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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Hot-Sweet Tomato Chutney




The world of cooking is so beautiful in all its color and grandeur…it is wonderful. J
Condiments form a very special part of whatever small and big things we have learnt about cooking so far. Over the years we have used them to complete a meal, hide silly mistakes which got made while trying out new recipes, make an “ok” dish taste delicious…and of course to enjoy that tangy-sweet-savory-hot twist that makes everything from French fries to satays taste perfect. J
This gorgeous red chutney was the very first condiment we made over a decade ago.We have experimented with the basic recipe(learnt from our mum) by using  various spices and tempering. Finally,this is the result we love ….a glossy,sweet chutney with a punch from chilies and infused with aromatic spices. J
The natural tang from tomatoes balances this chutney’s hot-sweet flavors well…so we don’t use any additional souring  ingredient.
For best results…use fresh,red-ripe tomatoes and let this chutney cool down completely to room temperature before tasting. It is far better if you let this chutney sit for an hour or two…the patience pays off and you get to relish an irresistible condiment. J

Serves : 4

Ingredients Required :

2 cups finely chopped ripe tomatoes

2-3 hot green chilies stalks removed & slit/halved (number of chilies vary as per preference)

1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds (sabut rai)

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (sabut jeera)

1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds (sabut shahi jeera)

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi beej)

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds (sabut saunf)

1/4 teaspoon asfoetida powder (pisi hing)

1/3 teaspoon turmeric powder (pisi haldi)

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (pisi lal mirch)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder (pisi dalchini)

1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder (pisa bhuna jeera; click here for the recipe)

1/3 teaspoon salt (varies according to taste)

6 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cooking oil (preferably mustard oil)

Process :

Heat oil in a wok/skillet. Add (mustard+cumin+caraway+fenugreek+fennel) seeds and asoeftida powder. Stir for a second.

                                       tempering spices

As the seeds start crackling,turn heat to medium and add slit/halved green chilies.

                                       added slit green chilies

Give a stir and add chopped tomatoes.

                                       added chopped tomatoes

Stir and cook tomatoes to coat them well with oil.

                                       stirred to coat with oil

Next add salt…mix and turn heat to high.

                                       added salt and stirred

Stir in between and continue cooking tomatoes…after about 2 minutes they start getting soft and release moisture.

                                       tomatoes soften and release moisture

Then,add turmeric powder,red chili powder,roasted cumin powder and cinnamon powder.

                                       added spice powders

Stir occasionally and cook mixture for about 4 minutes or till tomatoes completely mushy and flavors well blended. By this time the tomato mixture looses moisture and thickens.

                                       stirred and cooked

Next, add sugar and stir to mix.

                                       added sugar 

Turn heat to high and let mixture start boiling….then lower heat..give a stir and let mixture simmer for another 4-5 minutes till slightly thick.

                                         simmer cooked                                        


Turn off heat and let cool down to room temperature before serving.

When stored in a clean,dry and airtight container…this chutney can be refrigerated for a week.


A From The Blogger’s Keyboard

ü Stir tempering seeds and asoeftida powder after adding into hot oil. This helps release their aroma.

ü As the seeds start crackling…heat is reduced to prevent over cooking.

ü Green chilies are slit/halved before adding into oil to prevent them from popping out of pan.

ü The number of green chilies varies as per preference. You can spoon them out just before serving the chutney.

ü Tomatoes are best chopped finely…this helps in achieving a mushy texture required during cooking quickly.

ü Salt is added after adding tomatoes…it adds flavor and aids the cooking process.

ü Stir occasionally as the chutney cooks for promoting even cooking.

ü After spice powders are added into the chutney…stir to mix well.

ü Let tomatoes cook till soft, mushy and mixture thicken before adding sugar.

ü After adding sugar the mixture thins down. As it starts boiling…turn heat to low and let simmer cook till consistency thickens slightly.

ü This chutney tastes best only when it is cooled down to room temperature…great if it sits for few hours before serving.

Happy Cooking & Have A Beautiful Day!!! J

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