Make Tomato Paste at home! In Turkish cuisine, it is one of the essential ingredients.

It is easier then you might think of making it at home. With this technique, you don’t have to peel tomatoes. If you are living in a hot dry climate as in some parts of Turkey, you can make your tomato paste in the sun too…

plum tomatoes

Ingredients for tomato paste:

  • 5 kg. plum tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp rock salt
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • a colander
  • preferable hand blender or food processor to puree the tomatoes or you can do it by hand to


Got 900gr. tomato paste from 5 kg. tomatoes


  1. Wash and take out the bad parts of the tomatoes if there is any.
  2. Cut them in four. Separate them into two parts for easy handling and put it on a colander.
  3. Sprinkle 2 tbsp rock salt on each and mix it with hand. Let it sit for about 5-6 hours. You will see a clear juice coming from the tomatoes and drain under the colander. This way it will reduce the cooking time to become a paste.
  4. Transfer the tomatoes to a big wide pan and cook on low heat, stirring it from time to time. Cook about 15 minutes until they are soft.
  5. Using a strong hand blender or food processor process to tomatoes to make a puree. Now we have to strain the puree to get rid of all the seeds and the skin. Use a big colander like in the video and strain by helping with your palm or back of a measuring cup or such.
  6. Cook the strained tomato puree on very low heat, stirring from time to time. It takes about 5-6 hours to become a paste. You can do this part the other day too if you don’t have time or if its already a night 🙂
  7. Add about 2 tbsp olive oil and taste the paste: it should be saltier than regular dishes since it will also help to keep the puree fresh.
  8. Transfer your paste to a clean, boiled, and dried jar and cover the top of the tomato paste with olive oil to seal it from the air so it doesn’t form a mold. In total, I got about 900gr. tomato paste from 5 kg. tomatoes. Keep it in the refrigerator and after each use, cover the rest with olive oil…
Cooked tomato paste

You can use your tomato paste in many Turkish dishes such this one: Turkish Stuffed Eggplant “Karniyarik”

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  1. Merhaba,

    Your website is very nicely prepared with the same thoughtful care that you have demonstrated with your videos. Pardon me (because you have access to more experienced professionals) but I would strongly recommend that you take some additional steps in securing your web site for inadvertent or malicious errors.

    Thank you again for helping us with our understanding of Turkish culture.

    1. Hi, thank you so much. Actually, I’ve had hard times and problems with my Turkish website too before. Hopefully, it won’t happen this time. I do it on my own and sometimes it can be challenging. Did you see any error or security issues?

  2. Aysenur, can we use a food mill for this recipe?
    Or, if the blender is powerful, do we have to use a food mill at all?

    1. Food mill might work better, as ı have seen they use it in the southeast part of Turkey when they make it in big batches. For blender, It might not work for skins and seeds. If the paste doesn’t look like a pure you might need to strain it again

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