Saturday, June 9, 2007

A Dash of Ash's Cookbook: Tomato Chutney

Until last year, I always thought chutney was a white thing. I mean, we ate it at Thanksgiving, which is when white people gather to eat the whitest possible foods (turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy...).

But, as I learned when I started reading Madhur Jaffrey, chutney comes from India, and the cranberry-jello salad we ate at Thanksgiving was about as far from real chutney as can be imagined. Perhaps it should start going by another name.

I'd made one chutney before, but since it was on the same day that I first tasted lime pickle I think I've forgotten most of what it was like.

So when I saw Ash's recipe for tomato chutney on her blog A Dash of Ash, I decided I wanted to try again.

I had all of the ingredients except the cranberries and the serrano peppers... cranberries were easily found, but I still have no good idea what a serrano pepper actually is (and couldn't find any at Namaste Grocery), so I used the ground red pepper I had sitting in my cupboard instead.

In exchange for the major linklove, I'm going to take the liberty of asking Ash directly: Is this close to what yours looked like? ^__^

And here's the picture-on-a-plate, although it doesn't look very appealing next to leftover bean and cornbread casserole. And, sadly, they didn't really complement each other as well as I hoped. Should have gone for upma; that would have been a nice dish to try with the chutney.

It occurs to me that since Ash took her recipe from another blog (Bong Mom's Cookbook) and changed one of the ingredients (omitting the khajur, because she didn't have any), and since I took the recipe from Ash's blog and changed one of the ingredients (red pepper for serrano), we've begun a meme of sorts.

I challenge someone reading this blog to make the tomato chutney, change one ingredient, and post about it.

This could get interesting. Imagine what dish we might create after four or five iterations?

19 comments:

Ash said...

:) It looks pretty similar to mine, although I let the water dry out more so it was thicker. You can basically think of it as a sweet pickle that can accompany any Indian dish. Did you like it?

If you like experimenting, I encourage you to check out the other recipes in the BongMom'sCookBook Blog. Bengali (East Indian) cuisine is very different from the South Indian cuisine that S has introduced to you, and also different from the kind of Indian cuisine that's become popular in the West
(Jaffrey's recipes etc). You might enjoy this different flavor :)

Blue said...

Hmmm... I did like it, though I think next time I will use much less fennel.

It was very sweet -- is that a Bengali thing, or a "just this recipe" thing?

Daniel said...

LOVE the green plate...good choice!

Ash said...

Yeah, this chutney is very sweet ..but you can adjust the sugar to your taste. Its meant to be an accompaniment, probably to balance out the spice of other dishes.

And no, the extra-sweetness is not a Bengali thing ..plenty of spicy Bengali curries specially fish and shrimp! Although Bengalis are famous for their desserts too e.g. rasgullas :)

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