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I am a professional and a cook,rather a cook by choice and passion.Cooking is something I fantasise about.When I first thought of starting a blog,a thousand ideas coursed through my mind,albeit,none stood the sands of time.Except for the thought of a food blog accompanied by subtle nuances from daily life and from the world around me!



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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tales from afar with Sweet Tomato Relish

Here I am, back after a week-long vacation! I was actually having a whale of a time over Thanksgiving week - visiting places that I have been dreaming of visiting all throughout my life!
Six days, three time zones and seven states across - we visited Las Vegas and all the lights, glitz and glamour of this magical city left us mesmerized. The seductive dancing of the fountains of Bellagio, the canopied shops along the boulevard, the psychedelic lights adorning the hotels, the mystic temptation of the casinos and the maddening Friday night rush towards the city - everything transported us to a world where a gossamer's thread separated the decent from the brazen and one had to tread gingerly to avoid potential pitfalls!

Our next stop was Sedona, Arizona  - a neat, pretty little mountain village nestling along the shoulder of the Red Rock Canyon. One would be intimated by the red rocky terrain surrounding this mountain village. But when we witnessed the soft evening sunrays, filtering through the red and yellow leaves of the fall-ridden sycamore trees, playing a silent game of hide-and-seek with the towering rocks, we could not but wonder about the mysteries of Mother Nature.The flat-roofed Spanish-style villas, tucked cozily in nooks and crannies at the foothills of the rocks, took our breath away.

Grand Canyon National Park was a two hour drive from Sedona, and we managed to reach our destination late in the afternoon, grabbing a quick brunch at a Mexican kitchen on the way. The might of a river lurched me back to my senses, when peering through a pair of chain-attached binoculars, I could see the Colorado river right there in front of my eyes!Felt strange to imagine that a river could be powerful enough to fashion such a mammoth canyon!Well, I actually needed to see with my own eyes to believe!
'Leaving Las Vegas' and Grand canyon behind, it was an arduous nine hour drive through deserts to Los Angeles, California. A short but interesting city tour - Beverly Hills, Santa Monica beach, the Farmer's market ,Hollywood - followed by half a day at Universal studios left us spent for the day!But what a day it was - how much excitement can a heart hold in a day after all!We had not gotten enough of Hollywood and so early the next morning, we again made out for Hollywood. This time we had the tour of a lifetime - Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Kodak Theatre, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood walk of Fame - all of it was too much to behold! I sauntered along the sidewalk and saw people squatting on the Walk of Fame along their favorite stars, moviestar-lookalikes walking up and down looking for people to take photos with, a streetside crooner belting out a melodious Spanish number -  a mad frenzy of people lost in the lure of Hollywood!

Finishing up with LA, it was finally time to return home. The euphoria has stayed on although it has been a couple of days that we are back - guess it will take some time for the magic to die down and the heart to stop fluttering!In the meantime, Thanksgiving went by in all its festivity and I'm sure everyone had a pretty good time. Since Thanksgiving has heralded the advent of the Christmas spirit and the festivity is slowly building up, I will post the recipe for Sweet Tomato Chutney for today's post. This is a sweet relish and is a favored dessert item in our cuisine, taken at the end of a meal to let that sweet taste linger.I will, however, wish sweet beginnings for the festive season with this relish! 

Linking this up to 'Hearth and Soul Blog Hop' and 'Midweek Fiesta # 5'!

Sweet Tomato Chutney/Relish
You will need:
Tomato - 250 gms, diced
Castor sugar - 100 gms
Ginger - About half an inch, finely chopped or grated
Bay leaves - 1 to 2,small
Dry Red chilies - 2 to 3
A pinch of turmeric powder
A pinch of salt
Cashewnuts (optional) - broken into halves
Raisins/Sultanas - soaked in warm water
Canola/Vegetable oil - 2 tablespoons

How I made it:
1. In a wok, heat up the oil and when hot, add in the bay leaves and dry red chilies. You can use whole green chilies if dry red chilies are not available, but the red chilies would give a smoky flavor to the Chutney.

2. Do not let the chilies burn. Now add the grated/chopped ginger. Now add the diced tomato and mix everything together. Cover with a lid and allow the tomato to cook. Remove the lid at regular intervals and mash the tomato slightly with the back of a spoon, till all of it becomes a pulp.

3. Once the tomato becomes pulpy and soft, add the salt and turmeric powder and mix well. Next add in all of the sugar. once the sugar starts caramelizing, the dish will take on its fiery red color. Keep on stirring till all the sugar caramelizes and the Chutney starts coming together.
4. Next add in the cashew nuts and raisins/sultanas and give everything a quick stir. put off the flame and give it a standing time of 10-12 mins. Your Sweet Tomato Chutney or relish is ready to serve. Serve this hot or cold - tastes good anyway. It can be had as a dessert item on its own or with fried 'Papad' ('Papad' is a sort of savory Indian snack that is a rolled out dough of finely ground lentils and spices, let out to dry in the sun. The dried paper-thin 'Papad' is then deep-fried or roasted as served as a crispy accompaniment).Have fun and relish till we meet again!

12 thoughtful musings left behind...:

Patsy said...

The tomato chutney looks and sounds delicious! I'll try this!
Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for the greeting, sweet Sudha! :)

Prabha R said...

HI first time here, I somehow came across your beautiful blog when I visited Erivum Puliyum. I am happy to be your 50th follower :)

Prabha R said...

Yummy Tomato chutney. Adding Cashew makes much more tastier. I will try with Cashew nuts sometimes.

Sudha said...

Hello Patsy,
Thanks so much for coming and glad you liked the Chutney:)

Hi Prabha,
Welcome to my blog and thanks so much for following me:)Ya cashewnuts do add an extra flavor to the Chutney and it does tatste good. Do give it a try - thanks so much for coming!

Balvinder ( Neetu) said...

The tomato chutney looks delicious.But I never added cashews in it. Now I will try your version.

Puja said...

Nostalgia was the first feeling I got as I saw your pictures. This is exactly how I know tomato chutney growing up. Just perfect!

Sudha said...

Hi Neetu,
Do try adding cashewnuts - I'm sure you'll love the taste!Thanks so much for coming:)

Dear Puja,
Glad to know that!Thanks so much for coming and so happy that you liked my recipe:)

Amy said...

nice to read about your journey.Hope you enjoyed it a lot....
tomato chutney makes me hungry!!looks delicious!!
Thanks for linking with my event....
Midweek Fiesta @every Wednesday

Decorating Challenge-Buttercream Icing

Alea Milham said...

Your chutney looks fantastic! I was just introduced to the idea of tomato chutneys last year and have become a fan of them! Thank you for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

Sudha said...

Thanks a bunch,Alea!So glad to see you here and your kind words made me really happy:)

Shri said...

The color looks really bright in this chutney. Thanks for visiting my blog. :-)

Sudha said...

It is actually the color of sugar caramelizing the moment it comes in contact with the hot oil.Its really thrilling to watch how the chutney changes color in an instant from the orangish of the tomatoes to the bright red of the caramelized sugar:)Thanks so much for coming and for following me Shri!

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