Hubby Chris introduced me to Indian food and I love it, especially curries and chutney.
Chutney is an Indian condiment made with fruit and spices that's great with any type of dish.
I love chutney! If I could, I'd eat chutney and salsa everyday with everything. I've made tomato and pineapple chutneys in the past.
On Wednesday, I made a tomato-onion chutney with aromatic chicken curry and rice from "Best Ever Indian Cookbook," by Mridula Baljekar, Rafi Fernandez, Shehzad Husain and Manisha Kanani. I love this cookbook and recommend it to anyone interested in dabbling in Indian cooking.
The chicken curry had tomatoes and broccoli and several spices, and I cooked the rice in chicken stock.
For the chutney, I didn't have fresh tomatoes on hand so I used two cans of diced tomatoes. I did have an onion, but didn't feel like peeling it (lazy!) so I used onion flakes instead. Here's the recipe:
Fresh Tomato and Onion Chutney
8 tomatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. garam masala (found in the spice aisle)
1 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 cup malt vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. honey
1. Place the tomatoes and onion into a heavy pan.
2. Add sugar, garam masala, ginger, vinegar, salt and honey. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
3. Mash the tomatoes with a fork to break them up. Continue to cook on slightly warmer heat until chutney thickens.
Most Indian restaurants that I've visited usually serve a mint or other type of chutney with naan, a flat, leavened Indian bread. I haven't attempted to make naan yet because it requires rolling it flat, baking it and then finishing it off under a broiler. (Again, lazy.)
I have, however, made chapatis, another Indian bread that is unleavened and is cooked on the stovetop. Here's the recipe from "Best Ever Indian Cookbook:"
2 cups chapati flour or ground whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water
1. Mix all ingredients together. Knead for 7-10 minutes.
2. (Can let dough sit for 15-20 minutes if you want. I didn't.) Divide dough into 8 to 10 portions. Roll out each into a circle on floured surface.
3. Place a skillet (or griddle) over high heat. When hot (steaming or when water quickly evaporates when you sprinkle it on the surface), lower to medium heat and add chapati(s) to pan.
4. When chapati(s) begins to bubble and is brown, turn it over and press down to flatten and cook on the other side.
If you enjoy these recipes, check out "Best Ever Indian Cookbook" or other books by the authors.
If you look for another Indian cookbook, I recommend finding one that you know you'll use. Don't buy one that gives measurements in metrics if you don't want to do math every time you want to cook a recipe.
I also like how "Best Ever Indian Cookbook" provides several basic recipes so you can make things from scratch if you can't find them in local stores, helpful if you don't live in a metropolitan area. That might be a feature to look for. Some recipes "Best Ever Indian Cookbook" provides are paneer (a cheese), curry paste, coconut milk, tikka paste and garam masala mix.