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Tomato Chutney


Suvir Saran
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Tomato Chutney

I have missed this chutney for the longest of time. Growing up in Delhi, my sisters best friend in school was from the South. (Andhra Pradesh to be precise. Andhra is most famous for their pickles and chutneys). Her mother would make the best tomato chutney. A couple of years ago, experimenting with some really ripe tomatoes and relying on my memory, I came up with the recipe. It really tastes like Durgas mothers recipe. I now make it all the time. And in fact, when tomatoes are in season and ripe and bursting with flavor and juice, I make a lot of this chutney, can it and give it out as gifts to friends when visiting them. It is a fiery chutney for most palates. But those that are familiar with Andhra pickles and chutneys will find it just average.

I love the chutney with fenugreek seeds, they add a slight bitterness to the chutney that I love. If you are not a fan of bitter tastes, avoid using it.

8 pounds very ripe beefsteak tomatoes, chopped finely

1 1/2 cup canola oil

40 fresh curry leaves

16 whole dried red chiles

2 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, optional

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoon cayenne (half if you want a milder chutney)

2 tablespoon coriander seed powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon sambhaar powder

2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon asafetida

1 6 oz. can of tomato paste

3 tablespoon salt, or more to taste

1. Pour the oil in a large sauce pot, enough to hold the tomatoes and then some. It is important that the pot be deep, as the chutney will simmer a long while and will splatter otherwise all over your stove and counter.

2. Measure out all the dried spices other than the asafetida into a bowl and set aside.

3. In the oil add the curry leaves, whole red chiles, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds if using. Fry over a medium high flame for 3 minutes or until the chiles are a nice dark color and the cumin are a nice golden brown.

4. Now add the asafetida and fry for half a minute. Add the dried spices and fry for barely half a minute and add the chopped tomatoes. Add the salt and sugar. Stir well and cook on this medium high flame for an hour and a half or until the oil has separated and the chutney begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.

5. Fill the chutney into 10 sterilized half-pint jars and process as per manufacturers instructions for 20 minutes.

6. Cool, check for seal, label and store.

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I just finished making a batch with 8 pounds of tomatoes. I had bought two, 10 pound flats from the farmers market. An angel that posts on this site was kind enough to give me great really ripe beefsteak tomatoes. The chutney is really delicious. I just finished canning it.

Now I will make the next batch.

With the leftover 4 pounds of tomatoes I made us pasta sauce and dinner for tonight.

I urge any of you chutney fans to make this while you can find flavorful and ripe tomatoes. You will not find many tomato chutney recipes that are as good as the recipe above. It is authentic, easy and delicious.

It is also very versatile in its use. And a great gift to take to friends.

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4. Now add the asafetida and fry for half a minute.  Add the dried spices and fry for barely half a minute and add the chopped tomatoes. Add the salt and sugar.  Stir well and cook on this medium high flame for an hour and a half or until the oil has separated and the chutney begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add the tomato paste with the salt and sugar.

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I was about to make this chutney but then I realized that instead of schlepping down to the Greenmarket, slaving away in the kitchen, and canning it, I could just have you send me over a couple of jars. Throw in some of the pasta sauce too while you're at it.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I was about to make this chutney but then I realized that instead of schlepping down to the Greenmarket, slaving away in the kitchen, and canning it, I could just have you send me over a couple of jars. Throw in some of the pasta sauce too while you're at it.

Yes Master! :unsure:

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I use this chutney as a condiment most often when having people over for a formal dinner.

My friend Viraj flies in from Geneva twice a year to come stay with me and eat home cooked food for a week. This is one of the few things that he must eat and take back with him to Geneva.

In the south people eat this chutney with rice and to the rice they add some ghee. They knead (you can mix with a fork) the chutney into the rice with their fingers and eat it by itself. It is amazing. Some will have yogurt on the side to cool their palate.

I will often use it as a base and add some milk and heavy cream to it and make a spicy sauce. I barely bring this sauce to a boil and then leave it at room temperature. I then either boil baby whole potatoes that I toss into this sauce or boil eggs, half them and sauté them quickly and then put these into this sauce to make some curried eggs. You can also add fresh flash stir-fried corn into this sauce to make a corn curry.

