Recipe by Pandit Atul Krishna Das
3-4 ripe sweet organic tomatoes, finely chopped. Roma (plum) tomatoes work best but any ripe tomato will do
Small piece of fresh ginger
1 fresh green chili (or more to taste) Jalapeno peppers work quite well. (Substitute with warming spice if you dont want heat)
1⁄2 tablespoon oil or ghee (do not use oil such as olive oil which does not have a high tem- perature tolerance)
1⁄2 teaspoon mustard seeds
pinch hing (asafetida)
1⁄4 cup unrefined sugar or coconut sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
Try to avoid touching cut chilis with your fingers – chili peppers contain volatile oils which may not immediately produce a burning sensation in your fingers, but will definitely be no- ticed if you touch sensitive skin areas near eyes or private areas. Putting a little oil on your fingers before handling cut chilis and washing with soap and warm water immediately after- ward, or avoid touching the cut chilis altogether (as well as knives and cutting boards that have come in contact with them).
Wash and chop tomatoes and set aside in a bowl
Chop fresh chilis and ginger and have ready. To make the chutney less hot, scrape the seeds and pith out of the inside of the chilis.
Heat oil in a saucepan and add mustard seeds – oil should be hot enough that mustard seeds pop almost immediately after adding them to the hot oil. When the popping slows a bit (be careful – some of the hot oil may spatter) add the chopped green chilis and ginger.
Immediately add a pinch of asafetida powder, then add the chopped tomatoes.
Add a pinch of salt and simmer for about 5 minutes without a lid until tomatoes are cooked. Cooking longer may be needed to remove excess water.
Add jaggery (cooked and hardenedsugarcane juice available at Indian grocery stores) or unrefined sugar (turbinado sugar or sucanat – if all else fails brown sugar will do) and cook another minute or two.
May be served warm or cold. Keeps in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week.