Saturday, October 1, 2011

'Not fried' green tomatoes

Today a friend passed on to me great heirloom tomatoes from her absolutely lush garden. And I remembered a recipe from my pal from a long time ago. Maya's favorite accompaniment with rice, this was what she cooked most times for dinner. She would tell me in a story of self critical mirth that she made it only six days a week.

Maya's tomato chutney is a traditional recipe from Karnataka, from her mum's kitchen. Its usually made with ripe red tomatoes but I discovered today that it tastes fantastic with green ones! Here's my version. Delicious with hot fresh bread. Use as a spread with slices of cucumber, and you have a delectable sandwich.

Green tomato chutney

1/2 tablespoon oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp dry minced garlic
1 dry red chilli
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika powder (more if you want it spicier)
salt to taste
1 tblspn urad dal or chana dal (split chickpeas)
A wee bit of sugar
1 cup chopped green tomatoes

In a pan, heat oil (med. heat) and add cumin seeds, fry for almost a minute until the seeds turn slightly brown. Add coriander seeds and the dry minced garlic and dry red chilli, fry for about a minute. Add the dal. Fry until the dal becomes golden brown, add the tomatoes. Add salt, sugar and paprika powder. Fry. Turn heat to low and cook well, about ten minutes at least. Let the mixture cool. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend into a paste. Keeps well for at least a week in the fridge.

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