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With the end semester examinations knocking at the door steps, and also because I got a bit lazy I was unable to post for quite a long time now. Due to the Municipal elections in my state end of this month, my exams have been postponed and I’m back to blogging.
A few days back WaterBearer (as she likes to call her) sent me a mail with a wonderful yet simple recipe of strawberry chutney. As she writes in her mail, she learnt this preparation from her mother-in-law. If you are not Pepper Potts from Iron Man reading this post, I’m sure you love strawberries. You had posted another guest post from Soma, to read about that click here.
Here’s some facts about strawberries I didn’t know before I wrote this post:
- Strawberries are very rich in Vitamin C and a cup of these red juicy berries provide more than a day’s requirement of ascorbic acid.
- They are low in calories and so for the health conscious people indulge without that sinful brain
- It’s very good for expecting mothers as 8 strawberries contain 20% of the folic acid required in your daily nutrition
- Strawberries are said to reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases
Now, am sure I would eat more strawberries than ever before. J
- Strawberries: 6 pieces, chopped
- White oil (Sada tel): ¼ spoon
- Sugar (Chini): 2-3 tablespoons
- Green chili (Kancha lanka): 1/ 2, chopped [optional]
- Mustard seeds (Sarse dana): 10-12
- Salt a pinch full
Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seed
- Throw in the chopped strawberries. Cover the pan till the strawberries soften. Stir gently from time to time
- Add the sugar, green chili and salt
- Stir till it becomes a thick jelly like substance. Remove from flame.
- Serve it on the side with rotis / parathas as a tangy chutney
As with most chutneys this one too can be stored in the refrigerator, so you can enjoy this rich and tangy preparation anytime you wish to.
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It seems as if without a bowl of chatni Bengali platter is never complete. The little bowl of chatni at the end of any meal brings a fulfillment to the meal. Chatni, for those who are not so aware of this word, is a sweet serving prepared of tomato, ripe mango, pineapple, or for that matter any sour fruits and even dry fruits. Chatni is prepared in various styles in all Bengali households. The preparation also depends on the season; tomato for winter, ripe mango for the summers, or any seasonal fruits during its time. The main ingredient though a fruit it is often accompanied with sugar or jaggery for enhancing the sweetness of the dish.
The last time when I went home, mom gave me a whole jar of jaggery. I had completely forgotten about it, last night I was cleaning up the kitchen when I found this jar, and the first thing that came to mind was having it with milk and rice. I was thinking of what else to do with that, when I saw the tomatoes. The answer to my question was instantaneous; chatni is the best option.
I prepared it this way; you can prepare it in any way possible. I will try to post some other types of chatni on my following posts. The combination of jaggery and dry chili helps in increasing its shelf life to almost two days without refrigeration.
For this chatni the only spice used is panch phoron. Panch phoron, as the name suggests is a combination of five different spices; “panch”, meaning five and “phoron” is spice. Nigella, cumin, fenugreek, fennel, and mustard mixed in same proportions are used for preparing panch phoron. This combination of spices is an earmark of Bengali cuisine. It is used in preparations like Khichudi and vegetarian dishes .
Tomato: 6 medium sizes
Palm Jaggery (Taler gur): 2 tablespoon
Bay leaf (Tej pata): 2
Dried chili (Sukhno Lanka): 2
Cashew nuts (Kaju): 5 or 6, cut into small pieces
Mustard Oil (Sarser Tel): 1 teaspoon
Panch Phoron: ½ teaspoon
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters
- Heat oil in a wok, as it gets heated throw in the panch phoron and bay leaves
- When the panch phoron starts popping put in the tomatoes and red chilies along with the jaggery
- Add little salt and stir the tomatoes well, partly mashing them
- Let the tomatoes be cooked in low flame
- As the tomatoes softens pour in the cashew nuts and take out of flame
Tips: Do not add water for the tomatoes to cook, this will make the chatni taste watery, and that doesn’t feel good.
Check for more updates from my kitchen, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating
Sending this to SWC-Meals on Wheels hosted by Lakshmi.