Chutneys are a delicious Indian condiment. The word “chutney” is actually a British term derived from the Hindi word “chatni”, meaning, “to crush”. They are very popular all over India and are quite simple to make.
Tomato Chutney is simple, delicious and very versatile. I eat tomato chutney with dosas, on my sandwiches or toast and sometimes even on my pizza! It tastes great with grilled fish, seafood, chicken, vegetables and also paneer.
Personally, I like my chutneys a little on the spicy side but feel free to reduce the amount of both fresh green chilies and red chili powder to suit your own spice/heat level. If you prefer, you could even substitute a milder chili such as serrano or jalepeno chilies instead of the Thai chilies. For this particular recipe, I suggest using pickling salt (instead of standard table or kosher salt) as it helps to extend the shelf life of the chutney. This recipe is my mother’s; I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.
2 lbs ripe red tomatoes, chopped
10-12 small green Thai chilies, to taste
10-12 garlic cloves, peeled
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 tbsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp of turmeric
2 tbsp red chili powder, to taste
1 tbsp pickling salt, to taste
1½ cup of white vinegar
1½ cups of oil (vegetable or canola)
Using a small blender or mini food processor, finely mince the garlic, ginger and green chilies (do not add any water). Set aside until needed.
In a small sauce pan on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, carefully add the finely minced garlic, ginger and green chili mixture. Next, add the cumin seeds along with the turmeric and red chili powder. Keep stirring for a few minutes until fragrant and then add the chopped tomatoes. Stir fry for an additional 4-5 minutes and then add the pickling salt and vinegar. Stir well to combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for at least 15-20 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent any sticking. The tomatoes should be fully cooked and the chutney should have a slightly thickened consistency. Let cool and transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator, the chutney will keep for at least 1 month.
You could try making this chutney using green tomatoes. Green Tomato chutney will be slightly more tart, so to compensate just add a pinch of sugar to taste.