Tomato chutney

12:36 PM

This week of solo parenting is still following its course, and is of course tiring me up. And because things shall always be complicated this had to be the week with only three days of regular school. Thursday was a holiday, and because I knew what was coming I planned yet another easy to pull lunch : idli with tomato chutney.

an easy  chutney to make at home. Serve with Idli or dosa

I know, I know! Idlis are a breakfast food, but they do a great lunch too, and my daughter loves them, which means one less meal time battle to deal with. Now, tomato chutney, you might not have seen that one served with idlis much, because traditionally idlis are eaten with sambar ( which I really don't like much) and coconut chutney (which I love but gets a bit boring after a while). Last year I saw a recipe for "cup idli" and various chutneys to pipe on them in Goodfood India. Basically a twist on the good old South Indian steamed bun breakfast, and while I tried the stuffed cup idli (batter poured into silicon cupcake moulds before steaming), they really didn't exited me as much as their tomato chutney. I tweaked their recipe a little adding more chana dal and giving the grated coconut a miss, and of course added more curry leaves because I love them. The recipe is easy, quick, tasty and all you really need before launching into it is a mixie (blender grinder if you are not in India). This is one of these recipe I had to share and had been thinking about doing so for a while now, never found the time to take pictures, so here it goes :

You will need : two handful of Chana dal (split gram lentils), 2 medium tomatoes, one small onion, a teaspoon of turmeric, half a teaspoon of red chili powder, a teaspoon of salt, a generous handful of curry leaves, and 2 teaspoon of mustard seeds.

In a pan dry roast the chana dal while you are roughly chopping the onion and tomatoes...I insist on rough chopping, you don't need to complicate it, the thing will end up being blitzed in a blender in the end, save your energy and time.

Once the chana dal is roasted remove and set aside, add oil to the pan and throw in the onions, when the start turning translucent add the dal back to the pan and quickly mix and stir fry for a minute.

Then add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric and chili powder and mix, let it cook storing occasionally for about 2 minutes or until the tomatoes start to be slightly mushy but not overlooked.

Transfer the entire content of your pan to a blender and blitz until you have a nice smooth paste. Pour the paste in a serving bowl and heat a little oil in the pan again, throw in the mustard seeds, when they crackle add the curry leaves, stir quickly for a few seconds, and pour the oil and leaves on the chutney, mix well and serve.

It taste better warm, and you can add coriander leaves if you wish at this point, yesterday I didn't have any left so I didn't, but I often do, know...I love greens. Idli for those not knowing is a steamed bun made with a batter of fermented rice and split black lentils (which aren't black in this case as it is the de husked type that is used). I usually make my own batter because it tastes better, but it needs a little planning. I soak 2 parts rice for one part lentils separately for a couple of hours, then grind the soaked rice to a slightly coars but runny paste, and then grind the lentils to a smooth creamy paste, mix the two together and let it ferment in a covered container on my kitchen counter over night. If you don't have the time to do that and live in India, you can buy ready made batters almost everywhere, they will do the trick fine too.

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  1. Beatrix12:45 PM

    Sounds Yummy!
    We can't get curry leaves here in Nepal. I don't know why, bananas, papayas & oranges grow up here in the sub tropical little valleys. Maybe I should get some seeds & try growing a curry tree myself?

  2. I think it would grow well in Nepal, even indoor in a sunny spot during the winter. Now idea how to get seeds, in India you can buy the saplings from plant nurseries. I toyed about having a tree for a while, but I am not sure my north facing balcony and the constant assault on plants by Ishita would make having one work. The leaves are so readily available everywhere though that the need of having a tree is not so crucial for me too.

  3. Alexandra Madhavan4:03 AM

    I have pinned this! It is one of my faves!

  4. Tomato chutney has efficiently replaced the coconut one in my home, the only one not liking it is Ishita, but she doesn't like anything but ketchup with her idli...oh dear!

  5. Belinda11:18 PM

    Looks yum. But am not really good with steam cooking. They always end up a little uncooked. Same for dumpling too. I always overbook or undercook my dumplings. :( my kids like dosas more especially the ones with mashed potatoes. But i never got those crisp dosas. And readymade batters are out of the question. I hate added preservatives so much that even make whole wheat bread at home. Any tips how to get crisp dosas.

  6. Sadly I have no tips on crisp dosa, I fail at them, there even was a picture tutorial in Goodfood India I followed and failed big time! I however get nicer dosa in my thick bottomed heavy hard anodised skillet, than in the dosa tawa for some really odd reason I can't explain. I need to make them smaller because it is a high rimmed pan but it works far better still, but they are still fluffy rather than paper crisp. For idli I have these microwave moulds, but I use them in my rice cooker instead, in the steamer basket the cooker comes with. I can only do 4 at once but it comes out nicer than in the microwave by far. My trick to know if they are nicely cooked is to use a toothpick and prick them in the middle, if the tooth pick come out clean they are cooked to the middle.


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