A few months ago, a friend of mine came over to teach me how to cook a few Indian dishes, which we then shared with a bunch of our friends. I wrote about the Baingan Bharta that we made, back in September, but there was one more dish from the evening that I have been meaning to make again ever since. While we were cooking, I was making sure to take some notes so that I would remember the spice and flavour combinations. I wasn’t overly organized, so I scratched it down on a paper bag that I had lying around the kitchen. I have held off throwing out the paper bag for months for this chutney recipe. When she first described a cashew date tomato chutney, I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know that the sweet, slightly tangy, mildly spiced side dish would actually enhance all of the other ones. With every bite I took of the dal, the baingan bharta, the kofta, I added a bit of the chutney to the spoon and it enhanced every single one of the dishes. I don’t really know why it’s taken me so long to get my act together and re-make it but this was the week, and I was so happy that I could finally recreate it.
For such a simple dish that is so easy to throw together, there is tons of depth of flavour. There are four main ingredients: tomatoes, dates, raisins and cashews. This sweet, chunky chutney is pretty mildly spiced with mustard seed, ginger and chile and topped with some toasted and crushed fennel and cumin. I am so grateful that my friend showed me this recipe because it is something that I never would have come up with on my own. I think my mustard seeds have been sitting on my shelf for months: I literally had no idea what to do with them. Sometimes you just need a helping hand! I love the flavour of the chutney, but it’s probably not something that I would eat an entire bowl of on its own. This chutney really shines when you pair it with other dishes. I made the baingan bharta and some rice to go with the chutney, and it really pulled everything into a delicious healthy, interesting, weeknight dinner (with tons of leftovers, woohoo!). I also love how the cashews add some crunch to the other dishes that are often very saucy and not full of tons of texture.
This chutney is sweet and mildly spiced: the perfect accompaniment to other Indian dishes.
Heat up the oil in a medium pan.
Add the mustard seeds to the pan and wait until they start to pop. Once they start to pop, add the ginger and chile, stirring and cooking for a couple of minutes.
Add the tomatoes, dates, raisins, cashews and salt. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer the chutney for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The tomatoes should be broken down and the flavours incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
In a separate small, dry pan toast your fennel and cumin seeds until they start to smell fragrant (about 3 minutes over medium-high heat).
Lightly crush the fennel and cumin in a mortar and pestle and sprinkle over the chutney to garnish.
Serve the chutney warm or at room temperature.
Cashew date tomato chutney was last modified: January 6, 2016 by