Easy Indian Chutneys

July 11, 2008

My 3 sq. ft. balcony has transformed into an Amazon Jungle. All the talking to the leaves on G&Ts, copious amounts of fertilizer and enthusiastic over planting has finally paid off.

In fact, the small pot of mint I bought in the supermarket has turned into a veritable bush. It has banished the basil to a small corner and is viciously eyeing the giant Jasmine creeper.

The best thing about my mini jungle of course is that I can enjoy my own seasonal herbs, without swapping heels for wellies. Which brings me on to seasonal eating. This is something I’ve become very conscious of recently. Mainly because fruits and vegetables taste better when they are in season.

Sadly, Indian cooking requires a lot of ingredients that call for unseasonal eating. Like tomatoes. But the simplest recipes that demand top notch quality are best attempted when the ingredients are in season.

Like these two easy Indian chutneys – Tomato and Pudina (mint). Chutneys are Indian condiments that are made fresh and usually not fermented. They can accompany kebabs. Simply sparkle as dips. And control overzealous plants.

PS = This is my entry to Maninas who is on a mission to get us Eating with the Seasons



Feeds 4:

Tomato chutney

  • 200gm ripe and red tomatoes
  • Half inch ginger
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • Quarter cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil

Pudina chutney

  • 50gm fresh mint
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 green finger chilli
  • Salt to taste


Tomato chutney

Roughly chop the tomatoes and grate the ginger. Bring the oil to heat in a small pot over a high flame.

When it starts sizzling, break in the red chilli and add the ginger. Sir fry for a minute until the ginger turns pale golden. Then add the tomaotes and cook on a high flame until they disintegrate.

Now add the sugar and raisins and stir for another five minutes until the tomatoes take on a jam-like texture. Cool, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days and enjoy.

Pudina chutney

Discard any hard stalks on the mint. Whizz all the ingredients in a blender and add salt to taste. Store as the tomato chutney.

This is especially delicious as a dip with vegetable cutlets or tikkis like this. Or smother fish with this before grilling and serve with salad.



12 Responses to “Easy Indian Chutneys”

  1. Quick Indian Cooking » Fish fillets and feeling complete Says:

    July 29th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    […] this with fresh lemon wedges, a summer salad and some tomato chutney for a quirky and healthy TV meal. This entry was written by Mallika, posted on July 29, 2008 at […]

  2. Padma Says:

    July 24th, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    I an a die-hard garden lover/grower but here I cannot grow my own veggies or herbs as I don’t have a balcony in my apartment. I envy you on this 🙁

    needless to say both chutney’s love incredibly fresh and soothing my senses!

  3. Elisabeth Winkler Says:

    July 21st, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Cursed with plant-killing fingers myself, I am proud I can keep mint going. Chives is an easy one too for us plant-killers. My big success this summer was salad leaves (including hot fiery mustard). The trick is to buy a plant already established.

  4. ROUND-UP: Eating with the Seasons - July « Maninas: Food Matters Says:

    July 16th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    […] Tomato chutney & Mint chutney ~ Mallika of Quick Indian Cooking (London, UK) […]

  5. Pooh Says:

    July 15th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Very nice!
    This year was my first attempt at gardening. Gosh it’s a lot of work to get a good tomato!

  6. Bharti Says:

    July 14th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    My friend planted some mint in her backyard a few years ago. It is now a bush!! It’s just so crazy to walk in there and see a mint bush. The good thing is fresh mint is a short walk away in the summers for me. Lovely condiments. Never heard of raisins in a tomato chutney before.

  7. David Says:

    July 14th, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    I’ve finally managed to keep a basil plant going for a month, I might try mint now too! Looks like a tasty chutney.

  8. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen Says:

    July 14th, 2008 at 7:21 am

    I am totally with you on the seasonal eating thing. I do try to do it as much as I can. I have a nice basil plant on my veranda – the only thing that grew in this Florida heat! Next year I am getting buckets and we are planting tomatoes!!

  9. Maninas Says:

    July 13th, 2008 at 7:03 am

    Gorgeous entry! Thank you!
    I love both chutney! and will definitely make them both!
    The photo is gorgeous, too. vibrant colours, interesting things going on in the photo!

  10. Mallika Says:

    July 12th, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    I love pudina chutney . In summer I blend chopped raw mango , one green chilli and a bunch of mint leaves with salt to make pudina chutney to eat as sandwich spread or simply with rotis .or add a teaspoon to a tub of whipped yogurt . Simply yummy!

  11. Eeshani Says:

    July 11th, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    My grandmother used to make something like your tomato chutney. It was always fabulous. I’d pour like half a pound of the chutney onto a “luchi” and gobble it up. Thank you for bringing back the memories!

  12. RedChillies Says:

    July 11th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    ‘amazon jungle’? You have the green thumb, Mallika. Me on the other hand, “killer thumb”, I just manage to kill the poor plants.
    Hey, loved the version of your chutneys. Tomato with raisin and ginger adds a unique flavor.

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