Tomatoes are an essential ingredient in many Indian dishes, and tomato chutney is no exception. This tangy and flavorful condiment is a staple in many Indian households and pairs well with a variety of dishes. In this article, we will take you through a step-by-step guide on how to make delicious tomato chutney at home.
Tomato chutney is a versatile condiment that can be made in various ways, with different flavors and textures. This recipe is a simple yet flavorful version that can be easily prepared at home. It goes well with dosas, idlis, rotis, and even sandwiches. Let’s get started!
To make tomato chutney, you will need the following ingredients:
- 4-5 ripe tomatoes
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1-inch piece of ginger
- 1-2 green chilies
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- A pinch of asafoetida
- Salt to taste
- Sugar or jaggery (optional)
Preparing the Tomatoes
Start by washing the tomatoes and cutting them into quarters. In a pan, heat some oil and add mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds, and a pinch of asafoetida. Once the mustard seeds start to crackle, add the chopped ginger, garlic, and green chilies. Sauté for a minute, and then add the chopped tomatoes. Add salt to taste, cover the pan, and let it cook for 10-15 minutes on low flame.
Tempering the Chutney
Once the tomatoes are soft and mushy, turn off the flame and let it cool down. Then, blend the mixture into a smooth paste using a mixer or blender. Heat a little oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, urad dal, and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds start to crackle, add the blended tomato mixture and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
Cooking the Chutney
Add water to the chutney to adjust the consistency, and let it cook for another 5-7 minutes. You can add a pinch of sugar or jaggery to balance the flavors. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.
Adjusting the Consistency
The consistency of the chutney depends on personal preference. If you like a thicker chutney, let it cook for a few more minutes. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add more water to the chutney.
If the tomatoes are sour, you can balance the flavors by adding a pinch of sugar or jaggery. This will give the chutney a sweet taste and balance the tanginess of the tomatoes.
If you want the chutney to be more tangy, you can add a little tamarind pulp or lemon juice. This will give the chutney a sour taste and enhance the flavors.
The level of spiciness in the chutney can be adjusted by adding more or fewer green chilies. If you want the chutney to be less spicy, remove the seeds and membranes of the green chilies before adding them to the mixture. Alternatively, you can use red chili powder or paprika to add a mild, smoky flavor to the chutney.
Storing the Chutney
Tomato chutney can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can also be frozen for longer storage. To thaw, simply leave the container at room temperature for a few hours, or microwave it for a minute or two.
Tomato chutney pairs well with a variety of Indian dishes, such as dosas, idlis, rotis, and parathas. It can also be used as a spread for sandwiches or as a dip for chips and crackers. Serve it hot or cold, depending on your preference.
Tips and Tricks
- Use ripe and juicy tomatoes for the best flavor.
- Adjust the amount of green chilies according to your taste.
- Be careful while tempering the chutney, as the mustard seeds can splutter.
- To give the chutney a smoky flavor, roast the tomatoes on an open flame before adding them to the pan.
- For a chunkier texture, pulse the mixture in the blender or mixer for a few seconds instead of blending it into a smooth paste.
- Can I use canned tomatoes to make tomato chutney? While fresh tomatoes are preferred for this recipe, canned tomatoes can be used as a substitute if fresh ones are not available. However, the flavor may not be as fresh and vibrant as with fresh tomatoes.
- Can I make tomato chutney without garlic and ginger? Yes, you can omit the garlic and ginger if you prefer. However, they add a lot of flavor and depth to the chutney, so it may not taste as good without them.
- Can I use brown sugar instead of jaggery? Yes, brown sugar can be used as a substitute for jaggery in this recipe. However, jaggery has a unique flavor and is a healthier option, so it is recommended to use it if possible.
- How long does tomato chutney last in the refrigerator? Tomato chutney can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Can I freeze tomato chutney? Yes, tomato chutney can be frozen for longer storage. To thaw, simply leave the container at room temperature for a few hours or microwave it for a minute or two.
Tomato chutney is a simple and delicious condiment that can add flavor and zest to any Indian meal. With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can make a batch of fresh and flavorful tomato chutney at home in no time. Experiment with different spices and seasonings to customize the chutney to your taste. Enjoy!