Creating a new recipe is always exciting for any food lover. However, creating something new from an old recipe is what gives me a high. One of my best friend who is also a huge food fanatic visited me last month from the north east. My regular request, as always, was getting me the bottles of pickled bamboo shoots and Naga chillies. Both of which make amazing dishes like chutneys, chicken, pork etc.
One of the recipes which I love is a basic tomato chutney, which my friend makes to perfection. It comprises of putting together salt, garlic and the Naga chillies in a mortar and pestle. Diced tomatoes and coriander leaves are then mixed to make a coarse chutney. This goes well as an accompaniment while having the humble dal with rice.
While racking my brains to create something new long after my friend’s trip I came out with a few changes which kept the originality of the recipe of my dear friend while adding in more depth and character to the chutney.
I started by arranging the diced tomatoes, sliced garlic sprinkled with a little bit of salt and olive on a baking tray and baking them for about half an hour at 200 degrees Celsius till the water evaporated, the tomatoes turned black but did not char.
Coriander leaves were cut separately and about one teaspoon of the Naga chillies was taken out of the pickle bottle.
All of this was put in a wet grinder till it becomes a paste.
The newness of the recipe was refreshing as the roasted tomatoes and garlic gave a new character to the chutney.
This change, like any change was good. It makes me remember my friend but I still know the new recipe has my soul in it as well.
All in a day’s obsession with food!