Amirim Kasundi, a Spicy Tomato Chutney

This is my take on a traditional Bengali condiment known as ‘kasundi’ which I first tasted in a tiny vegetarian village in Israel called Amirim, a special place in the world quietly positioned in the mountains high above the wondrous Sea of Galilee. Here, one can vanish from the pressures of daily western life (leave your devices very far away indeed) to sit quietly with nature and yourself. It’s quite simply THE best tomato chutney packed with mustard seeds, turmeric, fresh ginger, green chilli and garlic, cumin, jaggery and, my personal twist, a finish of vinagre de Jerez reserva. It’s super versatile and matches beautifully with so many dishes, especially eggs – it takes shakshuka to the next level – or you might like to try it tonight with my pillowy green pea and mint falafels packed into freshly baked pitta alongside stacks of shredded lettuce, juicy sliced tomatoes, fresh dill and a squeeze of lime juice.

Kasundi

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
1 green chilli, very finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
x1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes (I use Mutti polpa)
1 tbsp of jaggery (or light brown sugar)
2 tbsp vinagre de Jerez reserva
Up to one tsp of sea salt flakes

How I make it

Heat a medium frying pan and add the olive oil. When it’s hot, add the mustard seeds and cook until they start popping. Then add the turmeric, chilli powder (if using), the ginger, chilli, garlic and cumin seeds. Stir around for a minute or two until the mixture becomes fragrant.

Add all the remaining ingredients (except the salt) and turn down the heat to low. Leave to simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally until it is reduced to a chutney consistency. Taste and season with sea salt (you won’t need much so add it little by little).

Set aside to cool. The kasundi will keep in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

Please check out my Pantry and Source pages to discover more about the ingredients I use, the brands I love and the places I source them from.

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