Wednesday, 25 February 2015

TOMATO DATE CHUTNEY



Chutneys are sort of sweet endings to our meals. In general, among Bengalis, a meal starts with fritters and lentil, ends with chutneys, of various types. Among us Chutneys are made with various ingredients like tomatoes, mangoes, raw papaya, ambarella[amra], jolpai[Indian olives], koromcha[ karanda], chalta[elephant apple]. Of all these, Tomato chutney is the most common one.

Remembering the good old days of childhood, mom would prepare chutneys, sweet n sour, to feed us few more morsels of rice.I remember, many a leisurely afternoon was jazzed up with achars n chutneys. She would prepare achars and store in glass jars. During holidays, my favourite pastime would be to sit with those jars in  the balcony of our two-roomed rented house along with my favourite book. I had that ability to concentrate on both. She still prepares them, but I no more can savour them. Many years after, I played the same trick with my son when he was young. I made chutneys to make my son finish his food little earlier, who usually took 1-2 hours to finish a meal.

Our chutneys are usually sweet given the sweet tooth Bengalis have. We prepare sweet n sour ones too. Tomato-Date Chutney is the most common of all the ingredients we use for chutney. Let us proceed with the recipe which requires ripe tomatoes, dates, raisins and lemon juice.

INGREDIENTS :
Ripe Tomatoes : 4
Dates : 3
Raisins : 7-8
Lemon : 1
Sugar : 1/2 small cup
Lemon : 1[the juice]
Black Mustard Seed : 2 pinches
Salt : 2pinches
Oil : 1tsp

METHOD:
Wash, cut and deseed the the tomato pieces. In a blender, blend them to a smooth paste.

Deseed the dates and cut into halves. Wash both dates and raisins. Get the juice from the lemon.

Heat the oil in a wok. Temper with mustard seeds. Add the tomato paste. Add 2 pinches of salt. Cover cook at lowest heat for 5-8 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the sugar. Stir nicely. Cover cook for 7-10 minutes at low heat stirring every 2 minutes.

Uncover and add the dates and raisins and stir. Cover cook for 2 minutes or until the chutney turns a little sticky.

Add the lemon juice. Stir well and switch off. Its done.

Enjoy and your meal on a sweeter note!!


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