Saturday, 24 March 2012

Roasted tomato chutney/ achar

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Whenever I invite people over for a meal, I get all worked up and start planning for a 101 things to make. I even buy all those ingredients for the 101 things and since my organisational skills are extremely good I end up cooking the very last moment, panic and in the nth hour decide to not make half of the things I planned on preparing.

Story of my life.... You'd think I'd learn from mistakes, no, not me, that ship has sailed long past and I sit and wallow in sympathy (or at least hope I get some sympathy). I panic and turn to the husband who decides to console me by saying I take too much unnecessary pressure, its only a bunch of friends, you don't even need to make starters, why are you overdoing it, no one will eat so much so on and so forth...not what you want to hear when you have guests coming in any time, a messy (open) kitchen, at least two dishes on the hob (bubbling away) and a human version of an exploded volcano- that's me btw (forgive the pun).

Its always the starters that I end up leaving for the last minute and invariably not make it at all. Ro keeps telling me its rude to hover around the kitchen when there are guests involved. I admit its rude to cook while they are around, but checking in on stuff in the oven, filling a tart or even frying something is acceptable, especially because these things, if made before hand, loses all the goodness. Which of course is all Greek and Latin to my husband and we end up arguing about it (always and in between all this commotion). 
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He offers to help, like thread stuff on to skewers and stuff, but god it takes an awful lot of time, Ro being the perfectionist he is, and asks at least 10 different questions on how to do it. Did I tell you I have no patience to answer to people when I'm in the midst of something? Well, my husband of 6 yrs doesn't get it and keeps asking me 'does the tomato have to always go in first? Why are we threading it, cant we just pile it all in a bowl and serve, its going into peoples mouths, no one cares. To avoid all this nonsense, I don't ask him to help with preps. Trust me, its a smart move, because over involved husbands are a pain to deal with, I've seen some and I don't want to encourage it. So the rule in our household is..if you need help, ask for it.

So anyway, coming back to the topic, we had a few relatives over a while back and since there were quite a few of them we decided to order biryani from a fav restaurant of ours. Since main course was taken care of, I had all the time in the world to go ballistic on starters. Again, after a warning from the husband that I shouldn't over do it, since biryani is a heavy meal, I still went ahead and make a tonne of starters. I also decided to do a wine and cheese pairing since most of them were wine drinkers (and also because I had just researched and written an article on wine pairing and it sounded too good to pass). I made this chutney rather by fluke and it ended up being a great accompaniment with cheese and crackers. It is so easy to put together and stays in the refrigerator for quite some time. I also use this as a dip for momo's, vada's and even dosa and idli. The measurements are all adjustable, so bear with the vagueness.          
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Ripe tomatoes- 250 gms, sliced in half (any variety is fine)
Olive oil- 1/2 tbsp
Sea salt- to sprinkle
Pepper- to sprinkle (freshly ground)
Coriander leaves- 1/2 tbsp, chopped (optional)
Green chilli- 1, roughly chopped
Ginger paste- 1 tsp
Garlic paste- 1 tsp
Vegetable oil- 1/2 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek powder- a generous pinch
Asafoetida- a pinch
Salt- to taste
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Pre heat oven to 200C
Line a baking tray with silver foil and arrange the tomatoes on it, cut side up.
Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Roast in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes.
Once done, take it out and leave to cool. You can peel away the outer covering if you want, but I left it on.
Grind together the roasted tomatoes, coriander leaves and green chilli to a paste-like consistency.
Mix with the ginger and garlic pastes.

When ready to cook, heat oil in a sauce pan and add the mustard seeds. Let it splutter.
Add the tomato paste along with fenugreek and asafoetida powder and cook on medium heat till you see the oil separating. Keep stirring in between.
Check for seasoning, add if required and take it off the flame.
Leave aside to cool and serve it with some crackers and cheese.
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Notes: Its a slightly tangy dish, so be prepared.
Add more green chillies if you want it spice or if you want a mild version, omit the green chilli altogether and add a half tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder instead.
Replace olive oil with any other oil. I like how the olive oil gives a distinct taste.

20 comments:

Turmeric n Spice said...

When am working in the kitchen I don't like help either. I rather do it myself then answer 10000 Qs and the deal with suggestions of easier alternatives :) Iol!!


Love the dip !! And the shots !! Love the crums --- adds life to the clicks :)

Enjoy your weekend

Chao

schmetterlingwords said...

