Time to dig up these old posts… this one from a couple years ago, first published on Tuesday, December 09, 2008.
So, I’ve been experimenting with creating chutneys of different kinds: tomato, coconut, peanuts, different dals, pudina, and other green chutneys. And its been a load of fun. It’s truly a work of art each time! Seriously. And what’s more, and I’ve known this all along, really, but still: a chutney isn’t just a condiment to enhance flavor on the side. It can actually become a key ingredient in the creation of a dish all to itself.
Take for example this absolutely fantastic pasta dish I created yesterday: I added as the key seasoning several dollops of my tomato chutney (made with tons of roasted garlic, cumin, onions, dry red chillies, karipatta, some chana dal, and tomatoes of course– all blended together and then tempered with a tadka of desi ghee) to a stir-fry of mixed veggies and diced boneless chicken tenderloin (marinated in homemade yogurt and spices), and folded it all in with whole-wheat spaghetti cooked separately.
The result? Fantastico! The Italians would kill for it. As would the Greeks, the Argentinians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans, the Indonesians, and of course, the Indians!
See for yourself! Is that art, or that art?! And if you think the sight of this is an assault on the eyes, I wish that you could have only smelled the gorgeous flavors that wreaked havoc on the rest of the faculties!
So, here’s to chutney today. Remember, its so much more than just that. It’s the very essence of the dish, without which this pasta suprema dish would be nothing more than a bland weekday dinner.
May it be, that just like this chutney, we pause to look for and recognize the various things in life that may appear ordinary and peripheral, but are, in fact, what makes life special.