A chutney I often prepare is tomato chutney, a South Indian style chutney, I learnt from a Tamilian friend’s mother, Revati Aunty who usually prepares it with idlis, dosas and ven pongal (South Indian style lentil-rice preparation). Its easy to prepare with very less cooking time.
Today I prepared it as an accompaniment with dosas for breakfast and with pulagam (an andhra lentil rice preparation, similar to khichdi) for lunch. This healthy low calorie chutney has a sweet-tart flavor with a subtle spice taste and the key to this chutney is the use of fresh curry leaves. The tempering of the spices like cumin seeds and curry leaves blend with the tomato puree, grated ginger and jaggery, giving it an irresistible flavor.
Tomato Chutney Recipe
Recipe source: Revathi Aunty (friend’s amma)
Prep & Cooking: 20 mts
Serves 4-5 persons
Cuisine: South Indian
3 large ripe juicy tomatoes (blanch, de-skin and puree)
1 tsp grated ginger
2-3 green chillis (slit length wise)
pinch of turmeric
1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 tsp jaggery or sugar (optional)
red chilli pwd (according to your spice level) – optional
salt to taste
pinch of asafoetida (optional)
coriander leaves for garnish
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp split black gram (minappa pappu) – optional
10-12 fresh curry leaves
1 Pre-heat oil in a cooking vessel, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the cumin seeds and black gram dal and let them brown. Don’t burn them. Add the curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.
2 Add the grated ginger, green chillis and turmeric pwd combine.Add the tomato puree and let it cook on medium heat for 3-4 mts. Check at regular intervals and stir.
3 Add water and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for another 4-5 mts.
4 Add the jaggery or sugar,salt and red chilli pwd (if you are using it) and combine. Lastly add a pinch of asafoetida and turn off heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
5 Serve with south Indian tiffins like dosa, idli, khichidi, ven pongal or phulagam. It can also be served as a dip.
Its important that you blanch the tomatoes. Make a + slit with a knife at the base of each tomato and place in hot water for a few minutes and then de-skin and puree. If you dont have the black gram dal on hand, dont worry, its optional. If you dont have asafoetida on hand, you can replace it with 3-4 crushed garlic cloves which should be added at the time of tempering. You can use either green chillis or chilli pwd or both, according to your spice level. You can add more water if you want a more saucy consistency and have it as a soup.