Friday 19 August 2022

Tomato Chutney

Tomato Chutney

Tamota ni chutney


A favourite of my mother, Shireen, this was prepared each year toward the end of winter when fresh tomatoes were in full season. We often grew our own, and the abundant crop ensured its way into our jars, shared among family and friends.

My mother, the perfectionist, made one of the best tomato chutneys-this was a given. But what I did not realise then was how the simple ingredient list was a reflection of my Persian heritage. The addition of warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and black pepper and the local kishmish raisins makes this recipe unlike most other recipes that Parsi cookery books share. And now, with some help from my cousin Hormuz, I have managed to get it exactly the way I enjoy it. 

An incredible flavour accompaniment with rus chawal, bheeda per edu, and papayta per edu, as well as any kind of green bean.

Makes  3 kg/ 6.6 lb

1 cup apple cider or fruit vinegar

40 g/1.5 oz red chilli powder 1/2 cup or 4.5 tbsp

1 long cinnamon stick

2 tsp salt

50 g/  2 oz thinly sliced ginger slivers - the size of a thumb

500 g/ 1.1 lb sugar

2 kg/ 4.4  lb fresh tomatoes

250 g/ 8 oz kishmish, soaked in water for an hour


Optionally add

115 g / 4 oz crushed jaggery

in a spice bag, place a few cloves, black peppercorn and cardamom pods

Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and place them in a deep cooking pot with a thick bottom to keep them from sticking.

Add the sugar, salt, and cinnamon, ginger, and chilli powder. 

Use a wooden spoon to stir. mix off and on. Keep boiling to reduce it to a sticky chutney. Check that it is not stuck.  After 90 minutes, add the vinegar and the kishmish. Continue cooking for another hour. 

When the chutney is nice and sticky and easily leaves the bottom of the pan while stirring, turn the stove off.  Allow to cool before storing in glass jars.


Fresh large tomatoes in season work best for this chutney. Traditionally, the Arka Saurabh-long variety of tomatoes was used.

Jaggery gives the chutney an additional glaze, and allows it to thicken easily. 

You can adjust the red chilli powder to enhance the heat of the chutney. It is the warm spices that give this chutney the warmth in the flavours. 

Using the potli-spice bag of warm spices helps it be easily discarded after the chutney has cooked. 

Kishmish is a dry, green, long, seedless raisin. It is sweet and juicy and is typical in foods prepared according to recipes of Persian origin. 

Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala


My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on Amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Vegetarian Parsi, inspired by tradition is an award winning cookbook. It was published by Spenta Multimedia India and is available on Amazon India and through email order at

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

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