Mr Groth's Relsih, UNE Life, Functions and Catering Recipe

Mr Groth’s Tomato Relish

Blog and recipe from the lovely Scott Leven, Chef extraordinaire and Food and Beverage Manager at UNE Life, Functions & Catering

While I took a little break away from work recently I thought I’d try something a little old fashioned to keep me occupied…relishes and preserves.

Now when I say old fashioned, I mean it’s just something that’s done as much as it used to be, pickling, preserving, jams and relishes used to be really common in the household kitchen, it was a great way to save excess produce and ensure that nothing went to waste. These days, we tend to lean more towards convenience, it makes sense, we are time poor and it’s just easier to buy the things we need. But if you have time and want that great feeling of satisfaction I suggest you give it a go!

So, my inspiration for this dish… A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be given this recipe by Mr Groth a resident of Boggabri. I feel very honoured and excited to be able to share it with you now! 😁 And, to prove its legitimacy, here’s a little pic of it from my fridge!

Mr Groth's Relsih, UNE Life, Functions and Catering Recipe

Note: I was able to gift Mr Groth a bottle of his relish last week and it received a big tick of approval. So you know it’s good. 🙌🏼

  • Eat relish (otherwise known as a sauce or pickle) with other food to enhance the flavour profile of the dish you’re cooking/eating. It helps to create a contrast in the dish’s flavour profile.
  • Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
  • Little jars of relish make really neat personalised gifts for friends and family (old school gifts)! They’ll think you’re awesome or… perhaps that have too much time on your hands. 😜


Makes around 10 medium-sized jars

  • 3kg tomatoes (or you can use a good quality tin tomato)
  • 3kg onions
  • 1kg raw sugar
  • 500ml white vinegar
  • 2tps of curry powder
  • 2tps of mustard powder
  • 1tps of turmeric
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Mr Groth's Relsih, UNE Life, Functions and Catering Recipe


  1. Peel and slice your tomatoes and onions.
  2. Sprinkle salt over the tomatoes and onions and leave overnight.
  3. The next morning, pour or drain off all the liquid from both the tomatoes and onions.
  4. Heat a little oil in a pot and add the onions, you want to let the onions caramelise on a low heat. Stirring occasionally to stop it burning on the bottom.
  5. Add the dry spices to the onion and stir through.
  6. Now add your tomatoes and sugar. The sugar will start to dissolve slowly.
  7. When the sugar has completely dissolved add the vinegar, making sure to stir through thoroughly, to get all the goodness from the bottom of the pot.
  8. Boil gently for one hour, you may notice a little film layer on the top of the liquid – you can remove this as it forms and continue to stir frequently
  9. Reduce the heat until your desired consistency reached (if it needs thickening you can add cornflour slurry).
  10. I used a stick blender to blitz it a little, just to even out the texture, but this is up to you – if you like the relish chunkier, its ready to go!
  11. Portion into your sterilised jars

Note: The relish has to be hot when it goes into the Jars.

Mr Groth's Relsih, UNE Life, Functions and Catering Recipe


To prevent contamination and lengthen the shelf life of homemade Relishes and Pickles, it’s important to sterilise jars or bottles before you bottle them up. Here’s how to do it (even if you bought new jars).

  • Dishwasher (the easiest way).
    Place jars, lids and rubber seals in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Remove and place onto a tray lined with a paper towel. Allow to air-dry or pat dry with a clean paper towel.
  • Oven
    Preheat the oven to 120C. Place upright jars and lids separately on a baking tray. Heat in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove jars and fill immediately with jam or other preserves.
  • Stovetop
    Place jars and lids in a deep saucepan over high heat. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes. Line a baking tray with a paper towel. Carefully remove the jars and place them on to the tray. Allow to air-dry or pat dry with a clean paper towel.


We want to see what your rel looks like, tag us @lifefunctionscatering and we will share them in our stories!

PS: If you’re in Armidale, don’t forget to drop into The Shop, we’ve just launched a little range of pickles, relishes, and jams which all go perfectly with this relish!