Okay, it is Janmashtami and I am home with my family in Thrissur, Kerala. Since morning, my mother had been asking me to accompany her to a famous Shiva-Parvati temple in Kodungallur. Reluctantly, I agreed and took her to the temple. It was evening and I could smell the dosa batter getting poured over piping hot tawas sending vapors of clarified butter into the moist air of the city, and the very sensation aroused a craving for Dosa and South Indian tomato chutney enroute to the temple. Even at the temple, all I could think of was about the Dosa and chutney. I brushed the dust over the South Indian recipe for Tomato Chutney in my head as I drove back home.
So, when I finally returned home at about 9 in the night, I immediately rushed towards my cocina (kitchen) and got the following out for South Indian Recipe:
- Tomatoes – 2
- Nutmeg Flower – 1/6 of the piece
- Clove – 4
- Black Pepper – 6 pods
- Cinnamon – small piece
- Jaggery juice- 1 tablespoon
- Dried Red Chilly – 1 (2 if you want too hot)
- Split Black Gram (Urad Dal/Uzhunnu Parippu) – 2 teaspoon
- coriander leaf
- Onion – 1/2
- Garlic – 3 pods
- Curry Leaves
- Basil leaves
- Coconut Oil or Sesame Oil (Things that distinguish South Indian recipes from others are these two oils that we use)
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First 6 Minutes
After finely chopping tomatoes, coriander leaves, onion, garlic and ginger, put a pan on low flame. In the pan, pour 2 tablespoon of coconut oil (or sesame oil). The coconut oil will give the chutney a Malayalee touch, while sesame oil will make it more like Andhra-Kannada style. In Malayalam, Chutney is also called Chamanthi, and is widely served in Kerala by the same name. While, Chutney is a more generalized term these days for the south Indian recipes.
Next 6 Minutes
Once the oil starts heating, add the urad dal/gram and let it fry till its brownish in color. Make sure that you do not burn this, as you also have to add your other ingredients while the gram is changing its color. Next introduce cloves, black pepper pods, cinnamon, nutmeg flower and red chilly. Using nutmeg flower makes it more Mallu and distinguishes it from stereotypical South Indian recipes. As the red chilly starts changing color, introduce the chopped onions, ginger and garlic. I do not like over indulging the taste of any dish with garlic, therefore, I avoid or use minimal garlic. If you are okay with burping afterwards with the pungent smell of garlic, then go ahead add more garlic. Let the mix fry on low flame.
Final 6 Minutes
When you start getting a beautiful aroma of fried onion, it is time to bring in the tomatoes. We will let the tomatoes cook in the low flame for another 5 minutes, or until they turn softer. Once done, transfer the mix to broad platter and let it cool. Once it cools down, grind it in the mixer along with little coriander leaf, little salt and jaggery juice (you can also use water if you do not want jaggery). Jaggery gives a khatta meetha (tangy) taste to the South Indian chutney. I like it that way. Transfer the chutney to a bowl.
While, in the pan, take some fresh oil (use the same oil as used before) and saute mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add the seasoning in the bowl of chutney and mix well. Wow, that’s it. It took me just 18 minutes, and I was having the chutney with neer dosai at 9:25! Quite fulfilling and good for digestion as well.
Try it out and let me know hot it went because I am very excited to know how it went for you.
And most of all, don’t forget to share this if you liked this Mixed South Indian recipe of tomato Chutney.