Thakkali Chatni (Spicy Tomato Chutney)
Makes 2 1/2 – 3 cups
1 t. fennel seeds
1 inch cinnamon
2 whole cloves
1 green cardamom
1 t. cumin seeds
1-2 T. olive oil
1 t. mustard seeds
1-2 t. red pepper flakes (adjust amount to taste)
1 t. curry powder
2-3 small green chilies, finely chopped (adjust amount to taste)
2 shallots, finely chopped
8-10 medium tomatoes, chopped
1-2 t. cayenne pepper or paprika (adjust amount to taste)
2 T. tamarind extract or apple cider vinegar
1 T. sugar
1 T. grated ginger
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt to taste
1. Dry roast fennel, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and cumin in a skillet over low heat until they are toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
2. Once spices cool completely, remove to a mortar and coarsely crush them using pestle. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, and curry powder. When mustard starts to pop and splutter, add finely chopped green chillies and roast for few seconds.
4. Mix in finely chopped onion. Increase heat to medium and sauté onion till it turns light golden in colour, about 2 minutes.
5. Stir in coarsely ground spice powder and cook for about 30 seconds.
6. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they release their moisture, about 10 minutes. Stir in cayenne, tamarind extract, sugar, ginger, garlic and salt and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
7. Let the chutney cool completely before you transfer to air tight container.
Chutney can be refrigerated for about a week.