- Food and Cooking
A Sweet Bengali Tomato Chutney Recipe
Tomato Chutney is an Eastern Indian delicacy but its popularity has grown to make it one of the staple chutneys in most homes. While this is a regular home meal item, it's also popular in marriages and parties, and is a much sought after menu item after meals. It's chief ingredient, tomatoes, themselves are highly nutritious, rich in vitamins and useful for controlling blood pressure.
I have used paanch foran or the five s[ices blend which gives an immense flavor to the dish. The sugar you add is up to you, more if you like the chutney sweet and less, if you like it sour-er. Oh, and it's always a little better if you choose tomatoes that are red in color and avoid the ones with a lighter shade, as the color of the chutney looks best when it's red - it also cooks sooner as these red tomatoes are ripe compared to the others.
This really is a lip smacking dish, so let's look at the recipe for it now.
- 5 medium size tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp paanch foran (five spices blend - mustard, cumin, onion, fennel and fenugreek seeds)
- A pinch of turmeric powder
- A pinch of two of chilli powder
- A pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp ginger (grated)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 bay leaf
1. Cut the tomatoes into half inch cubes.
Instructions for cooking
1. Heat oil in a pan, add bay leaf and paanch foran and when they splutter, reduce the flame to slow-medium, and add ginger. Stir for a minute.
2. Add turmeric and chilli powder, then, your tomatoes, and stir fry for a minute or two and add salt to it. Cover the pan and cook this for a minute or two.
3. Then, remove the lid and add 1 cup of water to it. When it starts to boil, slow the flame and cover the pan and cook it for 10 minutes, or till the tomatoes get tender, at which point, the water would have been utilized in the cooking.
Note - As tomatoes should be tender, do NOT cook it on a high flame as this will evaporate the water and your tomatoes will, thus, not cook properly.
4. Now, add sugar to it. At first, it will melt and then the chutney will start to thicken we need to obtain a dense liquid for this chutney. Then, s witch off the flame.
Note - You may add more or less sugar according to your preference.
5. Your sweet and delicious Tomato Chutney is ready.
As a kid, the only chutney I use to have was the Dal and Ground Nut Chutney (with dosas and idlis), but as I grew up, I ventured into newer areas previously unexplored. I came across the Mint Chutney, then the peel-of-the Ridge Gourd chutney and when my culinary interests developed and matured, I tried my hand at the Green Mango and Tomato chutney. So, I can tell you, if you like flavors and exotic tastes, you too should venture into such wonderful territories. It's also easy to make and you can have it wrapped up quick enough.
I love this chutney owing to the wonderfully blended flavors of the tomatoes and sugar. It's usually served after meals in Eastern India but it can also be enjoyed during meals.
So try this out, and you will love it too, and enjoy.