Thursday, January 04, 2007

Tomato Khejur Cranberry Chutney & some Meme

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Tomato Date Cranberry Chutney a beautiful, sweet and tangy way to kick off the New Year and some “meme”…

Sra had tagged me for a pretty interesting meme about "What Your Blogger Friends Look Like and Why" The meme sounded interesting but I thought before I went deep into describing I should take a more deeper look into the blogs to do justice. But the deeper I looked the more confused I became. 95% of the bloggers I read were food bloggers with a purpose and they rarely shared personal tit-bits of their life like the side of the bed they slept on or whether they preferred "Neutrogena" to "Dove" in their shower, leave alone sharing their dark secrets. So though each blog had a character it was very difficult to discern the face behind it.

Take for example dear Sra who was the initiator of this tag. I went through all her archives and though it seemed she is this "perky young journo (??) with very good writing skills and a penchant for cooking" , there was little in her blog that revealed anything personal except for her food. For all I know she might not be SRA but SRK , the "King Khan" writing up a food blog to satiate his eating pleasures. Please please tell me you are that.

Also there's a story to tell. Before going into food blogging I would often silently read random blogs. One of them was this PoisonPen which I would read off & on. The writer was some Vishnupriya RoyChowdhury, a bong connection which further kindled my interest. Being a personal blog it did reveal vague info about the person. After many such random readings, in the subconscious mind I had formed a picture of the person as in "the kind of person she is". After about a year and half of posts however the "creator" of the blog revealed a secret to the dismay of many ardent readers. This very very clever guy had created this blog and posted as Vishnupriya a female who was nothing but his imagination. In his own words

"Vishnupriya Roychoudhury is entirely a figment of a very colourful imagination. She was brought to electronic life by a slightly diseased mind with a tiny bit of a god complex.

She was created as a prank. In order to make the prank work better, she was fleshed out. She had a personality, a history, friends and a family. She had interests and opinions. Most importantly, she had three things:
a) an email id
b) an Orkut account
c) a blog

Read his post here

Extremely clever and frightening at the same time, don't you think ?
If an EMail Id, an Orkut account and a Blog is all it takes to create a person Nature may as well take a sabbatical
Since blogs are so powerful, I don't think I am responsible enough to take a decision on what others look like or what they are. I am happy thinking of all my blogger friends as this group of friends like the one I would have in college each making their own mark and at the same time supporting others, each of us waiting every morning to talk/chat/update the other, each full of passion to do something, each dreaming not much caring about the real life. With time maybe I will know them more.So even though this meme is extremely interesting I will just pass it on to the more astute people around me

Coffee has also tagged me with another meme. But I am not good at this either. It's very difficult for me to pick up 3 things not because there are more than 3 but because even that keeps changing from day to month to year. The Best I can do is...

Three Things I love
1. My Family including myself . My daughter says "I love Mommy, Baba, etc. etc, and myself"
2. Reading mostly good fiction.
3. At present I love cooking, taking photos and blogging

Three TV shows/Books I watched/read as a kid:
1. Enid Blytons all of them
2. Tintin but I read them even now
3. HumLog ??

Passing on the Meme to Sra, IndoSunGod and Mandira. You can pick one of the above, all or none.

Now to Tomato Khejur Chaatni or Tomato Date Chutney which is a bengali favourite. You will find it accompanying many a bengali meal. I added Cranberrys for that seasonal touch. What resulted is a sweet chutney with a little tartness of the cranberrys. This pretty looking chutney is both good to look at and eat

Tomato Date Cranberry Chutney

What You Need

Tomatoes ~ 4/5 plump red medium chopped to small pieces
Cranberry ~ fresh cranberry 1 cup
Date or Khejur ~ about 20 pittless dates cut in halves
Mustard Seeds ~ 1 tsp

Ginger ~ fresh ginger grated and then pressed to extract 1 tsp of ginger juice
Sugar ~ ½ cup or more according to your sweet level
PanchPhoron or Five Spice Mix ~ Dry roasted and ground to a powder. Use about 1tsp

How I Did It

Heat Oil in Kadai/Frying Pan
Add Mustard seeds. To prevent them from sputtering all around the kitchen close the lid
When they start sputtering add the chopped tomatoes
Sauté till the tomatoes turn into a fine pulp
Add the cranberries and stir
Add the dates and cook stirring the mixture
Add 1 tsp of ginger juice. Grate ginger and squeeze to extract the juice
Add salt a little water and cover and cook
When the tomatoes are well cooked, add ½ a cup of sugar
Add a little water and bring the mixture to a boil
Check the consistency and the sweetness. It should be thick and sweet but tangy. Add sugar if you want some more
Sprinkle about 1 tsp of roasted panchpuran powder before serving

Update: Many people add 2/3 dry red chillies while tempering to make this chutney a little spicy. I have never done it though.

Enjoy this chutney with lunch or dinner. I have had a long love relatinship with tomato chutney and am sure you would love it too.
MyKhazanaOfRecipes has started a very interesting event "Monthly Blog Patrolling". I am not going to reveal how interesting it is, so go check it out and participate.

Trivia: Memes refer to a unit of cultural information transferable from one mind to another


  1. the chutney looks delicious. will try it soon. Thanks for tagging me with the Meme. Will post it soon.

  2. Hi Sandeepa,
    Your chutney looks awesome! Believe it or not I was hoping you'd post a tomato chutney (or some variation of it) recipe as I don't have a family recipe for this. I'll definitely be trying this out soon.

