Green Tomato Chutney
Harae Tamatar ki Chatni
This recipe is for people who grow their own tomatoes or have access to green tomatoes. Use even the tiny ones that are not of any other use. It tastes better a week or two after you have made it. I love it with crackers, Ritz or any other, and Mathari. Use less green chillies if you do not like hot food. Makes approximately 4 standard jam jars.The word ‘chutney’ comes from the Hindi word ‘chatni’, a tangy and spicy sauce/paste that makes you smack you lips. In Hindi, the word ‘chat’ or ‘chaat’ mean ‘lick’ and the word ‘chatna’ means ‘to lick’. Chutney is a spicy sauce that makes your tongue and mouth come alive! Indian chatni is a mix of uncooked fruits (raw mango/apple/other fruits), green chillies, herbs like coriander and mint, a few spices, lemon or vinegar or tamarind, sometimes sugar, all ground together to make a sauce/paste. Other ingredients can also be added according to taste. In England and the West, Chutney generally means a spicy preserve/condiment, where fruits or vegetables have been cooked in vinegar, with spices and sugar, and then bottled.
1 kg. green or mixed green and half ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 cup malt vinegar, approximately 225 ml. (adjust to taste)
10 green chillies, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 level tbsp. salt, adjust to taste, adding a little at a time. You can use Kala Namak or black salt instead, which gives a nicer flavour.
1 tbs. roast cumin, coarsely ground
1 tbs. sweet paprika for colour (optional)
2 tsp. tomato puree (optional)
250 gm sugar or equivalent amount artificial sweetener
1 tsp. Garam Masala
Place all ingredients, except sugar/sweetener, in a pan and bring to boil. Turn heat to low and cook covered until tomatoes are soft.
Uncover and boil briskly, until it reaches chutney/relish like consistency.
If using sugar, add sugar and bring to boil. If using sweetner, turn heat off, then add sweetner and mix.
Taste and adjust seasoning/sweetness/tartness, adding more salt, chillies, sugar, garam masala and vinegar as required.
Allow to cool a little. Too hot might crack your jars.
Transfer to sterilized jars, cover jar tops with cling film and screw lid on.
Turn the jars up-side-down (tip from Ian Hoare). This will create a vaccuum and increase shelf life of the chutney.
Label and store.
Chutney's improve in taste as they mature, so leave the jars for one month before using it. I can never wait that long and have to have some straight away!
You can add 500 gm. finely chopped/grated onions to this chutney at step 1 and adjust spices according to increased weight.
For diabetics, use artificial sweetener. It should be added at the end, after turning the heat off.
Standing a metal spoon/fork in the jar, when you are pouring hot chutney in it, will stop the jar from cracking.
Also see Pickle and Chutney Selection.