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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tomato Pachadi (Chutney)


I come from Andhra Pradesh - the land of spicy, hot pickles and chutneys. People from my state probably can prepare pickles/chutneys out of everything. However, preparation of (some) pickles which stay fresh, year long is a daunting task for a novice and also for those who cannot find the right ingredients. Chutneys come to my rescue to some extent when I yearn for those mouth watering pickles my mom prepares.They are easy to prepare and are like cousins (instant forms) of the traditional pickles. Tomato is one of the vegetables with which my mom prepares pickle which can stay fresh, year long. Though I don't afford that much of sunlight here to prepare the sun dried version, I do prepare it by the simmering method. When I need it quickly, then I go to my mom’s tomato chutney. I am new to this blog world and recently came across Pooja’s blog “My Creative Ideas”. When Pooja announced tomato as the vegetable of the week, tomato chutney popped up at the top of my list. I prepare it frequently. So, I am going to contribute this for pooja's vegetable of the week.

Ingredients required:
Tomatoes (red & ripe) – 4
Oil - 2 Tbsp (or as required)
Red Chillies – 8 to 10
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds / Methi seeds – ¼ tsp
Hing / Asafoetida – A pinch
Salt – As needed

We need to roast the tomatoes for this chutney. I follow my mom’s good old method for roasting tomatoes.Wash tomatoes cleanly and wipe them dry. Do not chop them. Heat a tbsp of oil in a wok / pan and put tomatoes in it. Just toss the pan a little bit so that the tomatoes are uniformly coated with oil or alternatively, spray with oil. The point is there must be some oil at the base of the tomatoes so that they don’t get burnt while getting roasted. Keep turning the tomatoes so that they are roasted uniformly. When they are done, remove them and keep aside.When they are cool, peel the skin from the tomatoes.
In the mean time, do the tadka. Heat one more tbsp of oil in another small pan and add urad dal and mustard seeds. When urad dal start to turn a little red, add fenugreek/methi seeds, red chillies and hing. Turn off the heat when urad and methi seeds completely turn red.Take care to add fenugreek/methi seeds later because they get burnt easily and also don’t add more of them since they turn the chutney bitter. Let it cool.
Grind the roasted tomatoes, tadka ingredients and salt together into a (little coarser)puree in a blender. Tomato chutney is ready to serve with rice/ rotis.

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Pavan P. said...

Hi Suma,
This recipe is very close to what my mom makes in India except that we cut tomatoes into big chunks and fry/cook on simmer. We also add tamarind syrup and cilantro into the blender.
I prepared this last Saturday and it turned out wonderful just like moms.
Happy cooking!