Tuesday, December 7, 2010

tamatar ki mithi chutney | condiments for banaras ka khana

There are a few foods you relate to your childhood. While growing up Tamatar ki mithi chutney was a winter delicacy as the tomatoes available in the winters were the juiciest kind packed with sweet and tart flavors. The desi (heirloom) tomatoes are the kind that are easily squished into your palms when pressed, not like the hard shell plastic like tomatoes (Roma and the likes) bred for longer shelf life available in the supermarkets these days.

Tamatar ki mithi chutney was made in bulk and was stored either in a ceramic barni or a specific bowl called as pathri in my family. Pathri is actually a bowl made of yellow sandstone of Jaisalmer, the below picture features tamatar ki mithi chutney in the same pathri I got from Jaisalmer last year.

tamatar ki mithi chutney

These pathris were generally used for setting cultured yogurt or storing chutneys and condiments, each family used to have several sizes of these pathris and these were always bought from Banjara women who used to come home for selling their wares brought from Rajasthan.

This tamatar ki chutney is the UP specialty, its counterpart in Bengal is a much thick jam like version with either dates or aam papad added to it. There is another tamatar ki chutney which is made for large family gatherings at my home which includes dried dates, makhanas and some nuts and melon seeds etc, but this one is a simple saucy chutney mostly served with paratha meals in winters.

Some people love this chutney with everyday dal chawal meals, some with khichdi and some use it to replace tomato ketchup too. But this tamatar ki mithi chutney is an essential condiment for an elaborate meal served thali style or even buffet style.

tomatoes 1 kg
whole dry red chilies 4-6as per taste
mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
fennel seeds 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
nigella seeds 1/4 tsp
finely chopped ginger 1 tbsp or more
jaggery 300 gm
salt  1/42 tsp
mustard oil 2 tsp


Chop the tomatoes roughly in small chunks, no need to fine chop. Break the whole dry red chilies in two three pieces and keep aside.

Heat the oil and throw in all the seeds and the broken red chilies, wait till they get aromatic and turn brownish (take care not to burn them) add the chopped ginger, wait till they sweat and add the chopped tomatoes at once.

Add water (about 500-600 ml) and salt and cook covered for 8-10 minutes. The tomatoes should get mushy.

Add the crushed jaggery and cook to make a syrupy saucy chutney, the color will darken a bit making the chutney a bright red saucy deliciousness. 

tamatar ki mithi chutney

Dip your fingers in it and lick it, slurp it or dunk your parathas into it. Yummy is the word. The natural glutamates in tomatoes make this chutney so delicious it is a keeper.

Spread it on your bread to make sandwich or have it as a dessert for a change, tell me if you like it.

The chutney has amazing flavors. The heat of red chilies mingles very sharply with the deep earthy sweetness of jaggery while fennel, fenugreek and ginger are the main spicy flavors, the other things are kept subtle in my version. Accentuated fenugreek is great too if you like the methi flavor, add more fenugreek seeds if you wish.

Salt in this chutney is there just to balance the sweetness, this tamatar ki mithi chutney is a mouth watering delicacy and if you love tomatoes and chutneys and have a sweet tooth too  this is for you.

Most people I know from Banaras love it with alu parathas along with plain dahi or white butter. Do try that combination sometimes.



  1. i make this.. :) btw, i had nimona the other day.. but it felt too strong and pungent, nothing like the grt recipe you have shared

  2. Hi Gauri ... did you follow my recipe for nimona ?? It should not be pungent at all . Let me know the recipe you follow n i will tell you what could have happened.

  3. Loved reading your post here. Whilst reading I was actually hallucinating the flavour of this yummy chutney. :)

  4. I do it exactly the same sans jaggery. This one should be even better,because I can totally bet on the jaggery taste,so next time I have to make this with jaggery:)

  5. Love this tamatar ki mithi chutney, goes so well with pooris, bread spread or even khichdi :)

  6. love this flavorful and versatile chutney!

  7. this one reminds me of my mother,..;-)

  8. oh yum!! i make something like this too... nice with parathas.

  9. this one is my all time fav, so many fond memories associated with this :) simply love it, oh how i remember having hot stuffed parathas with tamatar ki chutney in those winter chilly mornings...or aloo matar tikkis and chutney, something to die for......... :)

  10. This fire-roasted chutney looks intensely delicious.

  11. Am copying this recipe Sangeeta and making it today!:-)

  12. @ Shri..seeing this , i want to make it right now too :)

  13. Thanku so much sangeeta...first of all let me tell u I read a lot of bloggs but have never commented...trust me cud not stop myself from writing here....I am a banarasi (saying it proudly)...married in a Punjabi family....it's been one and half year I have not been able to catch the Punjabi taste of food...cud not reach the benchmark...then i was missing my banarasi delicacies....I looked for it online..ur site appeared like my mom standing beside me...I felt so confident abt my cooking that I started surprising my family members with New varities of banarasi foods....and I felt like wow....I don't need to reach thr benchmark now...I have rather created my own....they all love what I cook and ask me what's the New surprise then....thanku so much...can't thank u enuf for this....I made nimona...ghugni..tamatar chutney...and chura matar....now I am way to go...thanx again keep posting...keep saving life of New housewives like me...

    1. Than you Pal. I am so glad this blog could help you cook good food, the way you like it. Keep writing so I feel motivated to share more recipes.