Rasika has several chutneys that are a departure from the usual onion and tamarind found at most Indian restaurants. This savory-sweet condiment is delicious with bread, fish, and chicken. Store in a sealed container, refrigerated, or freeze in 1 cup containers.
Adapted from Chef Vikram Sunderam, Rasika Restaurant, Washington, D.C.
3½ to 4 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
¼ cup mustard oil
1¾ teaspoons fennel seeds
¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon onion seeds (also called kalonji or nigella)
6 bay leaves
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
1 cup jaggery or light brown sugar, packed
1¼ cup golden raisins
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
1. In a large saucepan or skillet, heat the oil to smoking point over high heat. Remove from heat and let it cool till hot but not smoking. Add the fennel, mustard, fenugreek, cumin, and onion seeds and the bay leaves and let them crackle.
2. Turn on heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes, chili powder, turmeric, and jaggery or brown sugar. Stir and cook until tomatoes start to soften, then add raisins. Continue cooking until slightly reduced and paste-like. Stir in salt to taste. Remove bay leaves and discard. Serve as is, chunky with the raisins, or puree in a food processor blender. Let cool to room temperature, then store in a sealed container, refrigerated, or freeze. Serve chilled or at room temperature as an accompaniment to breads and meats.
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts