From: email@example.com (Shankar Bhattacharyya) Date: Sat, 11 Sep 93 10:37:52 EDT Here is a recipe for a dessert version of tomato chutney, extremely popular in Bengal. It is be served towards the end of the meal, followed by yogurt, and then any dessert proper. That is how it is in Bengal, anyway. The basic spicing is done with panch phoron. This five spice mixture contains approximately equal quantities of fennel, mustard, and cumin, and rather less nigella, and even less fenugreek, all as seeds. For chutneys I prefer a bias towards fennel and mustard, and away from fenugreek. The basic technique is applicable to a variety of chutneys. The mustard should be the purple stuff one gets in the South Asian stores. Don't get heavy-handed with the cumin. Estimated time : about 30 real person-minutes, about 1 hr by the clock. If you are really efficient, you could cut it down to about 15 person-minutes. Allow extra time to refrigerate the product. The units are American. Quantities are not critical. 1 teaspoon = 5 ml, 1 tablespoon = 15 ml, 1 cup = 237 ml, 1 lb = 454 g, within precision sufficient for any kitchen needs. TOMATO CHUTNEY: Materials: ghee or oil 1 to 1.5 tsp panch phoron generous pinch finely minced ginger 1.5 tsp (strongly recommend a very sharp knife) tomatoes 2 lb dried hot red pepper 1 (Cayenne, probably) raisins 3 tbsp sugar 0.5 cup to 0.75 cup salt 0.5 tsp water 0.25 cup lemon juice 1.5 tbsp For an elegant preparation, peel and seed the tomatoes. For a more everyday preparation, do not. If you do peel and seed them, recover the juices by straining off the seeds and set the juices aside. Allow extra time to do this. I usually get some unfortunate slave to do this, so it is not real time, anyway. I hope none of my friends see this, or I will have recalcitrant slaves the next time round. Ideally, slice the tomatoes into thin wedges. Alternatively, chop coarsely. When I am lazy, I just drop them in the food processor and abuse them for a few seconds. They should *not* get homogenized, just chopped up. Heat the oil, add the panch phoron. Stir fry for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes, ginger and red pepper, and cook at high heat for 2 min. Note that some spattering may occur when you add the tomatoes to the hot oil. Add any reserved juices, water, sugar, and salt. Cover, and cook gently for 10-15 min, or until the tomatoes are tender. Add the raisins somewhere along the way, depending on how cooked you like your raisins. Uncover, and heat at high heat to thicken the chutney. A gauze cover may be useful, since this will bubble and pop like thick pasta sauce while you are boiling it down. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice. Refrigerate and serve, either by itself, or with puris. Failing puris (which are a fair bit of work), nan, which you can buy, or warmed pita bread, at a pinch. Puris go especially well with thick implementations, served as a snack. My judgment is that those implementations need a bit more sugar. Yield: 3 cups, serves six people. Comments: The tomatoes need to be of good quality. Many of the tomatoes one sees in American supermarkets simply don't have enough flavour. Poor tomatoes cannot be overcome. The final product should have just a hint of pepper. And it should be mildly tangy, but not seriously sour. The consistency of the refrigerated product should be such that it pours, with just a suggestion of gelling. If it is intended as a snack, it can be thicker.
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