Tomato chutney

This chutney comes from Bengal (north east India) and served after all the main courses and just before dessert as palate cleansers accompanies by crisp papadums. You can of course serve this chutney with any Indian meal. In Bengal, small cubes of dried mango are added towards the end of the cooking period. These are hard to find in the West so apricots make a good substitute.

Oil for frying
½ tsp panchporan (5 spice mixture)
2 whole dried red chillies
1 tsp of garlic mashed
1 tsp of ginger chopped
4 or 5 large tomatoes
½ tsp chili powder
4 dried apricots cut into small cubes
2 whole fresh hot green chillies

Heat oil in a pan and when hot in the panch pooran. When it sizzles put in the red chillies and soon after the ginger and garlic. Stir for a few seconds and then add the tomatoes and salt. Simmer on a medium to low flame or until the chutney begins to thicken. This may take about 15-20 minutes. Now add the apricot cubes and the green chillies. Simmer and cook on a low heat for another 10 minutes or until the chutney is thick.

If you want a spicy chutney then add ½ tsp of more of chili powder towards the end of the cooking time as the red chillies are used whole and not broken up with seeds and so also the green chillies.

Panch pooran from Bengal
2 tsp whole black mustards seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
¾ fenugreek seeds
Panch pooran can also be used when making a rice pulao or a vegetable dish. You would start by frying these seeds and then adding the rice or vegetable.