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Author Notes: An alternative to an old fashioned tomato sauce, this spicy aromatic combination of ripe tomatoes infused with curry leaves and traditional South Asian pickle spices, such as nigella (onion) seeds, fenugreek seeds, and aniseed, creates the ultimate Asian tomato ketchup. Based on a old family recipe (which is much more complicated and painstaking), I have created a simple recipe ready for adorning hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, and even dressing cucumber or cabbage salads. Traditionally we eat this at room temperature with rice, a curry and some lentil daal. Cover and keep in fridge and it can last up to 5 days. —Sumayya Usmani
Makes 1 1/2 cups
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon onion or Nigella seeds
- 10 fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
- 5 curry leaves
- 1 small red onion, chopped finely
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 2 to 3 teaspoons dried red chile pepper
- 1/2 kilo tomatoes, chopped finely
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- Salt, to taste
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the oil, cumin, coriander, Nigella, and fenugreek and anise seeds and allow them to splutter for a few seconds.
- Next, add curry leaves and allow them to cook for 10 seconds.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook until brown. Add dried red chile pepper, tomatoes, turmeric, and salt.
- Cook on medium heat until the tomatoes are soft and the oil rises to the top of the chutney. Remove from heat and keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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