Sweet tomato chutney…


… otherwise known as ketchup. OK, not quite, but I didn’t put two and two together and realize that this is where ketchup comes from.

This is another recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Invitation To Indian Cooking, and is extremely easy and delicious. Just don’t lose faith while making it, since the aromas are extremely strong.

Blend an entire head of garlic (peeled and coarsely chopped), a fresh piece of ginger (2 inches long, 1 inch by inch wide, peeled and coarsely chopped) and 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar in a blender until smooth. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring to a boil the entire contents of a 12-ounce can of tomatoes, 1 cup of red wine vinegar, 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder (cayenne pepper). Add the puree from the blender. Lower heat and simmer gently for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until the chutney becomes thick. Stir occasionally during this time. Finally, add two tablespoons golden raisins and two tablespoons blanched, slivered almonds. Simmer, stirring, for 5 more minutes. Allow to cool, decant into glass jars, and refrigerate. Once chilled, the chutney should have the consistency of honey. It will keep for months.

This chutney goes with almost anything. It’s delicious just with plain basmati rice. I’ve served it with kheema, and more recently with Jaffrey’s recipe for chicken in light sauce (from the book above). Excellent, toothsome chicken, but even after reducing the sauce by half, it was still thin. I have a suspicion that it’s supposed to be thick like the khorma you get in a UK restaurant. However, decanted into a bowl and sipped with a spoon, it was really good – reminiscent of the curry chicken noodle soup at Bo Ky.

I also served moong dal. I had never made dal successfully before (aside from a terrible recipe from the absolutely to be avoided Lord Krishna’s Cuisine, a cult-y Vedic book by an American ashram transplant)… as always, Jaffrey’s recipe was eye-opening. “Since people like to squeeze lime or lemon wedges on their dal, serve some wedges separately.” Who knew? Not me, going to Indian restaurants all my life and not knowing what the point of the dal was. It also seems unlikely that those restaurants rapidly fried asafoetida and cumin seeds in ghee and poured them over the dal just prior to serving, but who knows.


One thought on “Sweet tomato chutney…”

  1. Invitation to Indian Cooking focuses on the cuisine from around New Delhi, and as someone whose parents are from that region, I can tell you that it’s extremely authentic (including finishing daal with spiced oil). I grew up eating that style of food, but I learned how to cook it myself from this book – it’s great.

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