Hare ‘mato

Baby KrsnaAn unexpected sighting of Hare Krishnas singing at the beach today has inspired me to share a favourite recipe.

This Tomato Chutney is the best. It goes well with just about anything from sandwiches to barbecues, even fried eggs. It’s easy to make, is super delicious and can be a great gift. My personal story attached to this recipe however is what I love most about it.

About 25 years ago, give or take…

I was sitting with a group of friends enjoying the Sunday Night Feast at a Krishna Center in Brisbane. We were hungry, broke and a little dusty after weekend adventures. The Center in contrast was clean and richly alluring with its incense burning, tiny cymbals chiming, porcelain deities draped with golden leis were smiling, and ‘divine’ food was served. Kind of for the fun of it, I ended up staying for a while – long enough to own a few saris and the vegetarian book this recipe comes from. It’s by the Jamie Oliver of the Krishna world, Kurma dasa.

Great Vegetarian Dishes - Kurma dasaI looked up Kurma dasa last night and found an old blog with lots of recipes including a slightly different version of the chutney called: Yamuna Devi’s Sweet Tomato Chutney with Fennel

However, this is my special chutney and I love it. I think you will too.

Tomato Chutney

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): about 15-30 minutes
Makes: about 2-2 1/2 cups.

  • 3 tablespoons ghee or oil (I just use oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½  teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 3-4 whole dried red chillies, broken
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds,
  • 1 x 5cm (2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon (2ml) turmeric 
  • 3½  cups (875g) firm ripe tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (I use 800g tin of chopped tomatoes)
  • 2/3 cup of sugar (I use the sugar alternative, stevia)
  • ½ cup sultanas (the recipe says optional and I never add sultanas)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Heat the ghee or oil in a large heavy frying pan over moderate heat.

Saute the mustard seeds in the hot oil until they begin to crackle. Add the cumin and cinnamon. When the cinnamon darkens, add chilli bits and turmeric. Immediately add the tomatoes and , stirring to mix, cook over a moderate heat for 10 mins. Add sugar, sultanas, and salt.

For moist chutney, continue to cook for another 5 minutes. For a thick jam-like chutney (which I prefer), cook for another 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

This is the best – promise.

Author: Sharon Quill

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