As a woman and a busy mum, I love tricks that make my life easy, stress free, easy cleaning and above all enjoy some good food. So I am always on the look out for and finding ways to make my cooking life easy. So this hack, I am going to share with you was picked up from my sister inlaw. About 11 years ago, when I was having my traditional marriage, my sister inlaw offered to do the catering. I thought wow, how’s she going to cook all the jollof, waakye plus waakye stew amongst all the other little bits of this and that all by herself and with a bit of help from my sister? But she nailed it and actually got all the food made on time and STRESS FREE! I was so amazed so I asked my sister, ‘how did you guys get the waakye stew fried so well in such a short amount of time.’ Her response was the hack I’m letting you in today.
Once I found this, I thought, why use it only for waakye stew! So I adopted it in my jollof recipe and other tomato based sauces when looking to have a rich with deep flavourful taste. Aside this, it shortens the cooking time and makes cleaning of my stove top so easy as there is no splatter of tomato stew everywhere. Also it can be done before hand, refrigerated or frozen and it becomes handy for easy and quick weekday meals.
So this is how I turn blended tomatoes into a paste for use in recipes such as waakye stew, jollof rice, pizza base etc. If you do find this hack useful, do let me know.
How to Simmer Tomatoes into Paste
- Plum Tomatoes or Fresh tomatoes (blended)
- Passata (optional)
- Baby Leaves
Use a heavy base pot, one that doesn’t burn easily. The pot should be deep enough to contain the amount of potatoes being simmered. There should be at least a third free space above the tomato blend, to allow room for bubbling when boiling.
Add the blended tomatoes, passata(if using), and bay leaves into the pot and start simmering. I prefer using plum tomatoes to chopped ones as they are much tastier.
When simmering, do not COVER or STIR. Just leave it on a gentle simmer and keep an eye on it to prevent it from burning. If the heat is too high, lower it. If you need to stir, just swirl the pot around but don’t stir.
Depending on the quantity of tomatoes being simmered and the size of the pot, your tomato paste could be ready within 20 minutes. Once done, use in your recipe or refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.