26 August 2009

Tomato (or Otherwise) Chutney

I found a most delicious tomato chutney recipe, of East Indian inspiration, in an April 1981 Organic Gardening magazine. I modified it slightly, it's great fresh, served with a summer vegetable curry and cooked grain, and I have no doubt it would be great canned as well.

I do love chutneys because they are so malleable. You can use just about whatever you have on hand. I made an apple, tomato, green pepper and dried blueberry chutney last year that brightened up quite a few plain winter meals. The fruit ingredients in just about any chutney can be altered, the recipe inspiring the concoction above called for sultanas, and I substituted our dried blueberries with delicious results. Just keep the proportions the same and use your own varieties of garden or local produce for your own regionally specific chutney.

Tomato (or Otherwise) Chutney
8 large fresh tomatoes (blight sufferers can substitute tomatillos or ground cherries or other fruit, such as apples, or fruit and green tomatoes equal parts)
1 small medium-heat Hot Pepper
1 medium Sweet Pepper (green or otherwise)
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp minced ginger (or 1 tsp dried ginger powder)
1 1/2 tsp whole mustard seed
1 tsp fennugreek seed (can substitute fennel or anise seed)
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika powder
salt to taste

Quarter or dice tomatoes or fruit, finely chop onion, peppers (remove seeds for milder flavor, or include them for extra heat), garlic and ginger. Set aside.

Heat heavy-bottomed sauce pan with 3 Tablspoons Olive or vegetable oil on high heat. When hot, nearly smoking, add mustard seed and fennugreek seed. Continue to heat until mustard seeds start to pop, remove from heat and add powdered spices (turmeric, paprika and ginger if using powdered). Let the spices heat through, but do not burn (about 1 minute). Return to medium heat and add minced onion, garlic and ginger (if using fresh), stirring frequently until onion is golden brown. Add minced peppers, heat through, stirring to blend flavors. Add tomatoes or fruit and cook until softened. A pure apple chutney may require some liquid like apple juice, cider or cider vinegar, or other fruit or citrus juice. Salt to taste.

This recipe makes about 2 pints. If making larger quantities for preserving, multiply as desired. For conversion, remember 3 Tbsp = 1/4 cup. Oil can be reduced to 1 Tbsp per pint if desired. Process in a boiling water bath, 10 min pints, 15 min quarts.


randi said...

perfect timing..I'm making blight sauce tomorrow so I'll use some of the toms for chutney, something I've never done before!

Cindy said...

hmmm, I'm thinking of making a peach chutney with the abundance I have ot work with, thanks for the recipe! I like comparing chutnet recipes to get a better feel for what I can tweak and sunstitute as needed. :)

Cindy said...

bah, I can't spell, nurr

Freija and Beringian Fritillary said...

randi, green tomato chutney is pretty good, especially with a sweet flavor, perhaps apples and dates. It makes up for some of the flavor lost in using green tomatoes. Enjoy your chutney!

Cindy, wow peach chutney, that's got my mouth watering! Yeah, this is a different kind of chutney recipe from the ones I'm used to seeing. Most I've seen use some sugar and vinegar, but I like this spicy chutney a lot, the flavor can sometimes be overridden by the sugar/vinegar combination.
haha :) fumbling fingers, the virtual equivalent of tongue-tied