Monday, November 25, 2013

Grilled Cherry Tomato Chutney

A while back, I was making a grilled-theme dinner for my beautiful Angel.  The main course was Masaledar Macchi, or Spicy Grilled Fish.  I needed a couple of side dishes to complete the meal.  I wanted to do a grilled side dish.  I also wanted to make an Indian side dish.  This limited the number of available recipes.  Nevertheless, I found quite a few.  I went through those recipes and chose one from the most unlikely of sources.

The source was Bobby Flay.  The chef who is practically synonymous with Southwestern American cuisine had a very interesting and tasty Indian side dish.  The recipe was for a grilled cherry tomato chutney.  Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, chutneys can be traced back to approximately 500 B.C.  It was first used by northern Europeans during the Roman period to preserve food.  This process was exported by Europeans, such as the British, during the colonial period.  When the British arrived in India, for example, they brought various chutneys and marmalades to the subcontinent.  From there, as they say, the rest is history. 

Some variant of tomato chutneys can be found across the Indian subcontinent, from Assam to Karnataka.  Bobby Flay does not describe where he draws the inspiration from this particular chutney.  Nevertheless, the combination of spices (cumin and coriander) with fresh herbs (mint and cilantro) makes for more than just a condiment.  It makes a great side dish.

Recipe by Bobby Flay and available at
Serves 6

1 pint grape tomatoes
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped mint
Zest of 1 lime

1.  Prepare the grill.  Prepare a charcoal grill for direct grilling, high heat.  If you are using a gas grill, heat to high heat. 

2.  Grill the tomatoes.  Toss the tomatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a grill basket and grill until charred and slightly soft, tossing occasionally, about 5 minutes. 

3.  Prepare the spice and herb mixture.  Combine the vinegar, sugar, coriander and cumin seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened to a glaze, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then pour over the tomatoes. Toss, mashing the tomatoes slightly. Add the herbs and the zest, toss again, taste and season.


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