  3. Thanks Mandiar, check the links for the actual MeMe

    Sj Thank You. Kemon holo chutney janio

  4. WOW!! Chutney sounds great and all that MeME's!!:D Great reading them,quickly I might add.
    Thanks for the info about Ilva's Kitchen round up,I did send her mine!:)

  5. Sandeepa, I'm so flattered you took time to write about the meme I initiated, and thanks for tagging me for the other. Am sneaking a peek into your blog now, will read/write leisurely later. Have a nice day!

  6. Sandeepa:
    Wonderful to read your thoughts....I have shared a bit of myself, like my picture,my kids and the pic. of my kitchen before in my earlier posts...but you know what, I got a nasty message from someone who had read my post on my kitchen...saying that I shouldn't be showing off my "bling-bling" kitchen to the whole world(whatever), but I was so upset, I deleted those posts that had personal pictures in it. I am really starting to wonder about how many details I should share without someone out there- who I don't even know- criticizing me for it.It's a scary world out there- even virtually. Sad- really. I respect your views though,very well said.
    Sorry this is such a long message!


  7. Hi Sandeepa,

    I love this Tomato-Khajur chutney. This is a common recipe in Orissa too. Adding cranberries gives it a nice twist :)

  8. Trupti
    That was a very nasty comment but there are such people out there. Thanks for your views.
    And with everyone from companies planning to hire you to your neighbour checking out all info about you on the internet, it's better not to put much out there

  9. Hi Sangeeta
    Nice to know you are from Orissa. One of my hubby's friend's wife is Orissa and she cooks amazing food

  10. Chutney looks delicious..
    Now abt, SRA's meme..she had tagged me also.Thanks for this detailed post.Even i am trying hard to read all my blog friends archives to get a hold of their personalities....hmmm it's been hard.

  11. Hey Sandeepa,

    some of the food bloggers put up pictures,such as yours truly.That takes away the mystery and leaves the guest work out of it .

    Nice blending of the two me-mes with a recipe , talking of which I love tomoto'r chatney:-) with raisins and dates as well.Being a bong myself I keep coming up with variations.I have also tried the cherry.

    your concoction sounds and looks promising and pretty.Will admit to being a tad apprehensive about the carnberry, a tad too tart for my taste .

  12. sorry I meant guess work and not guest work:-)

  13. Maheshwari
    Sra's meme was pretty interesting, if you can come up with something that would be great

    Hi meenal
    even though your pic is there how someone perceives or sees you depends a lot on how you interact with them, your talking,your nature etc. and that happens only once you get to know the person. So there's still a lot to guess :)

  14. oops sangeeta sorry...what I meant is "from Orissa" :)

  15. hai sandeepa
    nice writeup..
    the chutney is looking wonderfull..
    i think u have missed my meme...i have also tagged u...ok nevermind..anyway i read ur meme...very nice...i prefer some more mememe..will be good...what do u say?:-)

  16. Hi Swapna,
    Sorry I just now checked your post and saw you had tagged me too. I am so sorry, actually Rooma had tagged earlier and that was in my mind
    That was all I could thnk of, all other things keep changing

  17. Sandeepa: Beautiful write up lady!!! Its so very true. I mean the feeling of a persons existance is just confusing at times.
    Nice Chutney recipe as well

  18. Sandeepa a Cranberry Date twist to the tomato chutney, but as I read the recipe further they were more twists like adding sugar which I never do to tomato chutney. Will try it for sure.

    Thanks for tagging me will play soon. It was fun reading them as well, Hope you are Sandeepa the 'Bong Mom' as you say just kidding..

  19. Hi Seema

    I never knew you do not add sugar to tomato chutney !!! The amount I added was on the lesser side, more is needed to make it sweeter.
    Maybe I am not "Bong Mom", you never know ;-)

  20. Had to comment, chatni ta dekhe. Aar bujhlam your last comment about me being a he/she :)) Khabar theke aar thaka jaayena :))

  21. Thanks Asha

    Sra, Please come back and read :)

  22. Sandeepa, now my life's on my blog for everyone to read! I'm game to taking a crack at my own meme and guess what you look like but after your closing comments on that, am scared to say anything! Have a nice weekend!

  23. Nice write up Sandeepa, though I wish you would have done the other one as well :)

    But I truely agree with you ..... this virtual world is a bit scary and thats why I changed my name. With my three blogs I was giving out too much of info to this world and hence thought of going under cover. I would appreciate if you can make the changes on your blog as well :)

  24. Hi Sra,
    Please please take on your Meme. Would love to hear you.

    Sorry yaar, shall update my blog soon

  25. Hey, Thanks for publicising the event on your blog!!!!! I missed out reading it yesterday!!!!! Thanks dear :) Appreciate the help :)

  26. :( Ignored me ...just because I no longer post doesnt mean you have to ignore my comments :(

  27. Kausum
    So very sorry. Never meant to
    Good to know you are around. Feels good :)

  28. Love your recipes. Does this tomato chutney keep for long?

  29. not very long, maybe a week in the refrigerator

  30. my maima would make this chutney in india. I missed it so so much. but thanks to you, I can make this scrumptious chutney easily. thank you.

  31. Tried and bookmarked about it today, loved it. It came exactly how my mom makes :)

  32. Lovely chutney Sandeepa...Loely post and a lovely write up. My first time here...What do you use this chtney for? As a spread for bread and ??


  33. I love your blog entries and the personal touches you add. For me these add another layer of enjoyment to reading about the food and recipes -you can imagine the setting these items are eaten in. I am from. England with bengali roots and have the same chutney palate as you. Like your daughter, I ate ketchup with rice growing up, and even had me own sauce (Nicole a la sauce) where I added black pepper to my ketchup. Keep the recipes coming!


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