You can add this chutney into a little oil that has curry leaves in it. To this chutney-oil mix add very finely chopped cauliflower and some green chilies and cook to required softness. Serve garnished with cilantro as a Gobi (cauliflower) kee sabzi.

I add the chutney into mayo to make a dipping sauce for different uses.

A little of this chutney added into hung yogurt or cream cheese makes for a great dip to be enjoyed with terra chips.

Added to mashed potatoes, it makes them magical and addictive even beyond their much-celebrated appeal.

I slather it onto toast and top the toast with avocado slices and sel de mer. Fantastic and yet so simple.

Make tea sandwiches with cucumber, fresh tomatoes, boiled sliced potatoes and this chutney. Amazing.

Add some of this chutney into yogurt, whisk well and add some champagne grapes and serve as a raita or salad alongside your favorite Indian dishes.

Add the chutney to sautéed red onions and mix well. Make your own special omelette with this stuffing.

The options are unlimited and it makes for a perfect gift to bring to friends and family.

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This chutney is sublime. It would be even if making it hadn't been such a pleasure. An adventure too, since this was my first attempt at canning anything.

The preparations were part of the fun. At Suvir’s recommendation, I went to Foods of India for the spices I didn’t have on hand; then to Zabar’s for 1/2 pint canning jars. I also picked up a canning kit with a wide-mouthed funnel, a jar lifter and a few other toys I didn’t get to use this time.

The mise en place was also a joy. The spices are so beautiful! I’ve tasted fenugreek and curry leaves but never cooked with them; the aroma after the leaves hit the hot oil is one of the best kitchen smells ever.

I was conservative with the cayenne, and needn’t have been; with 1 Tbs the chutney has a warm glow but I'd like more heat. I’ll also cook it less next time: due to various distractions, I let the chutney simmer for 2.5 hours, and think I prefer how it tasted at just 2 hours - all the spices came together, but you could tell each was there. Longer-cooked, the flavor is roastier and more intense. Actually, I like both. And my kitchen smelled incredible throughout.

Shortly before the moment of truth, I realized that the turkey roaster I planned to use for processing wasn’t deep enough. So I improvised with 2 big stockpots, bumbling through the choreography of sterilizing, lifting, filling, lidding, etc. By the end I was pretty efficient, and I found the whole process enormously satisfying.

I checked numerous sources for canning instructions. They were all different, no surprise. Sterilize the jars, says one expert. Don’t bother if the filled jars will be processed for more than 10 minutes, says another. Leave them in the water to cool. Remove them immediately and let them cool on a board or towel. Etc. I doubtless overcompensated, sterilizing everything for 10 minutes and then processing for 20. After I took the jars out of their water bath, each one went ‘pop’ as the vacuum seal happened. So I don’t think I’ll make anyone sick.

This morning I spread some chutney on a warm pita for breakfast. It’s outstanding, and very beautiful with its black mustard seeds suspended in burnished red.

Now all I have to do is decide who’s been good enough to deserve a jar of this marvel – and plan my next canning adventure.

Many, many thanks to Suvir for posting his gorgeous recipe, encouraging me to try it, and holding my hand throughout.

:wub::wub::wub:

Edit: I started with eight pounds of ripe red beefsteaks, and ended up with eight half-pint jars. Do try this! It's very easy to make, and utterly absolutely delicious.

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My apologies to anyone that has printed the chutney recipe before today. Please correct the sugar quantity from the unedited recipe from before. The sugar should be only 1/3 cup for 8 pounds of tomatoes.

Cathy, my apologies to you for not having caught this mistake before you canned the chutney. I hope you will make it again and taste it in its less sweet incarnation.

I will make several batches before the summer ends. It is a favorite of all our friends and family. I can never make enough. Friends are asking me to start selling these jars. Not sure I will ever do that.

Please print the recipe above, it is now accurate. Again, my apologies for any trouble this has caused you.

