Green Tomato Chutney

 Although I knew about green tomato chutney I had never made it before. It was  partly because I didn’t have the heart to pluck my precious crop (before their time) preferring to wait for them to take their own sweet time and ripen. But I’ll soon be going on a ten-day holiday with my sister, nephew, and nieces and what better way to preserve the goodness of these fruits by making them into chutney. One that does not demand a long list of ingredients and a great amount of time. So on this sunny and slightly windy day it was the smell of a tomatoey chutney that wafted from my kitchen.

 I picked eighteen tomatoes this morning. Some were round and some were oblong. Seeds and plants are usually sold here without the names of the cultivar. The latest issue of BBC Good Food India has a lot of tomato details. According to the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, India has over 7,500 varieties of tomatoes. Though the varieties differ, the appearance and taste of tomatoes grown in India remain largely uniform. Some of the commonly grown varieties are: Arka Abha, Arka Alok, Angurlata, Pant Bahar and Ratna.

Added to the fried onions (left) & the finished product.

500 grams green tomatoes, washed and chopped
2 tbsp mustard oil
2 medium onions finely chopped
10 green chillies, chopped
2 sticks cinnamon
5-6 Indian bay leaves
Salt to taste
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
100ml apple cider vinegar
A pinch of grated nutmeg

Heat the mustard oil in a pan. When it comes to smoking point, add the mustard seeds. As soon as they sputter, add the bay leaves, the cinnamon, and the onions.
Fry the onions till they change colour then add the chillies and the chopped tomatoes.
Keep covered and cook till the liquid is reduced to half. Season with salt.
Check the consistency. When the natural juices are further reduced, add the brown sugar and the vinegar.
Add a pinch of grated nutmeg. Cook till the mixture thickens. Remove from the flame and let it cool.
Remove the bay leaves and the cinnamon sticks. When the chutney cools, transfer to a bottle and store in the fridge.
This chutney goes very well with Indian flatbreads and also with aloo tikkis.

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