This year I had a decent tomato harvest allowing me to make sauces and chutneys. Tomato Kasundi combines 2 of my favourite things , preservation by pickling or fermentation and the flavours of the Indian sub-continent . Kasundi is a chutney that comes in a number of forms but outside of the Indian community is seen mainly in Tomato and Aubergine form. The key to kasundi is mustard , both the seeds and the oil. Traditionally kasundi is made during the mustard harvest as a way of preserving it. On the topic of traditions I recommend checking out the Wikipedia page on kasundi it details all the religious / cultural rules about who can make it. Take a pinch of salt when it says it’s now a customary Christmas gift in NZ however.
This year I vaguely followed a modern Kasundi recipe that relies on vinegar pickling rather than fermentation for preservation but next year I might look at doing a fermented Kasundi.
2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
1 cup malt vinegar
2kg red tomatoes, firm and ripe, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger
15 cloves garlic
1 cup mustard oil
1 tablespoon turmeric
5 tablespoons ground cumin
3 cinnamon quills
Handful of bay leaves
1 tablespoon red chili powder
10 fresh green chiles roughly chopped
1/2 cup sugar
Salt, to taste
Soak the mustard seeds overnight in the vinegar.
Put the soaked mustard seeds, vinegar they were soaked in, ginger, and garlic into a food processor and grind into a smooth paste. Set aside.
Heat the mustard oil in a pot over low heat. When it is very hot, add the turmeric, cumin, and chili powder, cinnamon and bay leaves. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Now add tomatoes, the green chiles, the mustard-vinegar-ginger-garlic mixture, sugar, and salt. Continue to cook on low heat until the tomatoes become soft and pulpy. Oil should form on the surface.
Taste and adjust with salt / sugar / vinegar as necessary
Remove from the heat and carefully transfer hot kasundi into clean jars . Top up with mustard oil. Seal with clean lids.
The flavours will mellow and settle after a few days but it’s perfectly good eating as soon as it has cooled.