Rich and tangy, tomato chutney is a traditional Tamil dish. Sampath made it so well, I can remember the taste of his tomato chutney today, so many years after. I have often made it in my kitchen since. And when I found my neighborhood grocery store selling tomatoes at a bargain this week, I couldn’t help but stock up on armloads of it with the intention of cooking up as much tomato chutney as two people can possibly eat.
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tsp udad dal (black gram dal)
- 1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
- 7-8 medium well-ripened tomatoes , diced
- 2 small onions , diced
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 2 green chilies , minced
- 2 tsp sambar powder (you can use chili powder if you don't have any sambar powder on hand, Use 1 tsp or less depending on how much heat you can handle)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
- 1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp jaggery (unrefined Indian sugar, available in Indian grocery stores. You can leave this out, but I love the slight sweetness it adds to the dish)
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- In a skillet, heat the oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and blackgram dal. When the seeds sputter and the dal turns
- lightly golden, add the onions and green chilies and stir for a minute.
- Add the tomatoes, the sambar powder, the turmeric, and the curry leaves.
- Stir well. The tomatoes will almost immediately start expressing their juices. Allow them to cook on medium-low heat for as long as it takes for most--but not all-- of the juices to evaporate. The tomatoes should have broken down completely.
- Add the jaggery and salt to taste. Cook for another minute, stirring.
- Add the coriander and turn off the heat.
- Enjoy hot with some chapatis or rotis or with sambar and rice.