24 July 2016

The VegHog's Tomato Festival 2016 Round Up

I can proudly announce the end to this year's Tomato Festival. This week has been full of cooking with tomatoes for me and without a doubt, the tomato cooking will continue. Sometimes posting daily can be quite challenging, but I somehow managed, and you can find my tomato recipes in the sidebar on the right hand side. Rather than talking about my cooking, I want to dedicate this post to the wonderful contributions that I received through several different channels. I am very grateful for each and every contact. Thank you so much for being part of the Tomato Festival again this year!

So let's start with the contributions. I received a lovely email and recipe from a reader called Vegan Rob. He sent me a vegan tomato curry recipe that sounds so tasty! He also attached a picture of the dish to the email and he wrote:

“Hello Veghog

I often read your excellent blog to get recipe ideas. Even though I don't blog myself I thought I'd share my recipe for vegan tomato curry with you for your tomato festival. It's not a very precise recipe, but it should work anyway!

You will need:
Tomatoes (I used 12 medium vine tomatoes, each about 4-5cm in diameter, chopped into 8 pieces)
Chickpeas, about 250-300g, cooked beforehand, or 1 can
2 large onions
Fresh coriander leaves
Tomato puree
5 cloves of garlic
A chili pepper
A thumb sized piece of ginger
Vegetable oil
Bay leaves

Fry 2 large onions in a little vegetable oil on a medium heat until they are caramelised and deep brown. Add a pinch or two of salt to help draw the moisture out of the onions. Be careful not to burn the onions, you'll want to fry in a large heavy pan with a lid and stir every few minutes. This might take anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour.

When the onions are done, add about 5 cloves of garlic, a medium sized chili and a thumb sized piece of ginger, all finely chopped. Fry for a further 2 minutes, with stirring. Add another splash of oil if the mixture looks a little dry.

Add some garam masala and fry for a further minute. I made my from the seeds from a single green coriander pod, 3 cloves and a level teaspoon each of coriander seeds, ground cumin and onion seeds. All these components should be ground before use, and rather than precook the mix it worked fine just frying it with the other ingredients.

Add a teaspoon each of ground turmeric, fry for a further 30 seconds then add the tomatoes and chick peas. The tomatoes will start to release their juices, but add a little water so most of the mix in the pan is covered. Add two bay leaves, remove these just before serving. Reduce to a low heat so the mixture boils, and reduce for at least 30 minutes.

About ten minutes before serving, taste and add enough tomato puree to get the colour and taste correct. This might be one or more tablespoons. Also add a teaspoon or so of smoky paprika and check for seasoning and spicing.

Add a generous amount of roughly chopped coriander leaves just before serving. I served the curry on its own, but it would work well with rice or breads.

I hope you like the recipe, keep up the good work!

Vegan Rob”

Thank you so much for your contribution, Rob! I really have to try this recipe soon!

I also received some posts from fellow vegetarian food bloggers.

Shaheen posted another vegan recipe for Ramiro Pepper and Harissa Tomato Potatoes with Black Pudding. This dish is nice looking and vibrantly red. It's made with new potatoes, tomatoes and red pepper and spiced with harissa. I'm very curious about the vegan black pudding that Shaheen served the dish with. Maybe I'm brave enough to taste it one day to find out what it tastes like. I have seen it in my local health food shop and Shaheen has shared several recipes with it.

Laura shared two tomato recipes from her blog archives, a tomato sauce for preserving and tomato koftas. A homemade tomato sauce for preserving is a very nice and useful idea. I hope I'd have the time to make some this year. The tomato koftas also sound very delicious, chopped tomatoes are made into a mixture with herbs and then fried until golden brown. This would be a very nice summer snack with a dip.

Then I received pictures of homegrown tomato plants in Twitter from Valeria Valo (@ValeriaValo) and I thought it would be nice to share them with the Tomato Festival, as they fitted the theme so well. She is growing her tomato plants in my home country Finland and wanted to share the progress of the plants. She is growing jersey, beefsteak and roma tomato variations. The vines are looking very good and I'm sure that she will have a wonderful crops.

Thank you again so much everyone!

Your VegHog


  1. Lovely round up - I really love the sound of your tomato festival but it just happens in the wrong season for us - though we are still buying occasional tomatoes esp because sylvia loves them even though they are out of season but not like we do in summer. I am off now to catch up on some tomato dishes here that I missed!

    1. I'm glad you like it, but it really is a shame with the different seasons.

  2. That was such a nice tomato festival full of lovely recipes that you cooked , well done

    1. Thank you so much Laura and thank you also for sharing your recipes! I would really want to try both of them!


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