How to Make Tomato Puree at Home, Quick & Easy

I don't like purchasing certain items from stores that I can make at home without preservatives.  And Alok doesn't like my habit of making things at home and freezing them.

What do I freeze?
c) paneer, corn kernels, and mint leaves;
d) fruits/vegetables about to rot;
e) tomato purée, such as in this post;
f) a lot of other things.

tomatoes

You can definitely use store bought tomato purée in your cooking, but if you want to know how to make tomato purée at home and freeze it, continue to read.  Especially if your tomatoes are turning very soft and are about to rot, or you bought tons of tomatoes on sale, or you don't know what to do with extra tomatoes.  Basically, just read on  =)

cook (blanch) tomatoes in boiling water
Step 1: cook (blanch) tomatoes in boiling water
Step 1:  Wash tomatoes and dunk them in boiling water on medium heat.  I like to hull the tomatoes: removing the green part on top with a regular knife.  It's easier to do it before than after boiling.  Number of tomatoes?  As many or few.  Quantity of water?  Just enough to cover the tomatoes.  Covering with lid makes it faster, not covering it doesn't make any difference.

blanch tomatoes to make tomato puree at home
Step 2: switch off heat when tomato softens
Step 2:  When you start to see the cracks or skin on tomatoes almost coming off, switch off heat.  Drain water, keep tomatoes aside until they reach room temperature.  Why wait until tomatoes cool down?  Just so your fingers can handle, and that your blender blade doesn't spoil because of hot tomatoes.  Rest is up to you.

{update: Vishakha adds a great tip - "If I am running out of time, I sometimes take the blanched tomatoes and put them in cold water (tap water + ice cubes)".
Anisha shares her method - "I don't usually cook the tomatoes just give them a shock treatment. 1 minute in boiling hot water and then place it in cold water. Putting a small cross with knife on the skin of the tomato makes peeling the skin off easier."}

Spusht | to make tomato puree churn tender blanched tomatoes in processor
Step 3: churn in processor
Step 3:  Peel the skin or leave them on like I did.  Then randomly cut them, churn in blender until smooth.  Don't need to add extra water to blend, tomato has enough of its own.  Then, you can choose to strain the puree and discard seeds.  Or if you've churned it as good and as long as I have, there are no visible seeds.  Here, you can either use this fresh homemade tomato purée in your cooking, or continue to freeze.

freeze tomato puree in small quantities
Step 4: freeze
Step 4:  Measure in tablespoons and freeze in ice cube tray, or in ½ cup to 1 cup quantities like I do.  It will be easier to use them in recipe later if your tomato purée is measured beforehand.  I froze them in bowls, covered with plastic wrap.  Next day, I kept the bowls out for 5 minutes and transferred frozen purée to ziploc bag, stacking one over another to save space in freezer.  Done.

You can thaw the tomato purée at room temperature before using in cooking.  Or how I used the frozen tomato purée in a rush in my green moong dal recipe.

Do you freeze?  What do you freeze?

32 comments:

  1. What an informative post for a newbie! I wish I was younger! Didn't have all this info so readily available when I needed it most!:) I am sure your posts are very helpful to a lot of people out there. Great job Nisha!
    There is only one point that I would like to add. If I am running out of time, I sometimes take the blanched tomatoes and put them in cold water (tap water + ice cubes). I do everything else in the same way.

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    1. Thank you Vishakha! Because of learning everything from scratch on my own after marriage, I have been wanting to make cooking become easier for other beginners.

      Oh good. I'm going to add your input and update the post, thanks!!

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  2. Very useful post..waiting for some more:)

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    1. Thanks Anjana, which more posts & topics would you like to read about? :)

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  3. my mom generally does this at the end of winter as she gets a lot of tomatoes fom her garden during that time. I never tried this but it seems easy to do at the start of the month. very useful post Nisha.

