I have just climbed Mt Cooroora. Before breakfast.

It’s only 4km return (that link lies) but it’s a volcanic plug that stands 485 metres. Most of the “walk” is a scramble up rocks, the odd bit of concrete step, 3 flights of metal stairs, and some extremely slippery shale. There’s a chain to hang on to for the worst bits, but it still breaks your balls.

They have a King of the Mountain Race every July. Participants start and finish in the township of Pomoma and so add on an extra 2 or 3 kms to the distance. The record is 22 minutes. 22 freaking minutes for a near vertical race. I am beyond impressed. It took us about 1 hour 45 minutes return.

Of course, then we came home and ate hash browns, fried eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and a huge plate of tropical fruit, so any virtue in mountain climbing before breakfast is overruled.

And then I made Tomato Kasundi.


50g fresh ginger, peeled
50g garlic cloves, peeled
2 green chillies, split and seeded
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika or chilli powder (or a combination)
1 tablespoon dry mustard
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup brown malt vinegar
1½ kg roma tomatoes wash and roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
1½ tablespoon salt

Blend ginger, garlic, chillies and onion to a paste in a blender.

Heat a large pot and add half of the oil and mustard seeds and fry until they ‘pop’. Add curry leaves and stir as you add them as they will splutter. Add the remaining spices and garlic and chilli paste and cook another minute or until fragrant.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour or until thick and ‘jammy’.

Spoon into sterilised jars with a layer of remaining oil on top. Cap and store — improves with age.

Now, if I could write something my day would be complete!