This was, by far, the most loved item on the menu from last week's Indian cooking class. Many dishes had fans, but everyone thought this was just great. Even better, it's super easy and can be made way ahead. I used canned tomatoes, but you could substitute peeled fresh tomatoes if you wish.
We enjoyed this chutney with chicken and shrimp dishes, but I think it would just fabulous alongside goat cheese on a cheese tray or spread onto roast pork or beef sandwich. This chutney would pair well with multiple flavors (it doesn't necessarily taste "Indian"). The slivered almonds are not something most people expect, but they add a nice contrasting texture. If you're allergic to almonds, pine nuts would be a satisfactory, albeit more expensive, alternative.
Sweet [and Sour] Tomato Chutney
From Madhur Jaffrey's Introduction to Indian Cooking
Makes about 2-3 cups
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2" x 1" x 1" piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
- 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes (I used Muir Glen tomatoes)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
Purée the garlic, ginger and about a third of the vinegar (enough to keep things moving) in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Put the paste from the blender, and all the other ingredients except the raisins and the almonds into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is superthick (Madhur says it should be like honey, mine was chunkier and thicker than honey).
Stir in the almonds and raisins and simmer 5 more minutes.
Taste for salt and sugar and adjust to taste. It may smell like it's too acidic, but give it a taste anyway - add a little sugar if things are too puckery.