Zesty Green Tomato Chutney
KACHA TAMATAR CHATNI
-Recipe from Yamuna mataji
Bengalis love green tomato chutney –either sweet or sweet ‘n’ sour –for
although it is made from a plebeian ingredient, it has a wonderfully
delicate flavor. In this century-old recipe from Bir Nagar, saffron and
lime juice beautifully set off a green tomato-papaya combination.
Bengalis are fond of both unripened mango and papaya, and many cooks
might toss in a handful of diced fruit about halfway through the
cooking. A relative newcomer to greengrocers shelves and roadside
stalls, yellow tomatoes make a fine golden variation in summer.
Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): about 30 minutes
Makes: about 1 cup (240 ml)
4 medium-sized green or yellow tomatoes (about 1 ¼ pounds/570 g)
3 table spoons (45 ml) ghee, or corn or mustard oil
1 table spoon (15 ml) minced yellow banana chilies, or 1-2 seeded and minced hot Serrano chilies
½ teaspoon (2 ml) black mustard seeds
8-10 curry leaves, preferably fresh
1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) saffron threads
2 table spoons (30 ml) each finely chopped candied ginger
½ cup (120 ml) peeled and diced green papaya or mango and papaya or other slightly underripe fruit
½ teaspoon (2 ml) salt
2 table spoons (30 ml) coarsely chopped fresh coriander
Plunge the tomatoes into a pan of boiling water for 30 seconds.
Drain immediately and peel the tomatoes. Cut each in half crosswise and
squeeze out most of the seeds. Dice the tomatoes.
Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy frying pan over moderate heat
until it is hot but not smoking. (If you use mustard oil, bring it to
the smoking point for about 5 seconds to make the pungent oil docile).
Drop in the black mustard seeds and fry until they turn gray and
sputter. Add the curry leaves, and in seconds carefully add the
tomatoes and saffron. Stir and cook for about 15 minutes over in
seconds moderately low heat.
3. Add the candied
fruit, diced green fruit and salt. Stirring often toward the end, cook
for about 15 minutes or until fairly thick. Remove the pan from the
heat, stir in the fresh coriander, and let cool. Serve at temperature,
or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.