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Written by the YesChef staff
Tomato chutney can be used in a variety of ways. You can serve tomato chutney at room temperature or you can serve it cold. It can be eaten with samosas or any other kind of chaat, the popular South Indian street food. You can serve it as a dip for flatbreads like parathas. It can be used with different types of dosa – the crisp crepes of Southern India – and with an assortment of Indian pancakes.
Tomato chutney is even an awesome alternative to ketchup if you want something delicious to eat hamburgers or hot dogs with or to dip your French fries into. In Southern India, the food is eaten as a breakfast condiment to complement ponga, which is a rice dish; rava dosa, a crispy crepe made with semolina as well as green chilis, ginger, cumin, and coriander leaves; and pesarattu, a thin, protein-rich crepe made with spices such as ginger and cumin and whole green gram, also known as mung beans.
According to some recipes, you can add any of the following ingredients to your tomato chutney. These include urad dal, curry leaves, mustard seeds, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, black pepper, onions, tamarind, and garlic.
Urad Dal: Recipes for tomato chutney often recommend that you add a teaspoon or so of urad dal, which is a lentil-like bean commonly used in South Indian dishes. Urad dal is high in protein and fiber and can add a nice nutritional boost to recipes. (Note: While 1 tsp urad dal is the most often recommended amount, other tomato chutney recipes suggest that you add ½ tsp urad dal or 2 tsp urad dal.)
Chana Dal: Split chickpea lentils, or chana dal, can also be incorporated into your chutney. Chana dal can be used in combination with – or instead of – urad dal and can add a nice boost of nutrition to this side dish.
Curry Leaves: To add an herby, citrus-like taste to your tomato chutney, you can incorporate some curry leaves.
Mustard Seeds: For a nice complementary spice, you can add mustard seeds to recipes for tomato chutney. Black mustard seeds should be used if you prefer to add a stronger, spicier flavor while yellow mustard seeds will be better for producing a milder taste. (1 tsp mustard seeds is a common suggested amount)
Red Wine Vinegar: Some recipes suggest that you add red wine vinegar. Its purpose is to enhance the recipe with a complex, acidic flavor.
Brown Sugar: For another slight variation, some recipes for tomato chutney call for you to add brown sugar (and / or honey) instead of white sugar.
Black Pepper: For a sharp and earthy kick to help intensify the flavors of other ingredients in your chutneys, add some black pepper to your recipe.
Onions: Chopped onions are also sometimes added to recipes for tomato chutney. Also, onion tomato chutney, which is made with red chilis and chana dal in addition to tomatoes and onions, is a popular South Indian condiment.
Tamarind: Tamarind, an intense spice, is often added to a tomato chutney recipe as well.
Any fresh ripe tomatoes are ideal for your tomato chutney recipe. But the flavor of the tomatoes you use – whether they’re fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes – may vary based on how ripe the tomatoes are, what season it is, and the individual variety of tomato. For a uniquely fresh and sweet tasting tomato chutney, you can use cherry tomatoes if you are lucky enough to grow your own tomatoes or have access to a local farmers market.
Asma uses sunflower oil for its neutral taste. Mustard oil, a strong-flavored oil, is commonly used to make chutney in Bengali cooking. Other oils that can be used to cook chutney include olive oil or peanut oil, although any type of vegetable oil can be employed in the effort.