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Cathy, my apologies to you for not having caught this mistake before you canned the chutney.  I hope you will make it again and taste it in its less sweet incarnation.

Suvir, it's still scrumptious! I'll certainly be making it again before tomato season ends, and will be interested in the difference.

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OK. I made Suvir's Tomato Chutney too, today. CathyL is correct. It is...heavenly!

All the provided good-sounding use suggestions, plus others spontaneously occurring, swirl through one's mind upon tasting. It is one of the best things ever ever ever. Thank you Suvir!

And thank you, CathyL, I enjoyed reading your preparation story so much.

(I started with slightly more than 8 lbs. big old Brandywines from my garden and ended up with 8 half-pints, plus a little lagniappe for the fridge.)

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Priscilla, that's kind - thanks. I'm glad you enjoy this as much as I do! Please post some of your ideas on how to use it. I've done nothing inspired so far, but it's marvelous with poached shrimp. Suvir's cauliflower suggestion is next, I think.

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OK.  I made Suvir's Tomato Chutney too, today.  CathyL is correct.  It is...heavenly!

All the provided good-sounding use suggestions, plus others spontaneously occurring, swirl through one's mind upon tasting.  It is one of the best things ever ever ever.  Thank you Suvir!

And thank you, CathyL, I enjoyed reading your preparation story so much.

(I started with slightly more than 8 lbs. big old Brandywines from my garden and ended up with 8 half-pints, plus a little lagniappe for the fridge.)

Wow! This is impressive. We have two people that have already made this chutney.... It is exciting.

I loved Cathy L's post on the preparation. It inspired me to continue canning things. Thanks Cathy L for taking the time to post.

Priscilla, thanks for sharing your own efforts with us. Tell us more. :wink:

You sure are lucky to be able grow such a big yield of tomatoes in your own garden. I am jealous! :angry:

What other stuff do you have growing? Maybe we can give you more recipes to play with and do canning with.

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Priscilla, that's kind - thanks.  I'm glad you enjoy this as much as I do!  Please post some of your ideas on how to use it.  I've done nothing inspired so far, but it's marvelous with poached shrimp.  Suvir's cauliflower suggestion is next, I think.

Cathy L,

Would you tell us more about this shrimp dish you prepared? How did you prepare it.. how did you serve it? What did you do with the sauce... What did you eat it with?

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CathyL, yes, the cauliflower is appealing. I think it might be the milk-cream-chutney-h.b. egg idea for me next.

What came to mind upon tasting the almost-finished tomato chutney will probably seem quite downmarket or at least homely, but so be it: I thought, (and turns out I was correct!) of an austere rye cracker (that'd be Finn Crisp, in our house) topped with cream cheese or soft goat cheese and a nice stripe of lovely tomato chutney. I warned you; nothing fancy.

But just the sort of thing a couple of people could sit up late with, happily polishing off a bottle of wine.

Another thing I have growing, Suvir, is pattypan or cymling squash. Is there much use of summer squash in Indian cuisine?

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Cathy L,

Would you tell us more about this shrimp dish you prepared?  How did you prepare it.. how did you serve it?  What did you do with the sauce... What did you eat it with?

Oh, this is so embarrassing... :blush:

Plain ordinary shrimp, bought already cooked at Citarella. Served cold, with the chutney as a cocktail sauce alternative. Nothing with but a salad of romaine, endive and baby spinach.

I did put the chutney in a very handsome little bowl. :biggrin:

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What came to mind upon tasting the almost-finished tomato chutney will probably seem quite downmarket or at least homely, but so be it:  I thought, (and turns out I was correct!) of an austere rye cracker (that'd be Finn Crisp, in our house) topped with cream cheese or soft goat cheese and a nice stripe of lovely tomato chutney.  I warned you; nothing fancy.

Priscilla, that sounds lovely.

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What came to mind upon tasting the almost-finished tomato chutney will probably seem quite downmarket or at least homely, but so be it:  I thought, (and turns out I was correct!) of an austere rye cracker (that'd be Finn Crisp, in our house) topped with cream cheese or soft goat cheese and a nice stripe of lovely tomato chutney.  I warned you; nothing fancy.

