I am quite amazed at how time flies.
This tomato chutney was photographed on January end. And we are into the end of February already.
Yes, I’ve been happily busy with recipes and photographs and, more recipes and photographs as seen here.
But alas, I hardly find the time to sit down for a blog post. And whenever I do find a bit of breathing space, I’m hardly in the mood to write. And when I have enough of both, I’m simply lost for words.
Such has been my life lately.
Er, not to mention the unwritten emails scandalously piling up, and the even busier state of disarray at home.
I wish, I wish… oh how I wish, the fairy godmother came to my rescue with her magic wand.
Anyways, today I decided to pull myself together and jot down something—anything, to be honest—to go with this beautiful condiment recipe and set of photographs.
Chutney is one of those condiments that is so widely loved that it graces our dinning table on a fairly regular basis. Well, if you are from the Indian subcontinent, you know what I am saying—right?
With a riotous mix of color and character, ranging form the red tomato chutney and white coconut chutney to the green mango chutney or fiery dry chili chutney, it takes on different avatars, and transforms a simple platter of dish to wonderfully flavorful heights.
When I flipped through the stunningly delicious pages of Hari Nayak’s My Indian Kitchen—a beautiful cookbook added to my quickly expanding possession a while back—the chutney recipes stood out instantly.
What lured me to this particular recipe is that it is different from all the tomato chutneys I regularly do at home, plus it has a south Indian touch with the use of mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chili for tempering. And never hurts to have one more tomato chutney recipe, right?
Packed with great flavor, and of course the phenomenal tang of chutney, it is spicy, but subtly so. My family loved this version, and I’m definitely making it again.
Don't lose heart by looking at the little long list of ingredients. It is pretty easy to make, and the preparation is simple.
Just as the mustard seeds dance to the temper of hot oil—you know, I’m always fascinated by this—minced vegetables and freshly ground whole spices are added, filling the kitchen with an appetizing aroma. After few minutes of stir-frying, the chopped tomatoes together with a bit of tomato paste and vinegar are thrown in, and then the wonderful mix of flavors are left alone for a few minutes to simmer away to aromatic deliciousness.
No kitchen should be without the versatile tomato chutney. This ubiquitous Indian condiment goes well with almost anything—be it crisp bits of pappadam, chunks of bread, burgers, or grilled food. It is also amazingly good as a pizza topping, dipping for baked potatoes, or spread in savory sandwiches. For more options, serve with crackers, samosas, use as filling in burrito, or toss with pasta.
Did you know that the vibrant red tomato is loaded with antioxidant lycopene, and cooking tomatoes in olive oil increases the absorption of this antioxidant? So pack more hero food into you diet by making a jar of tomato chutney and using it as a relish to go with meals. Or simply make a jar, seal with love, and give away as a gift to someone you know loves Indian food.
Hmm, not much more to say. So pull out your mason jar, and get to work!
Recipe source: here
Makes about 1 cup
Prep+cooking: 30 min
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
3 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil)
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
1 spring curry leaves, torn
2 dried red chili, broken into half
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 small red onion, minced
½ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
½ cup water
salt, to taste
Grind coriander, cumin and peppercorns to a fine powder in a spice or coffee grinder. Set aside.
Heat oil in a wok or deep non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add mustard seeds and cook until seeds crackle. Add curry leaves, dried red chili, garlic, and toss well for 15 seconds. Stir in onion and cook for a minute. Tip in paprika, ground spices and salt, and cook, stirring continuously for 2 more minutes.
Add chopped tomato, tomato paste, vinegar and water, and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes, until chutney is thick and fragrant. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve hot or cold. Once cool, store in an airtight sterilized jars in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Tastes even better with age—it’s a promise.
So until next time, hope you enjoy every bit of this beautiful season before it slips away.