This is a classic chutney, given extraordinary flavour with the generous application of spices. Keeping the mustard seeds whole adds personality and subtle texture. This is just one of the many variations possible after starting with the basics of most Indian sauces and chutneys: first comes the garlic and ginger, flavour the oil with the spices, then work in the right quantities of vinegar, sugar and tomato puree—or whole tomatoes.
We've tried this kasoundi recipe with fresh Roma tomatoes in season, with our home-made bottled tomato passata and with commercial passata. It works equally well in each version, although using fresh whole tomatoes requires removing the skins and cooking time is a little longer, depending on the tomatoes’ water content. We do recommend fresh (or your own bottled versions), but we also understand the hurdles: time, energy, lack of access to fields of tomatoes!
The Thermomix makes it simple to make smaller quantities regularly. Small and regular makes it an all-year product, particularly as passata works so well.
When it comes to jams and chutneys, smaller is often better. It can seem like a great idea to get a couple of boxes of tomatoes or apples and start cooking and bottling, but making small quantities as needed seems a better outcome to me. With the Thermomix as your partner, the issues that can arise from long-cooked chutneys or jams—the phone rings, you get chatting, and the bubbling concoction starts to burn—just don’t apply. The Thermomix does reduce the potential for stocking up for 12 months, so going small and often makes great sense for Thermomix users.
This recipe comes from the best possible source: a country Sunday market, and a passionate home cook. I can't resist the home-made wares of people who put their hearts and souls into making things and selling them in jars with pretty labels, often with pretty "hats". The market was at Cowes, the main town on Victoria’s Phillip Island, and the wonderful cook was Pat Giannarelli. Pat was a mainstay of the market, accompanied by her husband Gino, who tended the couple's garden and helped out on the till at the markets they visited. I bought, I tasted, I wrote about it in Melbourne’s The Sunday Age, and soon enough, kasoundi was a hit, appearing where it had never been seen before in delis and cafes all over town. It continues to be so, more than 20 years later. This recipe's fame has spread far: I found a request for it on a forum connected to Jamie Oliver's website—that's a long way from Cowes.