Easy-to-make Tomato Chutneys

It’s popularly said, “make hay while the Sun shines”. I say make tomato chutneys when you have ripe red tomatoes available in abundance. 🙂

In winters tomatoes are available at quite a reasonable price. Apart from making pizza sauce, I regularly make these two varieties of tomato chutney in winter. These chutneys add extra flavor and taste to simple meals.

The first traditional sweet tomato chutney taste wonderful with multi-grain paratha or stuff paratha’s. While the spicy and sour one goes well with kebabs, pakoras and samosa.

So here is the list of ingredient for the traditional Marwari sweet tomato chutney or tamatar ki lungi as it’s called in my family.

tomato-chutney-rajasthani

Ingredients:

  • Tomato: ½ kg
  • Green chilly: 2 finely chopped
  • Ginger: ¼ inch
  • Mint leaves: 5-6
  • Raisins: 1 tbsp
  • Fennel seeds: ½ tsp
  • Mustard seeds: ¼ tsp
  • Cumin seeds: ¼ tsp
  • Asafoetida: ¼ tsp
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
  • Jaggery: ¼ cup
  • Ghee: ½ tbsp.

Process:

I know you must be thinking these many ingredients for a chutney? But trust me this chutney has some amazing taste and you must try this.

  • Roughly chop tomatoes and finely chop chilies.
  • Heat ghee and add mustard and cumin seeds.
  • Let seeds crackle and then add fennel seeds and asafoetida.
  • Now add chopped chilies, stir it and add chopped tomatoes.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder, reduce the flame to minimum and cover the tomatoes. Cooking covered on low flame for 10 minutes will make tomatoes tender.
  • Now add grated ginger, raisins and mix well.
  • Add 1 cup of water and jaggery. Let water boil and simmer it on medium flame for few minutes. You will get chutney with thick consistency.
  • Take it off the flame and garnish it with chopped mint leaves.
  • Sweet tomato chutney is done and ready to be served.

Tomato-chutney-sweet

  • Jaggery can be substituted with sugar, also you can adjust sweetness per your taste. Since this chutney has water content, it doesn’t have a long shelf-life and may not last for more than a week even if kept in refrigerator.

Sour and Spicy Tomato Chutney

I learned this spicy tomato chutney from one of my bhaili’s mom. It has south-Indian taste to it and is amazingly delicious.

spicy-tomato-chutney

Here are ingredients of this simple and spicy version of tomato chutney.

Ingredients:

  • Tomato: ½ kg
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 2 tbsp
  • Red chili powder: ½ tbsp
  • Asafoetida: ¼ tsp
  • Salt: ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
  • Mustard seeds: ½ tsp
  • Few curry leaves

Process:

  • Roughly chop tomatoes.
  • In a heavy bottom skillet, add tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Mix well and cook tomatoes covered on low flame for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes tomatoes will turn tender and you will get a paste kind consistency. Evaporate any excess water and then take it off the flame.
  • In this chutney, flavor comes from tempering of spices. Keep all ingredients ready while tempering to get the best flavor.
  • In another skillet heat ghee on medium flame. Make sure heat is not high or spices will burn. In hot ghee add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves. Take it off the flame and immediately add chili powder.
  • Add these tempered spices in cooked tomatoes and mix well.

Spicy tomato chutney is ready. I told you this chutney is pretty simple.

South-indian-tomato-chutney

This chutney stays good in refrigerator for up to a month. However, I usually prefer making in small batches for a week or so. Some of my friends make it in large quantity and relish it even for a month.

You can replace ghee with any oil of your choice.

If you are looking for other chutney recipes then do check mint chutney, tamarind and jaggery chutney and garlic chutney.

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How to Make Rajasthani Churma Recipe

Churma is a traditional sweet preparation that’s made in every Marwari household. It’s a  must on every auspicious occasions and celebrations and is normally made on teej and ganesh-churthi as prasad.

Authentic-churma

Frankly speaking, I was not much fond of it in childhood, but developed a taste for it over the period of time. Recipe of this traditional dish is passed on from one generation to other in every Marwari family. I belong to a big Marwari joint family where churma is often made in large batches with all ladies making it together.

Churma is quite durable and stays good even for a month. So, whenever I’m visiting my mom’s place she packs some to bring back along. Therefore, I usually never bothered to make it all by myself.

However, couple of years back, one of our family friends were visiting us for lunch and they asked me to prepare an authentic Rajasthani food. So, that led me to ask my mom its recipe in detail.

So, here I am sharing my mom’s recipe of churma.

Ingredients

  • Wheat flour: 2 cups
  • Ghee (clarified butter): ½ cup + 2 tbsp
  • Powdered sugar: 1 cup
  • Edible gum (gond): 2 tbsp
  • Almond flakes: 1  tbsp
  • Crushed cardamom: 1tsp
  • Crushed cloves: 2
  • Ghee for deep frying

Procedure

  • Add ½ cup ghee in flour and rub with your finger to mix it evenly in flour. After mixing, put flour in your fist and check if flour is maintaining its shape (as seen in image below). This is to check there is sufficient ghee in flour.

churma-dough-preparation

  • Now intermittently add small amount of water and knead a hard dough. Its dough should be stiffer than usual chapatti dough. Cover the dough with damp muslin cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Divide the dough in small balls and give it shape by putting it between your fists. You have to press your fingers in center of each portion to make an impression (image below). This is the traditional way of making churma that I have grown-up watching.

hurma-making-process

  • After giving shape, fry them all in medium heat on heavy bottom skillet. Keep turning and twisting so that they are fried evenly. Fry till they turn golden and crisp from outside from all side. Be patient while frying, because it takes time to cook from inside out.

