SOUTHERN CHA CHA RELISH RECIPE
This Southern Cha Cha relish recipe makes a condiment that was first popular in the 1800's in the Southern states. Probably just as popular today if not more so.
Cha Cha is unique in that it may be made in a wide variety of ways with significantly different ingredients. This is a basic recipe that may be revised to fit your own taste. You can make it hot and spicy or sweet and mild with this recipe.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 mins
Yield: 1 1/2 pints
Ingredients:- 4 cups cabbage, grated
- 4 cups green tomatoes, chopped (you can substitute red tomatoes)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon pickling spice (see note 3 below to make your own)
- 1/3 tablespoon dried dill weed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup vinegar (add an additional 2 tablespoons vinegar if using red tomatoes)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Tabasco Sauce or jalapeno pepper (optional - see note below)
- 1 cup water IF NEEDED (see note in step 1)
Instructions:1. Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. NOTE: the cha cha depends on the tomatoes for liquid. Some tomatoes may have insufficient liquid so if the cha cha seems too dry, add 1 cup water.
2. Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently.
3. Cool and store in refrigerator if you intend to consume within days. If you do not expect to consume soon, place hot relish in sterilized canning jar and process in a boiling water bath 10-15 minutes. If processed in this manner you do not need to refrigerator until opened.
1. If you like hot and spicy Cha Cha, add 1-2 tbsp. Tabasco Sauce or 1 chopped jalapeno pepper (to taste) to the above recipe.
2. Traditional Cha Cha is made with green tomatoes. We prefer red since they are more available. You can also substitute Mexican tomatillo, which are generally available most of the year in large supermarkets.
Serve Cha Cha with any meat or vegetable. Very good with Fried Pork Chops.
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