doreen's tomato onion relish

Doreen’s Tomato & Onion Relish Recipe

So for our wedding favours we wanted to share some family recipes. The easy part was scoring the recipes from the Murray side (my side not so easy). This one is a classic that Nathan’s late grandmother was well known for, she made it to sell to raise funds for the Spinners and Weavers. I am very sad that I never got to meet Doreen, I think we would have got along really well. I was pretty shocked when I first went to Nathan’s house when we first started dating and he had a spinning wheel (inherited from Doreen), and unlike mine, his actually works!

It turns out this recipe is still in high demand, with the orders coming in thick and fast about wanting more (because it is so tasty and goes with just about everything).

So without further ado, here it is – Doreen’s tomato onion relish.


  • 1.3 kg of tomatoes
  • 450g brown onions
  • ¼ cup of salt
  • White vinegar (enough to cover + make a paste)
  • 450g  raw sugar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour
  • 1 desert spoon of curry powder

This makes a little over 500ml.


Peel your tomatoes – place in a bowl of boiling water and then into a bowl of ice for easy removal. Dice the peeled tomatoes up.

Slice up your onions (a food processor is amazing for this) and place in a bowl together with the salt and tomatoes. Leave covered overnight.

Pour off brine (do not drain dry, you still want some brine in the mix) and place in a large saucepan and barely cover with vinegar together with the raw sugar.

Stir over a medium heat and slowly bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Mix together curry, cornflour and a small amount of vinegar to make a smooth paste, pour into tomato onion mix, stirring until it thickens (it should be looking super glossy). Cook for a further 5 minutes on a low heat.

Bottle into sterilised bottles. Seal while warm.

(To sterilise bottles we placed ours on an oven tray at 130 degrees for 30 minutes and popped the lids in a boiling water for 30 minutes).

3 thoughts on “Doreen’s Tomato & Onion Relish Recipe”

  1. What does “barely cover with vinegar” mean?

    I would really prefer some indication of quantity such as “2 cops”.

    1. This was the recipe handed down and well I guess it depends on the size of the onions then…my interpretation was keep pouring until they are just covered.

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