Priscilla,

You keep very fine company with your tastes and natural instincts. A very famous NY based food writer has been gifted my tomato chutney and some other pickles and jams and preserves. And they like you, used t he tomato chutney "as heavens own special mate" for cracker and cheese.

And I for one would be more than willing to be invited for such downmarket pleasures. Homely is fine for me. It excites me so much more these days.

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Oh, this is so embarrassing... :blush:

Plain ordinary shrimp, bought already cooked at Citarella.  Served cold, with the chutney as a cocktail sauce alternative.  Nothing with but a salad of romaine, endive and baby spinach.

I did put the chutney in a very handsome little bowl.  :biggrin:

en contraire!

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I made a version of Suvir's cauliflower dish for dinner.  Dropped a chiffonade of curry leaves (6 or 7) into hot oil, added several tablespoons of chutney, then a chopped-up cauliflower and a little salt.  Tossed over medium heat until the cauliflower was softened but still toothsome, and added a little more chutney off the heat.  

It was very very good, so I'm sure the REAL recipe must be divine. Suvir, if you have a moment to point me to one I'd be very appreciative.

Breakfast this morning: a warmed pita spread with strained Greek yogurt and topped with chutney. Wow.

Canning this was fun and instructive, but of questionable practical value, given how fast I'm going through it.

Edit disclosure: Suvir gave me some of his own chutney for comparison. (Is he a sweetheart or what? I got not one jar but two, plus some homemade apricot jam.) Other than the fact that mine is sweeter :raz: , some other differences were noteworthy: Suvir's is hotter (more cayenne), which I like very much. It's a bit less cooked down than mine, so it's fresher tasting. I left the dried chilies whole, and his were either broken up or strained out. And he chopped rather than pureed the tomatoes, so there were little curls of tomato skin scattered through the cauliflower dish. They were very pretty and intensely tomato-y.

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I made a version of Suvir's cauliflower dish for dinner.  Dropped a chiffonade of curry leaves (6 or 7) into hot oil, added several tablespoons of chutney, then a chopped-up cauliflower and a little salt.  Tossed over medium heat until the cauliflower was softened but still toothsome, and added a little more chutney off the heat.  

It was very very good, so I'm sure the REAL recipe must be divine.  Suvir, if you have a moment to point me to one I'd be very appreciative.

Cathy,

I wish I had a REAL recipe to give you. I have never seen it in recipe books from India. It is not something I even have heard my mother, grandmother or those of friends speak about.

But one night a year or so ago, I found myself in a situation where I had nothing at home but cauliflower, curry leaves and some chutney. It was then that I thought of making the cauliflower with the chutney. I addes some asafetida to the oil with curry leaves and some green chilies. Then the chutney in the oil with the cauliflower. And some chutney tossed at the end. Just what you seem to have done.

And it became a hit with the guests visiting from India. And strangely enough, as is usual occurence, some remembered grandma as they ate this dish. But even more strange was the fact that I am yet to know of Grandmas that actually did something like that.

In India chutneys are used as condiments and in some snacks. But a dish like you made and enjoyed would never be prepared with a canned chutney. But I think it works just fine and is quite tasty. So now, I have had to add it to my repertoire.

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Other than the fact that mine is sweeter  :raz: , some other differences were noteworthy: Suvir's is hotter (more cayenne), which I like very much.  It's a bit less cooked down than mine, so it's fresher tasting.

I am sorry about the mistake I made the first time I posted the recipe. The sugar was off. Again, my apologies. You deserve many more jars of tomato chutney. :sad:

I was worried that most people would find t he chutney too hot. I actually find my version borderline hot.. but it is certainly hot and makes your palate come alive with even a small taste.

I cooked mine for a total of 2 hours. I know many Indian chefs and cooks that would do what you did Cathy and cook it longer. In fact store bought tomato chutney is far more reduced ... at least a couple of hours more than even what you did.

I actually liked your more for it was even more reduced. I loved your version.... I guess the grass is greener on the other side.

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