Chutneys help spice up an otherwise boring meal. There is no limit to the number of chutneys and they can be made from any vegetable/fruit/herb/spices or a combination of them. My Mom recently made a chutney where she combined some sweet grated mango chutney with some hung curd and a handful of fresh mint( from my kitchen garden). Possibilities are endless really(like everything else) and most chutneys also double up as sandwich spreads, dips. I have even added leftover pudina/dhania chutneys into gravies to spice them up.
Tomato chutney or Chatni as it referred to is the most common form of Chutney in the
Eastern part of the country. A quintessential part of Bengali wedding menus. The elaborate wedding menu usually finishes with tomato Chutney and papad. You literally lick your fingers to the finish. The best way to enjoy this chutney is to savour it bit by bit, to let the sweetness with a tinge of sour pervade through your senses.
Adding Aaam Papad( or Aaam Shato as it is called in Bengali) or Khajur makes the chutney more flavorsome. Aam Papad adds body to the chutney and gives it a nice sweet and sour taste.
Tomato Aaam Papad Chutney
Tomato: 1/2 kilo, medium size tomato
Aam papad: 5/6 cubes, chopped into small bits
Sugar: 4/5 tbsp
Salt: To taste
Panch Phoran: 1 tsp(Panch phoran is cumin, fennel, nigella, fenugreek, mustard seeds mixed in equal quantity)
Oil: 1 tsp
Whole Jeera: 2 tsp
Heat oil in a kadhai. Once the oil heats up add the panchphoran and let it sputter. Next add the tomatoes and cook till they soften. Add the sugar and let it dissolve completely. Add the salt. Finally add the aam papad. Dry roast the Jeera seeds and coarsely grind them. Sprinkle it over the chutney. Let the Chutney cool. Store in the refrigerator.
Chutneys stay well for days and are healthier than pickles( which tend to be high on oil, that killer salt and spices). Ideal when you are entertaining as you can make it a day or two early.
Bon Apetit and Happy Cooking!