
3 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 star anise
1 t. peppercorns
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon (about 3 T)
1 cup jaggery or dark brown sugar

1 t. salt

1. In a hot dry pan, toast spices until aromatic. Let cool and grind to powder.

2. Add diced tomatoes to a medium saucepan with remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar has dissolved, then turn heat to low and cover.

3. Simmer about 40 minutes. Remove lid, and if mixture is still liquid, simmer uncovered a little longer, until it thickens to jam texture. Use wherever you’d use jam or chutney.

Variation: Replace half of the tomatoes with chopped pineapple.

Note: Jars can be stored in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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