Every visit to the farmer’s market makes me so thankful that I live in a place where fresh, local produce is available year-round. I especially love summer and fall because of the incredible variety of fruits and vegetables that are available. We are nearing the peak of tomato season here, and the mounds of colorful tomatoes just makes me want to buy bags and bags of them (which I resist since I have my own delicious tomatoes growing in my backyard garden).
While we have eight tomato plants, five of them are cherry varieties and the larger plants haven’t produced as many as I hoped. However, I did have some Early Girls waiting on the counter and I didn’t want them to spoil before I had made something delicious with them. Tomato chutney to the rescue!
My in-laws usually make tomato chutney with Roma tomatoes or the regular round tomatoes you find in the grocery store; they also used canned whole tomatoes, which can make a delicious chutney as well. We serve it with lamb curry or lamb pilau, but it would also be tasty with other red meats such as a beef or goat. I also like it mixed into some dal or over rice.
Note: some tomato varieties are sweeter than others and this will affect the taste of your chutney. I made a chutney out of Sun Golds last year–it was tasty, but a bit too sweet for our liking. I do like a bit of sweetness to offset the savory meatiness of spiced lamb curry, but not too much, so experiment with different types of tomatoes until you find the one you like best. The farmer’s markets will have a number of great tomatoes at this time of year. You can even try mixing a few different kinds.
- 2-2 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced (about 9 small or 4-5 large)
- 1 1/2-2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 12-15 black peppercorns (a trick learned from one of B’s Australian aunties!)
- 1/3 tsp. jeera mix
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed and cut into large pieces
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 3-5 green chilies (Thai or Serrano work well), sliced lengthwise
- 1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
- Heat oil over medium heat in a medium-sized skillet or pot (it should have a lid).
- When oil is hot, add jeera mix and black peppercorns and allow them to pop a little.
- Add sliced onions and stir well. Let cook until translucent, but not browned.
- Add curry leaves and let cook for about a minute. Then add the garlic and chilies, stir, and let cook for a couple minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes and salt; you can also had a bit (maybe 1/4 tsp.) of haldi if you like.
- Let cook, covered, until tomatoes break down and become soft. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
- Uncover and let cook until it reaches your desired consistency and degree of doneness (I like it a bit “soupy” and very well-cooked; you may like it with a more “raw” taste or a thicker consistency).