Tomato Chaatni (Chutney) is one of my favourite chaatni during winter. The word Chaatni is very much the Bengali word for Chutney. The juicy tomatoes simply lure me to make lots of Chutney and keep it in the fridge. When I was young there used to be a Tak (Sour) item cooked everyday during lunch. It could amaar tak, tentuler tak (tamarind chutney), anarosher chutney (pineapple chutney) with mustard paste and kamrangar tak (star fruit chutney). Chutney has always been one of my favourite dish and I love it with dal, bhat and aloo bhaja.
Most of the Bengalis like chutney. In Bengali context Chutney is a sweet and sour relish served towards the end of the meal.
Tomato chutney tastes good with khejur (dates) and even with aamshotto (aam papad). I did not have khejur or aamshotto, so I made it simple.
For Tomato Chutney the main ingredients are:
Tomato, sugar, salt, dry red chili (whole), cooking oil, turmeric powder, tamarind whole or pulp and any home made masala for extra flavour . The other two ingredients are optional – khejur and aamshotto,.
Wash 5 large size tomatoes and cut them into small pieces. Heat oil in a kadhai and when the oil is hot break into half and add 2/3 dry red chilies. Once the chili turns darker in colour add the chopped tomatoes and sauté. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and stir. Cover and cook over slow flame, keep stirring from time to time. The tomato will release its juice. Add salt to taste and also add the sugar about 8 tbsp or adjust as per your taste. It is time to add the tamarind pulp or whole tamarind, with or without the seeds, to give it a little tangy taste. Now cook it over slow flame. Enough juice has been given out from the pulpy tomatoes and also by adding sugar. Cook till it reduces to a thick consistency. Sprinkle the powdered masala of roated jeera, red chili and methi. This powder gives an achari taste.
If you want to add khejur or aamshotto, add it along with the salt and sugar so that the khejur and the aamshotto becomes soft. Can add whole khejur or cut into half removing the seed. Also cut the aamshotto into tiny pieces before adding it to the cooking tomatoes.
And get the taste…