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Friday, April 18, 2014

Khasi Roasted Tomato Chutney ~ Meghalaya Cuisine

BM Theme: Indian States
State: Meghalaya
Capital city: Shillong
Chief tribes: Khasi, Garo & Jaintia
Principal languages spoken:  Khasi and Garo
Official language: English
Important food crops: Rice, wheat & Maize

Meghalaya literally means "The abode of clouds". Not surprising considering the fact that it is the wettest place on earth. The town of Cherrapunjee holds the world record for most rain in a calendar month. While the village of Mawsynram holds the record for the most rain in a year. 
While exploring the cuisine, I came across an interesting fact about the role of women in Meghalayan tribal societies. This state stands apart in the patriarchal Indian society. The tribes here follow a matrilineal system where lineage and inheritance are traced through women. The youngest daughter inherits the property and takes up the responsibility of aged parents and any unmarried siblings. Especially in the Garo lineage system, in the absence of a daughter, a chosen daughter in law or an adopted child inherits the property. Kudos to them!

Now moving towards the cuisine. The people predominantly are non vegetarian here and so at first glance, I thought every recipe revolved around pork. And even thought of making a vegan jadoh using tofu. I figured out later that there are many rice based sweet dishes after spending sometime online. However the search kept on leading me to just the names but not the recipes. It was like the Bhopali namak chai recipe I was looking for while doing the Madhya pradesh state. The people kept on praising the chai on Youtube videos but there was no recipe to be found. Similarly there was a mention of pukhlein - supposedly a breakfast bread made with rice flour. All I could get was it was supposedly sweet and deep fried. By the time I found the recipe, I had cooked two other dishes. Similarly there was a mention of a rice flour crepe called putharao and a steamed rice dish called pumaloi which turned out to be the equivalent of Assamese tekeli pitha.
I had prepared earlier the mixed vegetable dish that seems to be a generic online version for all the northeast Indian states. However I decided to try another one instead that I had earlier noted down to try. It is a quick tomato based mish mash kind chutney. Not a lot of seasonings going by the standard Indian chutney recipes. It was like an unusual Indian version of the popular Mexican salsa. Tomato and green chillies are directly roasted on the flame and then coarsely mashed along with the other ingredients. It is prepared by the Khasi tribe and therefore obviously is a basic, rustic version. My kids who are attuned to more refined versions of salsa, didn't like it. My husband liked it though he mentioned that the garlic flavor was too intense even for him who happens to be a garlic lover.

Recipe Source: Here
1 tomato
2 green chillies
1 garlic clove (1/2 clove is enough.)
Salt to taste
1/4 cup minced cilantro
2 tbsp lengthwise, thinly sliced onion

* Poke holes in the green chillies, to prevent them from bursting. Put tomato and chillies on a wire mesh and place directly on the flame. Roast until the skin is slightly chartered.
* Let them cool. Peel the skin of the tomato and mash it lightly.
(I broiled them in the oven instead until the skin charred on all sides.)
* Pound garlic, chillies and salt together in a mortar. Next add the mashed tomato, cilantro and onion to it and mix gently.
* It is served with along snacks like pakodas and samosas. I served it with tortilla chips.


Priya Suresh said...

Love your pestle and mortar. This khasi roasted tomato chutney looks absolutely flavourful.Interesting smoky chutney.

Lifewithspices said...

tis looks sooper.. will try it..

Srivalli said...

I guess all of us had so much problem with finding recipes for these dishes..Now we have created our own state specific dishes..:)..your chutney has come out so well Suma..good one..

The Pumpkin Farm said...

yummy looking roasted tomator chutney

Unknown said...

definitely had difficulty finding recipes for the NE states... this one looks tempting..

Unknown said...

roasted chutney looks like a nice desi version of salsa.. looks tasty

Gayathri Kumar said...

The North Eastern region recipe hunt is so famous among BMers. We are totally having a toght time. This chutney looks so flavourful...

Pavani said...

I have the same mortar and pestle :-) Roasted tomatoes chutney sounds delicious.

Chef Mireille said...

what a simple and tasty chutney

Usha said...

Even I found the matrilineal system quite interesting. That tomato chutney looks so nice and it was a nice idea to serve it with tortilla chips. Love the color of your chutney.

Padmajha said...

We have so many versions of this dish for BM! Your looks great !

vaishali sabnani said...

I have loved this chutney..for the simple reason that it is pounded and not pulsed in a mixer..wow..wonderful.

Kalyani said...

Thanks for a wonderful recipe, Suma ! we made this twice already and loved it a lot :-) i have posted mine with a linkback to yours .