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Fire Roasted Tomato Chutney Recipe
Fire roasting is basically just that, grilling food over an open flame – but for safety reasons, this can also be done in an oven broiler. This technique really concentrates & intensifies the flavor of your food (usually vegetables & aromatics) by slightly charring the outer layer. My versatile Fire Roasted Tomato Chutney is a delicious combination of all these wonderful flavors & it goes with just about anything! You can serve it as a dressing, spread, dip or condiment. I particularly enjoy it with my kebabs or any grilled food ☺.
Feel free to “fire-roast” your vegetables/aromatics using your grill, bbq, stovetop burner or your oven’s broiler. Just use what is most comfortable & most convenient for you. I took full advantage of the great weather outside & used my outdoor gas grill. Also, feel free to use your favorite peppers in this dish – from the fiery hot spicy varieties to the mild Anaheim or Cubanelle peppers. I used Serrano peppers in my version.
FIRE ROASTED TOMATO CHUTNEY
5-6 small tomatoes (fresh & ripe)
1 small onion, peeled & chopped into large pieces
2-3 long Serrano chilies, to taste
2-3 large garlic cloves, peeled
½” piece of ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
pinch of sugar, to taste
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 large scallion, finely chopped
2 tbsp toasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely ground
juice of ½ lime
1+ tsp oil (vegetable or canola)
For this recipe, the tomatoes along with the onion pieces, Serrano chilies & garlic cloves will be fire roasted.
The easiest way to do this is to separately skewer the onion pieces, Serrano chilies & the garlic cloves. Next, very lightly oil the tomatoes, onions, chilies & garlic cloves. Remember that if you are using wooden skewers, they need to be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before use.
If you wish to fire roast these ingredients using your stovetop burner, the easiest way to do this is with a good pair of long tongs. Simply hold the tomatoes (or skewers) one-by-one, about 2 inches above a medium high flame. Keep rotating the tomato (or skewer) until the vegetable is evenly roasted (slightly charred) on all sides. This may take 5-7 minutes or longer per vegetable/skewer. Remove & set aside to cool.
To use a gas or charcoal grill, just arrange the vegetables/skewer directly above the flames. Rotate & check every couple of minutes for even roasting on all sides. This may take about 8-10 minutes. Remove & set aside to cool.
To use your oven’s broiler, preheat the broiler element & wait until it is ready. Arrange the vegetables or skewers on a foil lined baking tray directly underneath (about 5-6” below). Check every couple of minutes & rotate for even roasting. This may take about 6-8 minutes or slightly longer. Remove & set aside to cool.
When the vegetables & skewers are cool enough to handle, remove any charred skins from the tomatoes, onions & garlic cloves. Also, remove the stems from the Serrano chilies. You can give the vegetables a rough chop if you wish.
Then using a large mortar & pestle, mash the roasted Serrano chilies together with the roasted garlic cloves, chopped ginger & a little salt into a pulp. You can most certainly use a food processor if you wish, but I like the texture of the chutney by using the mortar/pestle. With a food processor, grind the same ingredients together into a coarse paste. Next, add in the fire roasted tomatoes (along with any juices), the onion pieces & sugar. Pound everything together into a coarse pulp & transfer to a mixing bowl. If you prefer a smoother consistency, just keep pounding away ☺. Then add in the remaining ingredients (cilantro leaves, scallions, ground peanuts, lime juice, oil, salt & pepper). Mix well to combine & enjoy with your favorite meal. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Feel free to make this chutney using shallots instead of onion for a subtle underlying sweet flavor.
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