A Garlicky Tomato Chutney, One Generation Later

March 19, 2018

For Community member Muni, mornings aren't mornings without spoonfuls of garlicky tomato chutney spread onto vegetable-packed cakes. She grew up eating a similar breakfast made by her mother, who is from India.

“I grew up in eastern Africa, but Mom took recipes from her home and modified them to her new community’s tastes,” she says. “Mom’s recipe was similar to what she grew up eating, but she made it with thicker tomato paste and lots of oil.”

Don't forget to let it cool! Photo by Ty Mecham

Muni, too, likes to fiddle with recipes, scouring the internet for dishes that she “takes to the next level.” Her mom’s chutney is no different.

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“I prefer a lighter sauce, so I use crushed tomatoes and only a tablespoon of olive oil,” Muni says. “I also use fresh lemon juice to brighten it up, while my mom and other church ladies like to use citric acid.”

Different ingredients aside, the process of making the chutney remains the same: In a small pot, heat oil until it shimmers, then add garlic and shallot, cooking long enough to infuse the oil. Next, add the tomatoes and seasoning, cover, and let simmer on low heat for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Muni acknowledges her recipe isn’t too different than a typical tomato sauce, but loves the extra flavor from the garlic-infused oil. She serves the chutney at room temperature with another of her mom’s breakfast recipes, handvo cakes.

“I’m definitely a savory breakfast person,” she says laughing. “Well, except for Sundays. Sundays are multigrain pancake days.”

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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.

1 Comment

Smaug March 19, 2018
I'd nearly forgotten Madhur Jaffrey's very intense tomato chutney, which I used to keep in the refrigerator at all times; time to see if I can dredge that recipe up again.