Sunday 29 September 2013

Roasted tomato and cumin chutney

Faced with a major influx of ripe tomatoes, I realised that we had just used the last of a favourite - roasted tomato and cumin chutney. It goes wonderfully with a strong-flavoured cheese such as a mature cheddar or St Maure chèvre, or with rich meats such as lamb or duck. We only used six large Lemon Boy tomatoes (makes a kilo) and hardly dented the pile of produce. Having used (for fourteen years! Blimey) Jeremy Lee's recipe from The Guardian of August 21 1999, I looked it up on the web and couldn't find it, although I did find Mr Lee waxing lyrical on the subject of spices a year later. So here it is in all its tasty glory! It makes three remarkably small jars - I use little terrines which were previously used for patés.

1 tbsp black mustard seeds
100ml malt vinegar
1kg peeled tomatoes
70ml olive oil
1tbsp cumin seeds
3 red Birdseye chillies, chopped
2 tsp minced red chilli (I used frozen chillis as our "Cayenne" turned out to be a sweet pepper)
60g root ginger, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1½ tsp turmeric
60g palm sugar or light soft brown sugar
2tbsp Thai fish sauce (Nam Pla)
Salt and black pepper
Nam Pla is very salty so you may not want any salt at all - I didn't

Put the mustard seeds into a bowl, pour over the vinegar and leave overnight.

Peel the tomatoes...

Next morning, pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Place the tomatoes in a non-metallic dish in a single layer and pour over the olive oil. Roast the tomatoes for an hour. Toss the cumin in a hot dry frying pan over a medium heat until it has darkened. Grind to a powder. Put the cumin, chillies, minced chillies, ginger, garlic, turmeric, sugar, fish sauce and vinegar/mustard seed mixture into a liquidiser. Blend till smooth.

Pour the spice paste into a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium flame and stir until it comes to a boil. Stirring all the time, simmer for 10-12 minutes. This is prone to spitting while cooking.

Add the tomatoes and simmer, still stirring, for another 15 minutes (depending on how juicy your tomatoes are) until the chutney has thickened. Watchpoint here - do not let the chutney catch on the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and  black pepper to taste. Pour into clean warm, dry jars and seal.

Just two and a half small jars...

 Store for two to three weeks before eating.

The first jars from the 2013 tomato harvest...

From Guardian ‘Living Food’, August 21 1999 – Jeremy Lee, Blue Print Cafe, Butlers Wharf London SE1

Posted by Pauline [not Tim]


Jean said...

It looks and sounds beautiful. I will keep the recipe for the day when we have a glut of tomatoes.

Sadly we have a few green tomatoes left in our greenhouse and at this rate they will probably not ripen, so it's back to the shops for ours.

Pollygarter said...

Jean - you can ripen green tomatoes by putting them in a box with a ripe banana in a warm room for a few days.

Jean said...

Thanks Pauline.
I have tried ripening them in a brown paper bag in the airing cupboard before now, with mixed success - largely because I forgot they were there!
This sounds a better idea. I will pick my green tomatoes and add a banana to my shopping list.

Or maybe a bunch of bananas. I fancy baking a date, honey and banana loaf........

Tim said...

Ah, banana date cake sounds like a winter cake. In my version, you marinate the dried dates in rum. Scrummy! P.

GaynorB said...

We are pickle and chutney lovers. Alas I'll have to use supermarket ones? I like the idea of only having to wait 3 weeks before sampling the wares.

Tim said...

Gaynor... you'll regret saying that you "are pickle and chutney lovers."
Now we know where to dump the excess...
have you ever tried our Squashney?
Our Old Blighty?