Category Archives: Dips,Chutneys,Sauces,Spreads

Tomato Chutney-a Desi -and nicer-Ketchup

The boulanger never wants a chutney/sauce to accompany the vadas, tikkis etc. that I make for his customers.  He doesn’t seem to think it is necessary and this is difficult for me to understand, used as I am to eating any finger food with a dip of some kind.

So yesterday, since he was to going to sell summer-inspired platters of salads and finger foods – he asked for both the khamang kakdi and the carrot salad with chicken tikkas, shami kebabs and batata vadas– I decided to give him some complimentary tomato chutney to serve on the side, for him to test the concept again.

This chutney is another bit of nostalgia from my childhood. In the summer months, dinner was often just this chutney and vegetable pulav with yogurt.

I love the flavor that comes from the use of paanchphoran here and of course that it is so easy to make is another plus.

As I made it yesterday, I thought this chutney would be so much nicer to have, with Indian starters such as pakoras and tikkis, than ketchup.

Tomato Chutney

3 large, ripe tomatoes

1 tablespoon of oil

1/4 teaspoon each of mustard seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds

salt and brown sugar to taste

Wash and chop the tomatoes very fine.

In a frying pan, heat the oil, then add the mustard seeds and the nigella seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the fennel seeds and the cumin seeds. When these start to brown, add the fenugreek seeds, fry for just a couple of seconds and put in the tomatoes.  Add salt and cook the tomatoes till they are completely soft. Add some sugar  (the chutney should be tangy, not too sweet), cook for another minute, then add water and simmer for a few minutes till the water is well-blended and the chutney is a little thick.

This chutney is a great accompaniment with puri and jeera-aloo, too.

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Peanut Chutney – Desi Peanut Butter, could we say?

When I made rava idlis last week, I made this peanut chutney to go with them and it was a big hit with Shri and the girls.

I had found myself thinking, as I made it, that this was almost a desi version of peanut butter. That thought was validated when Indira asked if I could make her a sandwich one day with this chutney 🙂

The recipe here derives from two blogs, here and here.

Peanut Chutney

1 cup of grilled, unsalted peanuts

1 small onion, chopped in to large chunks

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 red chili (or more, as per taste)

3 teaspoons of oil

2-3 tablespoons (or to taste) of thick tamarind paste

salt to taste

1/2 a teaspoon of mustard seeds

1 teaspoon of  dhuli urad daal (skin less black gram lentils)

5-6 curry leaves

Heat two teaspoons of oil in a frying pan. Add half of the red chilli, the onions and the garlic and saute till the onions start to turn a little brown.

Take the pan off the heat and leave the onion mixture to cool.

In a blender, combine the peanuts, the onion mixture, the tamarind paste and salt with about 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup of water.

Take the chutney out in to a serving bowl.

Heat the third spoon of oil in a small frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and when these start to pop, add the curry leaves and the other half of the red chili. Fry for a couple of seconds, then add the lentils, fry till they turn golden brown and pour this mixture in the pan over the chutney and mix everything together well.

I let the chutney sit for a while before serving it; I think the flavors come together better with that.

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Plum Chutney

The principle/process is just the same as for the mango chutney.

Today when I made this for the boulangerie I got about 16 tablespoons of chutney from –

350 grams of plums

8 tablespoons of brown sugar

1/3 cup of water

The other ingredients are:

salt to taste

3-4 sticks of cinnamon

4-5 cloves

1 teaspoon (or less) of cumin seeds

1/2 of 1 whole red chilli (optional)

1 tablespoon of oil

Cut the plums, remove the seeds and dice the flesh in to small cubes. Heat oil in a pan, then add the cumin seeds and other spices. After a few seconds add the plums, the salt and the water. After the plums have become soft add the sugar and cook everything together for a few minutes till the chutney begins to acquire a syrupy texture.

Another nice accompaniment for things like pakoras ,tikkis and even tandoori chicken.

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Mango Chutney

During my second pregnancy, I developed this craving for the Gujarati mango chutney called chhundo. The odd thing was that I had never liked it’s taste before, since it was always a little too sweet for me, so I couldn’t understand this sudden yearning for it.

I made this chutney for the first time then – since it is not available anywhere near here – with one of those large Peruvian mangoes (like some of the African varieties now available as well, these are not as sweet as most Indian varieties and in fact even a ripe fruit often retains a sour tinge) I found in Carrefour. The recipe itself is adapted from one I found on the net at the time.

This is definitely not the real McCoy, but nice enough. I like it on a slice of toast, or with puris.

Mango Chutney

1 firm mango, peeled and diced very fine, or grated

1 whole red chilly broken in two

a couple of sticks of cinnamon

3-4 cloves

1/4 teaspoon of cumin seeds

1/2 a tablespoon of oil

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder

salt and sugar to taste

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the whole spices. When these start to release their aroma, add the turmeric powder, the mango

and salt. Cook on a medium heat till the mango is quite soft (I sometimes add a little water to help this along) and then if needed break it up with a potato masher. Add some sugar and cook for a few minutes. Check to see if the chutney needs more sugar or salt, then take off the heat and store in a bottle when it has cooled.

This is nice with pakoras too.

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Home-made Butter

Our experience with this is here

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Filed under Breakfast Ideas, Dips,Chutneys,Sauces,Spreads, LE FUTTED BALLON-life with the girls

Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade

The paste I wrote about here earlier today would also make a great spread, to serve with bread as an aperitif.

It would be nice as a relish too, with oven-baked potatoes, say, or grilled chicken.

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Sun-dried Tomato,Rosemary and Lemon Zest Marinade

At Carrefour they used to sell an excellent “sauce provencale“, a marinade for fish that was made with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs steeped or sauteed in oil.

The girls loved to eat white fish baked with that sauce and since it  is not available any more, I decided a few days ago to have a go at making a similar marinade myself, with some of those ingredients.

I was glad I tried because the fish I baked with this marinade that night was a big hit with both of them, even though the marinade I ended up with looked rather different from the one I used to buy !

Sun-dried Tomato, Rosemary and Lemon Zest Marinade

120-140 grams of sun dried tomatoes (drained weight i.e. after removing them from the oil they’ve been soaked in)

zest of 1 lemon

leaves from 3-4 sprigs of rosemary

2 pods of garlic, peeled and chopped fine

1 onion, peeled and chopped very fine

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil

Warm the oil in a shallow pan, then add the garlic. When it starts to turn a golden color, add the onions and sautee for some time they are quite soft, without letting them brown. Now add the lemon zest, rosemary and tomatoes and cook everything together for just a few minutes.

When the mixture has cooled, blend it to a paste.

This will make enough marinade for about 700-800 grams of fish fillets.

To bake the fish- season the fillets lightly with salt, apply the marinade, wrap each fillet in silver foil and bake till done at 220 degrees C.

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