Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis.

Fingerlicking Tart Tomato Chutney.

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One of the best things about south indian food is its spread of chutneys and gravies and other accompaniements. Every region in India have their own version of hundreds of dishes. As far as chutneys go, almost every home in Tamil Nadu must have their own spin on chutneys. My quest is for finding somany different ways of cooking this lycopene filled tomato – so fleshy and juicy, sweet yet tart and pretty much a fruit in every style of indian cooking. When Madhuri poster her spin, I was a goner. I had to make it the vvery same day and I loved the crunchiness of the coconuts thrown in at the end! Simply fingerlicking delicious. Yes, its that good!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Medium Onion,

3 Beefsteak/ Heirloom/ Roma or 5 Indian tomatoes.

3 Pods of Garlic.

2-3 Red Chillies to suit your spice buds.

Lime sized ball of tamrind.

2 Tbsp of Jeera  seeds.

1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder.

Salt to taste

Oil.

A fistful of cleaned and chopped corrinader leaves.

Temper With:

1 Tsp Oil.

1 Tsp Mustard Seeds.

Curry Leaves.

Pinch of hing.

PREPARATION:

  • Heat 2 Tsp oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds. Allow trhem to splutter.
  • Add the finely chopped onions and then the turmeric powder. Saute for a couple minutes until they onions turn translucent and begin to sweat.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, garlic pods, red chillies, and the tamarind and cook unitl the tomatoes turn mushy and reduces to pulp. By now all the ingredients would have cooked well and marinated in the wok.
  • Remove from the flame and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
  • Now tranfer to a mixer jar and give it a quick pulse.
  • Finally add the grated coconut and spin for a few pulses. I preferred the coconuts bits to be crunchy and hence never ground to a smooth paste.
  • Temper with the ingredients mentioned and mix them all in.
  • Deliocious tart and crunchy chutney is ready!
  • and yes…thank you, I know you loved it. Leave your thoughts for me!
Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis.

Andhra Style Spicy Tomato Till Chutney.

I have always steered clear of spicy fiery Andhra Cuisine, as we generally are used to very normal levels of spice in my home.  In my many trips to the US and with so many friends from this neighbouring state, it is but natural for my cooking to be influenced by friends from here. I became more open to trying out new cuisines here in the US, then why not experiment to cuisines and cultures, closer to home, which has been nourished and perfected with years and  years of cooking with patience and love?

Many of my friends wonder how my spice levels are dismally low??? I tasted their cooking, learnt the secrets of it, by tasting and sometimes by merely watching them at their most perfected art – The art of cooking!!! Now I am pretty comfortable with the idea of tossing a dozen red chillies in to a chutney or a thogayal, or even a Kara Kuzhambu, but only if the recipe demands it, as increased spice levels, are generally not considered healthy..I had tasted this spicy Andhra Chutney at a restaurant and had been wanting to try it for a very long time. Sailu`s post, tweaked here and there,  urged me to put my methods and madness to practise and the results were very delicious spicy, yet tangy chutney, that wanted me clamouring for more!!!

INGREDIENTS:

4 Vine Tomatoes.

2 Tbsps Dry Roasted White Sesame seeds.

2 Green Chillies.

4 Red chillies.

1/2 Tsp cumin seeds.

1 Tsp Bengal Gram.

1 1/2 Tsp Urad Dhal.

1 small piece of tamarind softened or 1 Tsp of Tamarind Paste.

1 Tbsp Dry Coconut/ Fresh Coconut.

Salt.

2 Tsps oil

For Seasoning:

1 tsp oil.

1/2 Tsp mustard seeds.

Hing.

Fresh curry leaves.

PREPARATION:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F and pop the tomatoes inside for around 10 – 15 minutes. In  my opinion, this step is purely optional, but valuable in contributing added flavour to the chutney. Fire roasting for a few minutes can also be done. Set aside to cool.
Roasted Tomatoes
  • Take a dry tawa and dry roast the sesame seeds until you can smell the aroma of the seeds. Take care not to burn them. Set aside to cool.
  • Heat oil in the same tawa and add urad dhal, bengal gram, cumin seeds and the dry red chillies until the dals turn in to a light brown colour. Finally add the dry coconut, pinch of hing  and fry for another couple of seconds and remove from tawa. Set aside.
  • In the same oil, now add the green chillies and roast for a couple of seconds. Remove and set aside.
  • Now add the fire roasted/ oven roasted/ raw tomatoes that has been cut in to pieces and the tamarind piece . Allow for it saute well until all the water  evaporates. Allow to cool.
  • Now grind the roasted cumin, dal mixture along with the dry roasted sesame seeds. Once they are well ground, add the roasted tomatoes+ tamarind, green chillies and salt .
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and season with curry leaves, mustard, urad dhal and hing.
  • Serve Andhra Style Spicy Tomato Sesame Chutney with Cracked Wheat & Oats Idlis or Crisp & Tasty Adai.