Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chutney Tricks

For me (and I presume for most south Indians) a good meal must have: rice, ghee, one nice chutney, one vegetable maybe, spicy and piping hot rasam, well-set curd and a tangy pickle. The pickle definitely adds zing to the meal, but a good chutney is like a magic wand – SWOOSH and it sets your meal chugging merrily on the right track.

My mom’s treasure chest of chutneys is pretty deep. She can create chutney with the regular tomato; the unyielding ridge gourd; the acerbic radish; the quirky, piquant gongura; and why even with the plain old cucumber. Oh these chutneys are intrinsic to an Andhra meal-can do without sambar and rasam, but chutney, no way! These chutneys, with hot rice and ghee, catalyze the entire meal making it that much more exciting!

The one chutney that I absolutely vouch for is the coarse, raw tomato chutney. It leaves you absolutely delighted! And for this, the slippery, shiny green tomato is a must. So just head to your local vegetable bazaar and ask the vendor for these fresh, little things, they come with stalks intact and look absolutely wonderful!
Bring them home and dish up this chutney like zip, zap zoom–it won’t take you more than 15-20 min.

The flip side: This is fresh chutney that must be consumed preferably, the same day—maximum 2-3 days if you refrigerate it.

Go-on, this one in particular is fun to do!


½ kg green tomatoes, remove the stalks, wash, clean and quarter
2 onions (medium-sized), chopped
4 red chillies broken into pieces
½ teaspoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon jaggery
Salt to taste
2 pinches of asafetida
½ teaspoon mustard
A sprig of bay leaves
2 teaspoons chopped coriander
1 tbps oil


Heat oil in a kadhai. Add the mustard seeds and when they hiss and splutter add the broken red chillies, the chopped ginger, the bay leaves and stir well. Now add the chopped onions and stir again until it is pink and soft.
Throw in the chopped green tomatoes and mix well. Add the asafetida, jaggery and the salt and mix until it spreads well. Keep the heat on till the tomatoes wilt and turn soft.

Transfer this entire mixture into a blender, and send it whirring not more than 5 seconds. This chutney is meant to be coarse (if you like it fine instead of chunky, blend it for another 5 seconds). Add the chopped coriander, mix well and transfer into a serving bowl.

I can’t help but repeat myself like a parrot; but this tastes its absolute best with rice and ghee. Enjoy…


Shruti SriHarsha said...

Hi Anu, How you doing. SO nice to read about the Yum Chutney, I love it when Siramma prepares too :) Very well written, sluurrrppp!!!!

Ekta said...

aaah i have finally found the recipe of a good tomato chutney!

Ravi Bramhapuram said...

All of them sounds yummy. Wish you will get them to office. I am ready to barter my lunch box for this any day :-)

Ron said...

I demand the recipe to the other one...the one that you brought that day and that I loooovvveed and you said you could not make but your mom could.

Yes. I know Im being rather vague, but still, I expect you to figure out the chutney I mean and post the recipe (after you get it from your Mom).

Also, make mango rice and bring on Monday.

Arent I nice and polite and reasonable?