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    1. That's great!
      It is pretty easy and convenient, if you ask me. A lazy girl like me prefers doing all the work on one day and relax the rest of the month :P

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  4. I freeze everything! The only difference is that I freeze foods that other people make for me. :)

    This is a great post...I too love things free of additives and preservatives.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, if only Alok weren't so finicky about frozen food ... :)

      Thanks Ameena!

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  5. very simple recipe :) looks easy to do :)

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  6. great tip Nisha!!! my mom freezes and gave me the same technique for all her masalas... with onion, tomato, ginger and garlic.. and then she adds a cube or 2 as need be. I personally don't freeze since I cook a couple days a week, I do most of my cooking on Sunday and I guess I'm looking forward to doing it all, but this is a great tip that comes in handy when cooking often and when you have a big family. :-)

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    1. Good mom. All the moms should teach their girls techniques that make life easier :D

      And thanks Nisha :) I'm cooking fresh meals everyday (though with some frozen ingredients :P), but basic stuff like this really helps even for only the two of us! Partly coz of my laziness.. :P

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  7. This is great...I usually make my own puree... now that I have taken over the Kitchen I too prefer doing things on one day and take it easy other days... freezing puree is a great idea!

    I don't usually cook the tomatoes just give them a shock treatment. 1 minute in boiling hot water and then place it in cold water. Putting a small cross with knife on the skin of the tomato makes peeling the skin off easier. i'm pretty lazy about this but removing the skin and seeds actually makes a marked difference to the flavour of the final curry, especially if you are using large amount of tomato.

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    Replies
    1. For once I could remove skin but removing seeds is such a pain when tomato becomes soft after blanching. I think it's easier to handle tomatoes after your 'shock treatment'. I'm going to add your input and update the post, thanks Anisha :)

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  8. Nisha, Nice post,

    I make my own puree whenever possible. But not tried anything freezing. I haven't get that much time.

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    1. Thanks Swathi, freezing is so much quicker than making it, I'm sure you'd have that much time! :)

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  9. Hi Nisha first time here! You have a gr8 blog with interesting recipes. The tips are so good. Glad to follow you do visit my space in ur free time.

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    1. Thanks and welcome, Supriya :)

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  10. i use a lot of tomato puree in my cooking.. but i dont remove skin.. just blend it into smooth puree and use.. have never frozen .. i always use fresh..

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    1. Good thing you use it fresh, and, are not lazy like me :P

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    2. if i feeze a lot of stuff.. my fridge will be out of space!! but sometimes i feel like having some frozen stuff.. thse will come in handy when i am lazy and hate entering teh kitchen,..:

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  11. wow..really good write up....nice step wise clicks with full instructions...good post..liked it..and thanks for visiting my blog and for ur lovely comment..keep in touch...

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    1. Many thanks, and you're welcome, Chitra :)

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  12. Naaice one!! I am usually lazy & just grind raw tomatoes to a nice puree! :D And it works, most times! But I'm gonna try this version to make an Italian sauce soon! Shall let you know how it goes.. By the looks of it, awesome!!

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    1. Thanks Kavi. I do that when I'm mostly lazy too, but yep, it depends what you use it for, sometimes just grinding raw tomatoes suffices, sometimes it requires the boiling and grinding :)

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  13. I think making stuff at home is so much more better than buying cans. Of course the latter is convenient but with a little planning so can making it at home be. Lovely instructions!

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    1. I agree with you :)
      Thanks for dropping by, Shumaila!

      Delete
  14. Hey nice post and very useful, I also make tomato puree sometimes and freeze in the form of ice cubes, it's so handy while making gravy for curries. Loved the color of tomatoes :).

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    1. Yep, better than running to grocery store when cooking the unplanned curries and gravies!
      Thanks Anamika :)

      Delete
  15. Great!when tomatoes are about to turn into unusable condition I make puree and froze it. It is very handy.Apart from this I fried some onions along with pinch of salt and cashews and made it as onion paste and froze it. It was quite easy to make gravies.

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  16. hi..for how long can we use this puree

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