Bengali Tomato Chutney
The tomato chutney is almost a natural on Bengali tables, right alongside pineapple and other dried fruit chutneys, however, the tomato is a late comer to the Bengali table and possibly found it’s way with the chili and other adapted items and techniques such as making the Indian cheese called channa, a cornerstone ingredient in Bengali dessert making.
1 tablespoon mustard oil
1.5 teaspoon panchphoron (Bengali Five Spice Blend)
11/2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
3 to 4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water (optional)
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1 tsp white vinegar
- Heat the oil until almost smoking and add in the panch-phoron and when the seeds begin to crackle add in the ginger and saute lightly.
- Cook the ginger for about a minute.
- Add in the tomatoes and stir lightly until soft and pulpy and add in the salt, sugar, vinegar and the water if required.
- Simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes until the sauce thickens considerably.
- Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes and let the mixture cool before using.
Tip: You can store this chutney for 2-3 weeks.