The last time I went out to eat, it was to atiny little vegan Indian restaurant. The food there was delicious, and gluten free, and cheap, for a restaurant, anyhow. But no matter how cheap the food was there, cooking from scratch is nearly always cheaper than eating out (assuming you're making the same dish as the restaurant), not to mention healthier.
This plate, pictured to the right, is my attempt to recreate the meal I had at the restaurant. White rice, red lentil dahl, and tomato chutney. (The restaurant meal also came with Indian spiced cabbage.)
The chutney portions at the restaurant, in my opinion, were woefully small- chutney is my favorite part of the meal!
I figured out how to make this delicious tomato chutney, making it refined sugar free, but feel free to replace the honey with sugar if you would rather make it as cheap as possible. This chutney has a terrific sweet and sour taste with a touch of spiciness, and works terrifically as a condiment to eat with any Indian meal. I based my tomato chutney recipe off of this recipe.
(The lentil dahl recipe will come soon as well.)
6 medium tomatoes
1 tablespoon oil (I use palm or sunflower)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey (or sugar)
2 teaspoons corn starch, potato starch, or tapioca starch
2 tablespoons water
A few dashes of red pepper flakes
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan for a minute or two. When hot, add garlic, mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Chop tomatoes into large cubes, then add to the saucepan with the bay leaves.
3. Mix the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become mushy/soupy.
4. Add the honey/sugar and salt and mix well.
5. Mix the starch with the water, then add to the pan. Heat until it thickens.
6. Add a few dashes of red pepper flakes according to taste. If you like spice, add more. If you don't like spicy, add very little or leave out.
Use either hot or chilled.
Have you ever made chutney before? What was the chutney made out of? Ever eaten tomato chutney?
Have there ever been any restaurant meals so good that you've tried to recreate at home? What meal was that? Were you successful in your recreation?
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