Saturday, January 14, 2006

Sweet Tomato Chutney

My cook has been ill these past few days. To complicate matters, work (usually hectic) has been maddening just now. We had to take a brief on phone, develop three scripts, find a celebrity (one with the right profile -- all India appeal, clean as a whistle background, willing to give us couple of hours and do it free of charge...its is after a public service spot). And the A turns up with a kilo of tomatoes. Once in a while, OK. But tomatoes are a no-no for him. Doctor's order.

So, I get up wearily really early and make a sweet tomato chutney, which I then take with me to work to share with colleagues. Felt a bit mean. But its really better this way. So here is a the recipe for sweet bengali tomato chutney. Simple and easy.

You will need:

1 kilo tomatoes (any sort except the small cherry ones)
Heaps of sugar
1/2" ginger either grated or sliced really thin
A bit of salt
One dried red chillie
1 tsp mustard seeds
fresh coriander, chopped

How to

1. Heat a tbsp of oil in a Kadai / wok. If you are using a pan make sure its a deep one

2. Add the dried red chillie.

3. Add the mustard seeds.

4. When they start to pop, add the tomatoes.

5. Cook on high heat for three to four minutes and then lower flame and cover.

6. When the tomatoes have softened, add the sugar. About 3 tbsp. Taste and adjust. This chutney has to be sweet. Be sure to add the salt..about 1/2 tsp. This takes care of the tartness of the tomatoes.

7. After another few minutes, the tomatoes should have all become pulpy, and become a thick mass.

8. Add about 1/2 cup of water. Cover and let stew.

9. Check frequently. The chutney shouldn't be too thin or thick.

10. Add the grated ginger. Let it stew for couple of minutes more.

11. Add the chopped coriander leaves and cook for a further two minutes.

12. Remove from fire and let it cool down.

13. Traditionally, chutney is eaten last after any bengali meal. It is ladled onto the now empty plate on which lunch was eaten and the chutney is eaten by hand.

14. Quite a few people like to eat it mixed with plain steamed rice... but that is really for those who are used to it. Chutney by itself is rather nice. Bon apetit!

Note: You can vary the proportions to suit your taste. You can have it less sweet if you wants. Works just fine. I prefer it sweet though.


sailu said...

That's my kind of chutney..:))

Shilpi said...

Hi Sukanya,

I stumbled upon your blog when I was trying to search if any of my fellow bloggers had posted a recipe on tomato chutney - the Bong way :) And your recipe is almost the way I usually make it :) And the third smile is that I found someone who is like me - irregular blog postings :)

I will be on you blog more often from now....

Shella said...


This is indeed a different chutney than I have ever known made of tomatoes. I will definitely try it.

Thanks for the same.