architheque


Green Tomato Chutney
September 9, 2007, 12:12 am
Filed under: in the kitchen

I never eat chutney. Ever. But what better challenge than to freestyle a recipe for a dish you don’t know what the result should taste like? I read six different recipes online, rolled up my sleeves, went into the kitchen, and said, “Let’s do this!”

My tomato plants outgrew the stakes I provided them sometime back in June. Ever since, I’ve had multitudes of branches getting too heavy and snapping in half, leaving me with buckets of green tomatoes that will never ripen. I can only eat so many fried green tomatoes before my scale starts yelling at me, so I needed a green tomato alternative. Chutney it was.

Shopping for this dish was quite fun, taking me to the Mexican grocery store for chilies and apples, and the Asian market for fresh ginger and shallots. Everything but the apples was gotten for pennies. The apples rang in at a whole $1.95. The horror! Everything else was already in the house.

For some reason, putting the ginger and the chilies in a muslin tea bag gave me the giggles. I’m not sure why.

In goes the bag o’chilies. Despite thinking it’s funny, I am actually quite grateful for this step. If the chilies didn’t come out at the end, I’d never be able to eat the stuff. I’m a total wuss when it comes to hot spices.

Mmmmm. The house smelled soooo good after this was done simmering. It didn’t take too long either, which is always good. Now I have two jars of the stuff and have to figure out what to do with it. I tried some on a piece of chicken and it was good, but I’m thinking it really belongs on a porkchop.

I find the stuff a little vinegary, and I’m not sure it’s supposed to be, although I like it just fine. I used less than half the amount of vinegar suggested in the “Western” recipes I read, because one of the “Indian” recipes I found didn’t have vinegar at all (but neither did it have apples, and every western recipe had the apples). The only Indian I have to taste test the chutney absolutely hates even hints of vinegar, so I don’t know if I’m going to get an unbiased opinion of whether the chutney tastes remotely right or not.

No matter. I’m satisfied with it.

Edit:  He loved it.  Yay!  Happy dance!

Green Tomato Chutney

8 medium-large green tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped
3 tablespoons oil
3 cloves garlic, diced
3 medium shallots, diced
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup golden raisins
Juice of 2 lemons
1 cup vinegar
2 cups brown sugar

In a drawstring muslin bag:
1 oz fresh ginger, mashed
2 chilies, seeded and sliced

Finely ground in a food processor or blender:
2 tablespoon whole roasted peanuts
2 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoon salt

Quick roasted in 1 Tbsp oil until seeds begin to pop:
A pinch of hing (asafetida)
1/2 teaspoon cumin/mustard seed/sesame seed mixture
4 Indian bay leaves

Sauté the tomatoes in a dry skillet over medium flame until fairly dry. Transfer to bowl. In same pan, fry the garlic in the oil until golden. Add the shallots, stir until tender. Add cumin seeds, stir two minutes more. Add apples, cook 3-4 minutes. Add raisins through brown sugar, and the reserved tomatoes. Tie ginger and chili bag to side of pot, making sure bag is submerged. Cover and simmer until tomatoes and apples are soft and browned and sugar has started to thicken. Add peanut mixture, stir, and continue to cook until chutney is desired consistency. Add roasted spice mixture, remove from heat.

At this point you should can the stuff if you know how (and have the equipment), or you can put it in sterilized jars, put it in the fridge, and try to use it up within two weeks.

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