April 02, 2007

Bengali Tomato & Date Chutney

I have fond memories of this chutney. Growing up, we had the chutney mostly on Sunday afternoons along with Chicken/Mutton curry. This is also a favorite during Pujo bhogs whether it was Durga Pujo or Lakshmi pujo. I remember eating it during my first Durga Pujo in the US and feeling nostalgic about home. While I've tried different recipes, it never tasted like home. So I finally called my mom today morning and asked her to give me a step-by step procedure with the proportions for the chutney.

The perfect tomato chutney is sweet but retains the tanginess from the tomatoes. The spices add flavor and make it a perfect accompaniment for any meal. I used jaggery instead of sugar which gives it a wonderful taste. You can also substitute dates with raisins, moranka, sultanas. I've also read about adding apples and prunes to the chutney, although haven't tried it as yet.

3-4 medium ripe tomatoes
5-6 dates (chopped)
1 dry red chilli
1/2 tspoon mustard seeds
1/2 tspoon grated ginger
2/3 tspoon cooking oil
1/4 cup jaggery or so to suit your taste (brown sugar or sugar can also be used)

Heat oil in a pan and temper it with mustard seeds and red chilli.

Add the tomatoes and cook it with closed lid on medium-low heat till the water from the tomatoes disappears.
Add jaggery, ginger and dates and cook it for another 2-3 minutes. It becomes a thick mix and everything blends in well together.
Serve it warm or cold.

This is my entry for Jihva for Tomatoes hosted by RP at My Workshop. Thanks RP for hosting.


  1. This chutney looks different
    Date with tomatoes

  2. Date and tomatoes...now that's a lovely marriage of flavors, what did you serve this chutney with?


  3. I would never have thought of Tomato and Date as a combi! It must make for a yummy chutney! I must try this. Thanks for the nice recipe, Mandira!

  4. hey,...this looks interesting...i like that tanginess of the tomatoes combining the sweetness of the dates..hmm..must try this once:)


  5. this chutney looks yummy. date and tomato is a good combo.

  6. Dates and Tomatoes hmmm... sounds really interesting. Sure to try this. It has dates and that makes the dish more healthier. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Sounds easy yet unique. I bet the dates will add a zest to this chutney.

  8. thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment

  9. mallugirl9:28 AM

    dates with tomatoes! what a combination. nostalgia does the part of bringing back longforgotten recipes.:)

  10. Mandira
    I have this chutney in my blog too. Along with Tomato & Date I added a some cranberries too

  11. wow, such an innovative combination! :) I should be coming back more regularly!

  12. Tomatoes & dates chutney..that's a combination I have never tried. But I am going to try it now :-)

  13. That was nice mandira!!tomato chutney with dates ..seems interesting.

  14. I have to get myself some jaggery then. Love the combo of tomato and date!
    Your chutney has the perfect consistency that I don't always get, will keep practising :D

  15. Hi :)
    Nice chutney! I would have never thought of dates and tomatoes. I love how evryone has their own ways of cooking :)

    visit jeena's kitchen healthy recipe blog

  16. how did i miss ur 3 posts!!! liked ur recipe of jhatpat veggies. i can always make this tomato n date chutney for dosas or can just have it with toast. thanks mandira

  17. I made tomato chutney for next post but not with dates.It gives a great sweet taste to the chutney.Very good recipe,thanks Mandira:))

  18. i've eaten this once, and absolutely loved it. thanks for the recipe, mandira.

  19. Hi Mandira, this sounds very rich, even with so little oil. I don't think I have ever cooked with dates but you've got me thinking I'd like to try!

    See you in a couple of days for GBP :)

  20. hehe, this is like a cool Indian salsa, ooh, load those mustard seeds up, so fragrant and flavorful, thumbs up ! :)

  21. Roopa - i've grown up eating this chutney, a traditional bengali chutney.

    Trupti - you can serve this chutney as a side dish with anything, goes well with puri, kichadi. Aswin likes it as a spread on bread... you get the idea.

    Vani - the other variations use prune, raisins, sometime apples. I like the date combo best.

    Shn - do let me know how it turns out. It's simple to make and is done in less than an hour.

    Thanks Reena. do try.

    Mythreyee - thanks. Dates and ginger along with tomatoes, what's not to like, right?

    Latha - dates add a wonderful taste to the chutney, ginger give it the zing. :)

    Thanks sabita. Do keep visiting.

    Shaheen - yes, memories and taste have a way of bringing back long forgotten recipes. I'm glad I got this one. Am working on other recipes now!

    Sandeepa - cranberries sounds like a wonderful addition. Did you use fresh cranberries?

  22. Shilpa - I wish I can claim this as my innovation! But I've grown up eating this chutney and this is really a Bengali chutney which has quite a few variations.

    Krishna - thanks, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

    Thanks Swapna.

    Gattina - I've had this chutney with jaggery and sugar and love both versions. The tomatoes cook well to give it a right consistency, the trick is to check it every 2-3 minutes.

    Jeena - I love browsing through the blogs and learning about the different recipes. I've also experimented with old recipes, giving them new twists. Isn't food blogging fun!

    Sia - Yes, as I'm discovering this chutney can be had with toast, puris, dosas, or even with rice. Make your own favorite combination!

    Asha - thanks, I just planted tomatoes for the summer, am looking forward to making a new batch with home grown tomatoes.

    Bee- yes, this chutney taste lingers on. I had to recreate it!

    Linda - this chutney is usually eaten fresh. It stays for a week in the fridge, but I'm not sure if it will last longer. Looking forward to your GBP entry.

    Melting wok - LOL, truly Indian salsa! The mustard seeds do give it a spicy taste.

  23. This is really different and tasty too. Will try sometime. Viji

  24. Anonymous4:50 PM

    I made the fish cutlets using your recipe and used boiled potatoes for the dough. Turned out quite well.

  25. Great Durga. Did you bake or fry them?

  26. pritya11:51 PM

    Dear Mandira, What an interesting recipe! Dates and jaggery in tomato chutney! Would taste tangy and sweet at the same time? Waiting to try it.

  27. Hi Mandira,
    Tomatoe and date chutney sounds different and innovative...never heard of it...Thanks for sharing...will surely give it a try.

  28. Nupur1:42 PM

    oh mmm this looks mouth watering, you know I was looking for a similar chutney but that one had mango along with tomato and dates, do you know how to make it and if so, could you pls post it here.

  29. Pritya, deepa hari - thanks, do let me know how it turns out.

    Nupur - just saw your comment and got the recipe from my parents. Will post the recipe soon!

  30. dear mandira,
    my mom and grandma used to make this chutney, i stay away from home,and was dying for having this chutney,when i tried ur recipe, it turned out to be AMAZING!! my husband was too happy and i was remebering my mom in every bite!!
    thanks..god bless!

  31. ranjan7:27 AM

    I never cared for bengali dishes until I went to a bengali friend's home in gurgaon. She served me with this chutney. I was blown away man!!! What a lovely combination. Amazing!


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