Makes 1 cup; Serves 6
There's nothing better than having lots of condiments, little tastes of this and that, on hand to dab on during a meal, especially on rice. This unusual onion chutney (kanda ni chutney in Parsi) keeps well in the refrigerator, and it gives a delicious hot-and-sweet kick to any mouthful. The dates have a smoky sweetness, and the chiles a fresh heat.
3 dried red chiles, stemmed
2 tablespoons raw sesame oil, or vegetable oil, or ghee
1 large white onion (about 1/2 pound), coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
Put the chiles in a small bowl, add 1 cup hot water, and set aside to soak for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or karhai (see Glossary in the book) or a wide heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt and cook until the onion is well touched with brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Drain the chiles, place them in a food processor, add the chopped dates, and process for 30 seconds to finely chop. Add the onion mixture and process for about 15 seconds to chop and blend the ingredients. Alternatively, place the drained chiles on a flat stone mortar and grind to a paste with the pestle, add the dates and grind, and finally, add the cooked onion mixture and coarsely grind, leaving some small chunks.
Taste the chutney for salt, and adjust if necessary. Serve in a condiment dish. (Store leftovers in a well-sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.)
Delicious with tart flavors such as Bangla Dal with a Hit of Lime (page 178 of the book) or Duck Vindaloo (page 251), and with rice dishes.
Mangoes & Curry Leaves
Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent
by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
Hardcover, jacketed, $45.00
384 pages, 200 photographs, over 200 recipes
Recipe reprinted by permission
This page created January 2006
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