Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Tomato - Sesame Seed Chutney

Tomato - Sesame Seed Chutney

For a long time my association with Sesame had to do with the phrase from Arabian Nights – Open Sesame (which by the way reflects the fact that sesame bursts open upon maturity). Having said that, I now understand that the ‘milagai’ powder that mom made for idlis and dosas had a lot of sesame seeds in it. It is a shame that it took me a long time to realise that the 'nallennai' aka gingelly oil is actually sesame seed oil. But for that, I have barely included sesame in my diet. Honestly, I was not really able to appreciate its distinct flavour and taste. I had used it in a dish and results were quite good. As always, I do have a big packet of black sesame seeds that has been lying in my shelf for a long time now. I was keen to use them soon because the oils in the seed could go rancid if stored for long. I was trying a variety of dosas, which is quite a normal thing in my kitchen, and wanted a new chutney for it. I was also thinking of trying some Andhra recipe and that is how I ended up with tomato sesame seeds chutney. I must say that it was a superhit. My husband, who is usually very wary of my experiments, actually said he liked it and would like it made more often. I quite liked it as well and am drooling now even thinking of it. The best part is it goes well with idlis, dosas, rice, rotis and even bread. I know some people love ‘milagai’ powder (gun powder) but the amount of oil mixed with it is not good for cholesterol. This chutney has the potential to replace the ‘milagai’ powder and is a must try. Here is how I made it…

2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 big tomatoes, chopped
5 dry red chillies (adjust according to taste)
½ teaspoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon channa dal (kadalai paruppu)
1 teaspoon sambar powder (optional)
Asafoetida and turmeric powder
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon urd dal
Salt to taste
Cooking oil

In a skillet, roast the sesame seeds till they start popping. Keep aside and roast the chillies until they turn crisp, keep aside. Roast the channa dal till it turns golden brown.

In a saucepan, cook the tomatoes until it becomes pulpy. Add the tamarind paste, asafoetida, turmeric powder and sambar powder and cook for further couple of minutes.

Grind the sesame seeds, channa dal and chillies first and then add the tomato pulp and grind. Season with required salt.

In the skillet, add less than a teaspoon oil and add mustard seeds and urd dal. Once the mustard seeds splutters and dal turns brown, add to ground chutney and serve.


  1. I don't recall seeing black sesame seeds like that... This recipe looks wonderful :)

  2. can i use white or brown sesame seeds instead of black for this recipe.

  3. Yes, you could try brown or white sesame. Just that black is the strongest in terms of flavour and I would think brown would be closer as I find white quite mild compared to black. Hope it helps.