Bengali Panch Phoron Tomato Chutney -Khejur
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Bengali Panch Phoron Tomato Chutney

This sweet tomato chutney, knows as Khejur chutney is a staple in Bengali cuisine. It is sweet, tangy and ever-so-slightly spiced which makes it equally moorish as it is versatile.

Typically served right after the main course and just before dessert in Bengali households or restaurants, this chutney helps to tie courses together. No Thali meal is complete without some kind of tangy-sweet chutney either, so it’s really worthing having this kind of chutney in the fridge if you like to balance your South Asian meals. As well as curries and spiced dishes, this chutney goes really well with grilled meats and would not go amiss with a few slices of sharp cheddar in a sandwich or toastie.

What places this tomato chutney as Bangladeshi is the use of Panch Phoron – a 5-spice blend that is used across so much of Bengali cuisine. Don’t be out off if you can’t find it in your Asian supermarket, it’s easy enough to put together with a few spices that you’ll be able to find relatively easy. Follow my recipe!

I use tinned tomatoes in this recipe as it is a chutney that I like to make and eat all year round and I’m not a fan of using out-of-season, tasteless tomatoes in winter. It’s also easier and quicker to empty a tin of tomatoes than chop close to a kilo of fresh ones! If you’re making this in summer however and you have a good glut of ripe, fragrant tomatoes to use then feel free to replace tinned tomatoes with fresh – it’ll be delicious!

Tamarind adds a tang which is is characteristic of this the of chutney. If you can’t get hold of tamarind then simple add a squeeze of lime instead. The amount of chilli you use if up to you also, I like using dried chillies as they have a depth of heat but you could use chilli powder instead – add to your own heat tolerance.

Bengali Panch Phoron Tomato Chutney

Bengali Panch Phoron Tomato Chutney

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Course: Chutneys, Herbs & Spices, Indian, PomPom Spice Blends, Side, Summer, WinterCuisine: Bengali, IndianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

1

large jar
Prep time

50

minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp mustard or vegetable oil

  • 2 tbsp Panch Phoron Masala Spice Blend

  • 3 tsp finely grated ginger

  • 2 400g chopped tinned tomatoes

  • 500 g jaggery or light brown sugar

  • 100 g dried chopped dates or raisins

  • 4 dried chillies or as per taste

  • 2 bay leaf

  • 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste/ squeeze of lime

  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  • Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan. Add the Panch Phoron Masala Spice Blend to the hot oil – the seeds will spit and pop. Fry for 20 seconds then add the ginger and fry for another 20 seconds, stirring constantly so that the spices and ginger don’t burn.
  • Next add the tinned tomatoes, jaggery/ sugar, dried fruit, chillies, bay leaf, tamarind (if using) and salt.
  • Stir well and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until jammy in consistency. Stir occasionally whilst cooking to stop it from stick to the bottom of the pan. Pour into a sterilised jar and store in the fridge. Perfect alongside your favourite curry and poppadoms or in a cheese toastie.

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