Monday, September 25, 2017

Avoidance Chutney

Article to write plus a boatload of fast-ripening tomatoes to deal with equals a stab at a South Indian-style tomato chutney. It will require a trip to the Sourh Asian grocery, but nothing you can't handle. You could, I suppose, do this with canned tomatoes, but try it when you're overflowing with the ugly ones you get at the end of the season.

As for eating: fantastic with idlies and dosas, brilliant with rotis (Indian breads), perfect for filling an omelet, even great as a dip with potato chips, or with cheese and crackers. For vegans and vegetarians: umami bomb.

Tomato Chutney
Makes about 1 cup

About 1.5 lbs tomatoes, chopped fine or puréed (leave skin and seeds intact)
3 TB neutral oil (e.g. canola)
1 TB ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves (8-10 leaves), torn up if large
2 dried red chilies, broken into large pieces (remove seeds if you don't like heat)
I medium onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt
2 tsp sweet or hot paprika, or Kashmiri red chili powder, depending on your heat preference)
1 TB brown sugar or jaggery (palm sugar) (use less to tasted if you'd like)
1 tsp tamarind concentrate or 1 TB white vinegar

1. Heat oil in wide sauté pan. Add mustard seeds. When they pop, add curry leaves and dried red chilies and stir for a few seconds. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onions are translucent and starting to darken around the edges. Add coriander, cumin, pepper, salt (about 1/2 tsp to start), and paprika. Sauté the mixture for 2 mins or so.

2. Add tomatoes and all their juice. Stir to combine and bring to a lively summer. Let it cook until the misxgure becomes a thick paste and you can see the oil separating from the tomatoes when you push the page around in the pan. If your tomatoes aren't very juicy, or if things start to stick, add a tablespoon or two of water as needed.

3. Near the end of the cooking, add the brown sugar and the vinegar, and stir to combine. Adjust with more salt, sugar, and vinegar till you like the balance of flavors.

4. Let cool. Put in jars and store in your fridge for up to 3 weeks.

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