On a recent steamy evening, the kids and I decided to get out of the house for a quintessentially suburban cool down, or as my kids would call it, a mall crawl. After hitting every air-conditioned store that was still open, we headed to Rock Sugar for a delicious Southeast Asian supper.
The best part of the meal was this spicy Indian condiment, which we scooped up with crisp black sesame-studded rice crackers. After several attempts to replicate the recipe (and some extensive research into Indian chutneys), I came up with this version, a delightfully piquant and fragrant Indian ketchup. It’s a perfect way to preserve all of your juicy summer tomatoes. Serve it with organic pappadums, over rice, as a condiment for grilled fish and meats, or as a unique dip for fries.
And on your next mall crawl, you might just discover a delicious reason to embrace your suburban side.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 large clove garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoons fresh minced jalapeno, without seeds (or 1 teaspoon dried red chile flakes)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound tomatoes, peeled (see step 1) and diced small (or 1 16-ounce can crushed tomatoes)
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1. To peel the tomatoes, cut around the stems and remove them with a sharp paring knife; score an “x” on the bottoms of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into boiling water for a minute until the skins begin to curl up. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and peel the skins away with your fingers. Quarter them and dice them (you do not need to discard the seeds).
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and stir until they pop and turn dark (keep your distance to avoid getting splattered).
3. Add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the ground coriander and cumin and stir until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, then lower the heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened to a jam-like consistency and the flavors have blended, about 15 minutes. If you like, blend the chutney for a smoother consistency.
5. Cool and serve at room temperature.
Note: To preserve the chutney in glass canning jars, prepare a large pot with a rack or basket on the bottom to keep the jars from touching the bottom of the pot. The pot should be deep enough so that water covers the tops of the jars by 1 inch. To sterilize the jars, boil them in the water for 10 minutes. Remove them with tongs, drip dry, and carefully ladle the chutney into the hot jars, leaving an inch at the top. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp cloth and put the lids on the jars. Place the jars back in the pot; they shouldn’t be touching each other or the sides of the pot. Cover the pot and begin timing when water reaches a boil; boil the jars gently and steadily for another 10 minutes. Remove them with the tongs and place the jars on a towel to cool. Check the lids to make sure the lids are sealed. If they have failed to seal, refrigerate them instead. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
Photo credit: madteaparty.wordpress.com