Like any other town in India, having a lady come at our place was a norm in houses occupied by a bunch of youngsters working in the IT industry in Bangalore. However, because it was Bangalore, it was a luxury to have a cook who could dole out chapattis and parathas. We (me and my set of dear roomies) were so happy to have her and we would not spare any opportunity to demand whatever we liked – and the sweet lady would never refuse – even if the recipe demanded a lot of effort and time. One such thing that was both my and dear friend N’s favorite was methi ka paratha. Now, as the lady would cook the requisite number of parathas and stack them in a casserole, the normal protocol was to go home from work, eat them with curd, pickle and of course – indori senv. However, friend N would take these humble parathas to the next level – by cooking a quick tomato chutney to go with. This was something that I was tasting for the first time – and once I tasted it, there was no stopping me from preparing this sweet-sour-spicy tomato chutney, not just with methi parathas – but with any parathas for that matter. This weekend, it was for aaloo parathas.
I can never ever thank friend N enough for teaching me this simple recipe (it’s not that I have already thanked her for everything else I owe to her !).
Now, two things I should mention here are –
1. I made this for my dad by substituting sugar with a sweetener (Equal/ Sugar Free). He loved it as he can’t eat regular tomato ketchup due to its high sugar and sodium content.
2. Since hubby N likes his food spicy rather than on the sweeter side, I reduced the sugar and added chili flakes to bring on the zing.
Tomatoes – 4 to 5 (ripe and juicy)
Oil – 2 tsp
Rai / Mustard Seeds – Half tsp
Jeera / Cumin Seeds – One-fourth tsp
Heeng / Asafoetida – One-fourth tsp
Haldi / Turmeric Powder – One-fourth tsp
Sugar – 2 tsp (alter based on your taste)
Salt – 1 tsp (alter based on your taste)
Red chili powder / Chili flakes – Half tsp
1. Wash the tomatoes and either cut them into small chunks or run it through a food processor. I do the latter.
2. Heat oil in a wok/ kadhai.
3. Once hot, add in the rai and jeera and let it pop for a few seconds.
4. Add in the heeng and haldi.
5. Put in the tomatoes and give it a good stir.
6. Now, let the tomatoes cook in open. Keep stirring in between to check the consistency. After 10-15 minutes, it will start to thicken and the raw smell of the tomatoes will be gone.
7. At this stage, add the salt, sugar, red chili flakes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
8. Serve as a side with any parathas, store the rest in the refrigerator in a glass/steel container.
9. I am not sure of the shelf life of this, but I have never used it for more than two days.
Since this recipe reminds me of my dear friend N and all the good days we spent together in college and later in Bangalore, I am sending this to ‘walk thru the memory lane’ event hosted by Jayanthi.
Linking this to Gayathri’s page too.