The practice of passing the culinary art to the descendants is something like willing the rich old tempting property to the family. It should be possessed with care and nurtured with love to preserve it. After all, it is making you richer, richer in knowledge. My grandfather-in-law used to do this chutney on “chulha” to infuse the smoky flavor of charcoals and wood into the tomatoes. My mother-in-law learnt from him, and is gradually passed to me by my hubby. Trust me, this is the most easy chutney but full of flavor. The smoky tomatoes, when mashed with some garlic and green hot chopped chilies, the flavor is heavenly. Simply scrumptious!! the tanginess of the tomatoes sufficient to tantalize your taste buds to ask for more.
You must be thinking, what is so special about this chutney?? Tomato chutneys have tomatoes, some salt and pinch sugar, fried with onions and chilies, and seasoned with some more spices etc etc. Big Deal? But, this one is a no-oil chutney. I did see some sparkle in the eyes of anorexic and health watchers.
Because I can’t replicate the chulha flavor, I used to roast tomatoes on the gas flame, until the skin is charred and brown. But I don’t like the after-mess on the burner. So I simply bade adieu to the old process and started taking advantage of the MWO these days and grill the tomatoes. Then crush and mix the dry roasted garlic pods in them. Add some chilies depending on the main dishes for the food and some seasoning of your choice. Finally a touch of greens in the end for beautification.
Time: 15-20 mins.
6-7 medium ripped tomatoes
2 green chilies
1.5 tsp. salt
A pinch black salt
3-4 garlic pod
Roast the tomatoes 1 by 1 on the gas directly. Watch out the mess on the burner though (don’t curse me for this). Otherwise you can use a flameproof support for tomatoes instead of directly roasting on the flame. Or, you can grill the tomatoes in oven for 12-13 mins. or until you get a little roasted skin. Don’t forget to put a cross on the top of each tomato for this.
Let cool and then mash them. Be careful for the hot break free splashes of juice.
Add finely chopped green chilies and coriander.
Add the salts and mix well.
Dry roast garlic pods in a tadka pan or any pan available until brown.
Crush and mix with the chutney.
Relish with parathas/chilas/sandwich spread or as a side dish.
You can add a pinch sugar for that mild sweetness and pep it up with some freshly milled peppercorns . You can do tempering of curry leaves and mustard seeds on the chutney if you like. I like my chutney simple and quick.