I always am inspired on a spur of the moment to cook a particular thing. I would then happily spend the next couple of hours trying to research as much as possible on whatever I intend on making, deciding on a recipe and getting the relevant ingredients. I love it, and sometimes I wish I could spend more days doing that, and having a kitchen and ingredients at my disposal.
One morning I woke up, looked in my fridge and saw tomatoes. I didn’t want to eat them in a salad, nor cook it with pasta so I decided that I wanted to make a tomato chutney / relish. The rest of my morning went to Googling recipes and poring with the few cookbooks that I had brought down from home.
A lot of the recipes I came across required the use of mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and a whole bunch of other spices that I didn’t have, nor could I be motivated enough to go out and buy. Thankfully, I came across a couple of recipes that received good reviews sans spices. Sweet. After reading through a dozen recipes, and getting some idea of the ratio of sweet, salty, tangy and spicy, I decided to just wing the rest of it. To my surprise, it turned out relatively decent. There’s certainly much room for improvement, say actually going to the effort of peeling the tomatoes (I was simply lazy), and peeling the capsicums if I were to use them again. I’m guessing it would help to get that more ‘paste’-like texture that I had visualised in my mind. Nonetheless, it was great on crackers and went well with poached eggs on toast.
Spicy tomato and capsicum chutney
Makes ~1.5 cup
- 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
- 2 capsicums, diced
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 2 tbspn of olive oil
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tspn chilli flakes
- 1/3 cup red wine (I’m thinking red wine vinegar could be a substitute)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- (sterilised jar for storage)
- Combine the red wine and brown sugar. Set aside
- Heat a non-stick pan on med-heat. Pour in the oil to coat the pan. Add in the brown onions and cook until transparent (3-5 minutes) and starts to caramelise.
- Add the capsicums and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes. Throw in the crushed garlic and chilli flakes, and give everything a good stir.
- Turn the heat to medium / med-low, and add in the red wine and brown sugar mixture. Allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes, whereby the mixture should start to thicken up. If during cooking, it looks a bit dry, add a bit of water. Season to taste.
- When the mixture is reasonably thickened, turn off the heat and allow it to sit in the hot pan for 5-10 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into sterilised air-tight jars, and store in the fridge (can be stored for up to 2 weeks)