As a child I knew of only one green chutney was the one my Mom made by grinding together coconut, green chiles, cilantro, ginger, cumin with a dash of lime juice and sugar and salt. This tasty chutney was a base for our sandwiches, to be mixed with dahi-rice, to be enjoyed with poha, upma, wada... and therefore, tomato = koshimbir or gravy or in a sandwich. The imagination did not go far beyond that!
My first taste of a Tomato chutney was about 6 years ago when a South Indian colleague had brought this in his lunch box and his Mom had given a generous helping of both dosas and chutney ( this was for our mid- night or 3:00 am snack after our shift at the call center) knowing fully well how much we appreciated it!
1/4 cup Canola Oil ( I used about 3 tbs)
36 Curry leaves torn
2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 tsp Mustard Seeds
12 Dry Red Chiles
1/2 tsp Turmeric
3 1/2 lbs ( about 6-7) Tomatoes , cored and chopped
1 (4.4 oz) tube Double concentrate Tomato Paste or 1 (9oz) Can Tomato Paste
2 tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper ( I used about 2 tsp)
1 tsp Sambar / Rasam pwd. or 1/2 tsp Curry pwd. ( I used 2 -3 tsp Sambar pwd.)
Heat Oil with curry leaves, mustard , cumin and chiles in a large kadhai /wok over medium-high heat until the cumin has browned.
Add Turmeric and cook until the chiles darken
Add remaining ingredients and cook for 10 mins. stirring occasionally and pressing the tomatoes on the sides of the wok to mash them if they do not break on their own.
Reduce heat to Medium and cook till the chutney is thick and jammy stirring often for another 25-30 mins.
(if you are using hard winter tomatoes cooking time is reduced)
Taste for seasoning , transfer to a plastic container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
I made changes to the spice proportion, I prefer my chutneys with a slight kick.
I paired this fab chutney with this Golden Delicious Adai for a lip-smacking combo. I love adai, it is so convenient to make! No fermentation! And So very crisp! The perfect solution for winter when the batter takes forever to rise.