Traditionally, frying was done in ghee but if you want you can fry in any refine oil. I have even heard some of my friends baking them instead of frying.

churma-in-process

  • Drain them on absorbent paper and let the pieces cool. On cooling break them into smaller pieces by hand and grind them into fine powder.
  • In heavy bottom skillet, heat 2 tbsp ghee and fry gond. You can read more about gond and its health benefits in post on suji and gond ki barfi.

I use home-made ghee in all my preparations. Do read how to make ghee in microwave as here I have shared easy process that I follow to make ghee at home.

  • After taking out gond from ghee, heat almond flakes on low flame for few seconds while stirring continuously.
  • Take skillet off the heat and while ghee is still hot after frying, add crushed cardamom and cloves in hot ghee.
  • Now add ground powder, powdered sugar and everything else  in the same skillet and mix thoroughly. Do remember that you have to mix everything off the flame or else powdered sugar will melt. You can adjust the sweetness according to your taste.

Roasted mawa can also be added in this churma while mixing powdered sugar. However, I prefer making churma without mawa as this increases its shelf life.

Authentic-churma-recipe

So, churma is ready and you can store it in an air-tight container. It can be served with kheer, milk or even dal. It’s a popular side-dish along with dal-bati. However, it can be tried as a main dish as well. I like having it with dal and any dry potato sabzi, while my mom prefers it with cold milk.

Although, it requires some effort, but once ready it gets quite handy. It’s filling and I often give it to my daughter – making its paste in milk when she is not in mood to have her regular meal. Also, whenever I am not in mood to cook or busy, then having churma with milk makes life easy!

So, do try this at home and let me know your feedback. 🙂

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Easy Chana Dal Pakora

Few days back, I was grinding soaked chana dal to make stuffing for farra (a delicious and healthy steamed preparation made of rice-flour and chana dal).

Suddenly, my daughter came with her demand for pakora, and soon my hubby too joined her saying this monsoon does call for hot pakoras. So, all of a sudden plan for tempting channa dal pakoras was in place.

bengal-gram-fritter

Pakora is very easy to make and even better, it tastes awsome in cool weather. In Indian households, in rainy weather, hot plate of fried snacks and masala chai are a common sight.

Just like spicy samosa, pakoras too are favorite street food available around the year in all parts of India. They are also called vadas or bhajias in different parts of the country.

Pakoras are Indian fritters made out bengal-gram (chana-dal) flour or lentils. It can similarly be made with green-gram (moong-dal) lentil. Just make sure you have soaked dal for 2 hours prior to grinding. Actually, lots of variations can be done in pakora while adding any vegetable of your liking in batter. You may also like to read about moong-dal tikki – the lentil preparation with less oil.

Though these days I have reduced the frequency of making pakora as it’s deep-fried, but once in a while savoring lip-smacking hot snacks is permissible :-). So here is the easy process of making chana dal pakora.

Ingredients

  • Soaked bengal-gram (chana dal): 1 cup
  • Sliced Onion: ½ cup
  • chopped green chilly: 2
  • Chopped coriander leaves: 1 tbsp
  • Ginger: ½ inch
  • Salt: as per taste
  • Turmeric: ½ tsp (optional)
  • Asafoetida (hing): ¼ tsp
  • Cumin seeds: ½ tsp
  • Oil for deep frying

Procedure

  • Cut thin slices of onion. It’s important to cut thin slices of onion because thick slices of onion take more time to cook than dal. So you won’t get the taste of crisp pakoras, after all the fun is in having in crisp pakoras.
  • Grind soaked chana dal, ginger and make a coarse paste. You can even add green chilly while grinding. But when children are around I prefer adding thick-chopped chilies so they can remove it while eating. Do not add water while grinding or it will make the batter thin.
  • Now add onion and all the other ingredients in batter and mix well. You can grind dal few hours in advance, but don’t leave batter for long duration after mixing salt and onion.  This is because water is released from onion which thins the batter. After proper mixing, batter is ready for deep frying.
  • Heat oil in heavy bottom skillet and add spoonfuls of batter in hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the skillet with pakoras or you will find it difficult to manage these hot bubbling beauties. 🙂
  • After about 5 minutes, slowly turn them upside down. You will see nice golden color. Keep turning them till you get evenly-cooked crisp pakoras.

Once they get that nice golden color, pull them out and spread on kitchen paper towels as this will absorb excess oil. My Mil often jokes whenever I keep pakoras on kitchen towels after frying. She says, “your generation love to enjoy fried food but want to avoid oil, how is that possible?”  🙂

lentin-fritter

Enjoy these tempting pakoras with hot cup of masala-tea accompanied by green mint chutney or garlic chutney. You may even like the combination of sweet and tangy tamarind chutney with hot pakoras.

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