Lovely tangy chutney and perfect with the cheese crackers !! I loved the write up, it was very funny and I could relate it to our household too.. :)

Kadhyaa said...

I too go ur way when guests are expected for a meal. its crazy sometimes and worry where I will spoil the meal :(. I hooked into this dip recently and I am in love wth it. though the recipe differes. will try your way :)

Sumi said...

ha ha ha..enjoyed reading the post.Had a good laught too.I 100 % agree on whatever you have said, especially the husband part ;)

Sunshine And Smile said...

The husband and their questions!! Mine is a clumpy .. helps less.. drops more. So I ask him to stay away from the kitchen :P
I love tomato chutney and that is actually my next post. I had a similar kind of chutney that you made except she had also added some tamarind. Goes lovely with cheese adn crackers.
PS: Would love to read that article you wrote! Where can I find it ?

manjooo said...

mmmmm...i love to have this with iddly or dosa...

wonderful clicks!!!

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Delicious looking tomato chutney.

Deepa
Hamaree Rasoi

Sudha said...

Nisha,
I felt like you were writing for me!Believe me, everything sounds so familiar - I am an absolute wreck every time I have friends for dinner and hubby's umpteen questions for a small bit of a help for something makes me go bonkers:) It was a very enjoyable read and a lovely roasted Tomato achar too - and I'm sure your guests enjoyed that lovely dinner!

Ria Mathew said...

LOL! Nisha, here Jobin is my one and only helper! He helps me out like crazy especially with unloading the dishwasher and keeping things back in place. I do all the prep and cooking. So he helps out with cleaning the house (coffee table,dining table etc) plus fill water in the water jug,set the table, arrange plates for the apps etc. Of course there will be 100 FAQ's in between which almost drives me crazy pakshe saramilla, bhakki ellam cheyythu tharunille :)

The chutney looks very good! I am sure momos would be exceptionally good with it!

Kitchen Boffin said...

mmm.. i think my hubby is ditto of ur Ro when it comes to helping in kitchen... i always run off with my onions when he offers to slice them (coz i know i wont get the slices for another hour) btw.. great chutney.. lovely pics as usual!

Kulsum said...

i would love this i m sure. I also have a roasted tomato chutney on my blog which tastes fabulous but looks ugly.

Nitha said...

Haha.. Love your write up here..Looks like the same happens everywhere :)

Never thought this is a chutney when I saw the clicks.. Love this tomato chutney. I always get the ready made ones.. Never tried at home..

the Junkie book said...

Hmm, I would like to try this out with olive oil too!

Beautiful photos; and great Ro Ramble...let's make a jumble out of it...Rambo ;p

Ananda Rajashekar said...

Oh last pic is a killer! would love to read about wine and cheese pairing, where do I find them? and when i'm in the kichen i guess it's better to leave me alone for the amount of mess i create!

Suchi said...

The chutney looks yum...I also have the same crisis as yours...my problem is I leave cleaning the house till the last moment, after which I have to make the starter...every chore takes longer than my estimation...so has to rope in husband...same with him...man the questions he can ask...:-)

Biny Anoop said...

chutney is superb....quick ones wen i get those hunger pangs

Rookie Qookie said...

The chutney looks great and I also love the Tomato chutney version served along with Dosa..And as for the ruckus that accompanies Food prep - You are not alone and to avoid any confrontations, I assign hubby-bi to clean up the place :)

Archana said...

Glad to know someone else also suffers the questions its not only me. I do believe it is difficult to train men. 24 years experience dear.
I just shoo all out of the kitchen and then sulk that no one helps me, I ma also getting old etc. :) But i love it

Love the chutney by the way.

Cassia Bark said...

My husband not only asks a thousand Qs but also has to give his expert opinion about everything that I do (and don't!!!). I'd rather not have him around when I'm doing something in the kitchen. I try to get rid of him by sending him to the shops or simply by allowing him to go to a frnd's place for a game and beer :/.Better still call friends over on friday evening and I can spend all day cooking at home without the menace hanging around!!!

Came back after a long break and found so many amazing posts...fab looking chutney. It's quite similar to the tomato chutney we bongs do. We add julliened ginger, aamshotto(aam papad), dates and hell load of sugar to it :D.

Puneet Thakkar said...

I love tomato chutney, they're so delicious. Yours look so tasty
tomato chutney achar heard first time and will be making this weekends