Friday, February 23, 2007

Red Tomato Chutney

I had recently made Green tomato chutney, and now, the everyday Red tomato found itself in this form! A few months ago, we had a pot luck, where my friend B, made this version of chutney. When I first tasted this chutney, I was amazed at the all new taste... I had never eaten something like this.... it was a blend of tomatoes, with something sweet (dates, which I first thoughtwas tamarind- jaggery! ), then the spicy red chilly reared its head in between, then again I found myself biting into fennel.... two - three helpings later I was still longing for more, but delicacy forbade me to pig out! Also telling myself that, looks, she's just a phone call away... get the recipe and make your own chutney!
Now B hails from Orissa and told me that this is a very common everyday preparation back home.... just like I would make 'Lasun chutney' back in Maharashtra! So a few weeks ago B and I spoke and I took down the recipe. But making it and blogging about it took a while. In fact, I made a mistake, I replaced the dates (as I had no stock of these at home) in the recipe with tamarind - jaggery... big mistake!! the taste was NO WHERE close to the original version and I was disappointed... and as always when a fiasco like this happens, I sit tight for a while, musing over it, till the urge to give it one more shot nags me.
Apart from that, I have this bad habit of scribbling on 'pages' which find themselves in my easy grasp when on the phone, but annoyingly disappear when I actively hunt for them and reappear when I least expect and the places where 'I swear' I did not keep it in.
So anyway, this 'page' with the tomato chutney scribbled on it with various other things among a few telephone numbers and doodles and my name in various fonts, found itself cadging for my attention once again.

Firstly, the Origin of this recipe is Orissa / Bengal. They use 'Panch Phoron' which is a mix of equal parts whole cumin (jeera), fennel(saunf), fenugreek(methi seeds), nigella(kalonji), and mustard seeds (rai). Looks like this
pic source :Google search

These 5 different tastes blend to give the chutney a twist in the taste!
For the Chutney, you need:

4 Tomatoes ( Medium size)
4 no. Dates

1 Tbsp Oil

1/2 tsp Panch Phoron

1 Dry Red chilly

Few curry leaves
1/4 tsp. Turmeric
Sugar (to taste, I used 1 tsp.)
Salt to taste

For Garnish:

1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds
2-3 Dry red chilies (+/- to taste)

Do the preparation. Assemble all the ingredients
Chop the tomatoes.
Heat oil.
Add the Panch Phoron.
After it sizzles , pops, sputters, add the red chilly and curry leaves and saute for half a minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well.
Add the turmeric and salt. Cook till soft.
Add the dates and sugar. Mix and cook fo a couple of mins (till the dates soften)

For the Garnishing:
DRY roast the cumin and red chilly.
Cool and grind it or pound, using a mortar and pestle to a rough powder.
Add this to the chutney after it is fully cooked.

Serve as an accompaniment to daal-rice, roti - subzi.

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