One of the essentials of everyday cooking is tomato juice/puree. I am one of the people who never used fresh tomato juice because it tastes bland, too acidic & not sweet. I always used canned tomato juice! If you have ever cooked with canned tomato juice, you will know the huge difference I am talking about.
Canned tomato juice has a rich sweet flavorful tomato taste versus the fresh one. The only thing which made fresh tomato juice acceptable for me was adding a decent amount of tomato paste & unfortunately, the taste became too artificial for me.
With the crazy dollar rate lately, imported canned tomato juice became extremely expensive so I had to look for an alternative. I started making my own tomato juice at home & it was so good that I never went back to using the canned one; even for my fanciest dishes.
I think I love myself a little more after coming up with this recipe :)
- It tastes exactly like the store bought canned tomato juice without any additives or preservatives.
- I use it in any recipe that can come to your mind; oriental or international. I use it in making ma7shi, daily vegetables, tomato soup, pasta sauces, oven baked casseroles … you name it.
- It saves huge time as I prepare a big batch & freeze it so it is there whenever I need it.
I hope this recipe will be a life savior for you (as it is for me) & I hope you love me more for it hahahahaha.
TOMATO PUREE FOR COOKING
- 4 kg ripe tomato cut into quarters
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- Place all the ingredients in a large pot over medium heat. Cover the pot & cook for about 55 minutes or until the tomatoes release all their juices. It might take little less or more time depending on the juciness of the tomato; the pot will be filled with water & tomato skins floating in it.
- Remove the cover, increase heat to medium high & cook for a further 20- 25 minutes or until most of the water is evaporated & the mixture is somehow thickened. Stir the mixture frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Place all the ingredients in a blender & blend until totally smooth. Sieve the puree to get rid of the seeds.
- Return the puree to the pot, reduce heat to low & boil for a couple of minutes. The puree should be thick not runny as water. If your puree is watery, keep boiling until you reach a thick consistency. Turn off heat & let the puree cool completely then divide among zip lock bags & freeze up to 6 months.
- You have to use ripe juicy tomatoes & not green tough ones.
- If you want your puree to be thicker, boil the puree for about 5-10 minutes or until you reach the desired consistency.
- I store 2 ladles of tomato puree per zip lock bag.
- If you use less or more tomatoes, the cooking time will vary.