Panch Phoran is a traditional Bengali blend of five spices, panch meaning five. If you have seen my recipe of Coriander chicken, you know that I am a fan of this spice mix. This Bengali mix is made up of five whole spices – fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, nigella seeds, and cumin seeds. Panch phoran adds a unique flavor that is unlike any other. This tomato ginger and date chutney also gets its unique flavor from panch phoran. I also added my all time favorite spice – coriander seeds, to the mix.Jump to Recipe
One of my local friends served this chutney at a dinner she hosted and I have thought of recreating the magic ever since. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my summer garden is in full gear now. In fall…uhmm, never mind! The weather has cooled down and my tomato plants are super happy. I have made several batches of this tomato chutney, regularly make this salad and also have several quart size bags of frozen tomatoes. Oh that reminds me – should I do a post on how I freeze tomatoes and then use the frozen tomatoes? Please let me know in the comments below.
So, as a way to use up some of the 24380498 pounds of various kinds of tomatoes from my garden, I made this tomato, ginger and date chutney one fine evening. On some nights, I post my dinner pictures on Instagram and Facebook. I was amazed at the love and attention that this humble tomato ginger and date chutney received. Since so many of you commented and sent emails and messages asking for the recipe, I am very happy to oblige.
Other than the exceptional flavor punch that this recipe packs, can we talk about the health quotient of tomato ginger and date chutney? All the spices in panch phoran are goodful.
Here is a simple breakdown:
Fenugreek – helps in balancing cholesterol, soothes hurting tummies, and eases menstrual pain.
Fennel – helps in digestion, is a blood purifier and reduces bloating
Mustard – rich in copper, magnesium, and iron; anti-oxidant properties and rich in fiber
Nigella – great for skin, controls blood pressure, relieves headaches and migraine
Cumin – aides in digestion, great source of iron and rich in anti-oxidants
Tomatoes, ginger and dates, in addition to these spices, come with a plethora of their own health benefits. Chutneys are enjoyed in small portions since the flavors are very concentrated. Serve it with parantha (like this) or enjoy it with daal (lentils like this and this) and roti (recipe here). This tomato ginger and date chutney is one of my favorite to slather on toast along with cream cheese.
Recipe run down
The trick to this tomato and date chutney is a cast iron pan. I use this one but you know if you have one of those “lohe ki kadahi” or pan, which has been in the family for generations – go for it. A nonstick pan (like this one) will work in a heartbeat but cast iron will be my recommendation. Start with dry roasting the spices and then coarsely grind them in a mortar and pestle (see notes). If you use cherry tomatoes (like I did), just toss them whole into the pan and let them pop and blister. If not, chop the tomatoes small and add chopped dates.
I used dried cranberries for added sweetness but raisins are equally good. Addition of brown sugar and dry mango powder add the sweet and sour notes. The amounts of these ingredients in the recipe are a guideline. I would encourage you to adjust the seasoning according to your taste preference.
Here is handy printable:
Tomato Ginger and Date Chutney
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoon ginger minced or grated
- 4 seedless mejdool dates
- 1 teaspoon each Mustard seeds, Nigella seeds (Kalaunji), Fenugreek seeds (Methe), Cumin seeds (Jeera), Fennel seeds (saunf), and coriander seeds (dhaniya) See notes
- 1 tablespoon oil preferably mustard oil
- 1 dried red chili
- ¼ cup brown sugar or shakkar
- 2 tablespoon dried cranberries or raisins
- 1 teaspoon dry mango powder amchur
- Salt to taste
- Set a Cast Iron Pan on high heat. Add all the whole spices, one at a time, and dry roast them. Let cool.
- Coarsely grind the spices using a mortar and pestle or a Coffee Grinder.
- If using mustard oil, heat the Cast Iron Pan on high heat and heat the oil to smoke point and then turn the heat off. Let cool.
- Once the oil has cooled, turn the heat back on to medium high and add the dried red chili. Let it heat up for 10-15 seconds before adding grated ginger.
- Cook the ginger for about 30 seconds or until the raw smell goes away.
- Add 2 teaspoon of the coarsely ground spices, mix and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes and raise the heat to medium high. If using cherry tomatoes, let them blister and pop.
- Cover and cook the tomatoes for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, take the lid off and add chopped dates, cranberries, brown sugar, dry mango powder and salt.
- Cook the chutney on medium-high heat for another 5 -10 minutes with the pan uncovered until the chutney is thick and deep reddish brown in color.
- Check the seasoning and adjust the sweetness, tanginess and salt according to your liking.
- Serve at room temperature.
So make this not so traditional take of Bengali tomato and date chutney and let me know what you think.
Other similar recipes that you can make:
Coriander or Dhaniya Chicken
Savory and Sweet Tomato Chutney
Cucumber Tomato and Avocado Salad
Love - Vaishali.
Cast iron pan: Mortar and pestle:
Chopping Board: Measuring Cups:
This sounds amazing, I’ll definitely have to try it!
Of all the blogs i follow, yours is my favorite.
Aww..thanks Angela. You made my day. I am glad you are enjoying the blog..<3
The Tiny Herbivore
Okay, my mouth is literally watering!! This looks SO AMAZING!
My mum used to make a date chutney to balance of the spicy chilli one!
Yes. That is the idea. We do not eat spicy food so I just added one dried red chili (mild). Thanks for visiting..:)
This is Brii
This looks delicious! I needed a new dinner idea haha! Will let you know how mine comes out, most likely nowhere close to yours!
I am sure yours will taste great..:)
Looks Yummy as usual. How can I get the spices and condiments in Italy.
Is there a local Indian grocery store? If not, you can most likely order them from Amazon. Thanks!
This looks very interesting. Where I live, foods like this are hard to find. But I love trying new foods so I'll have to give this a try!
This chutney looks amazing, would love to try this recipe.
Our indian food is complete without chutneys and side dips.
Thank you so much for sharing even i love cooking I'll try it for sure.
Yes, you are so right and Bev would totes approve! Thanks for sharing another wonderful recipe. Nigella had better watch out as that domestic goddess title might not be hers for much longer, vendor information pages
This looks amazing, I am feeling the taste in y mouth by just looking at it, would love to try it.
I've never really been a fan of chutney, but this recipe sounds amazing! Especially with a curry, I can imagine it's really tasty. Love the colours too.
Oh that does look super tasty! Im not a big fan of dates but like this I think I woudl like to try it! I love a chutney, Indian cooking is my favourite!
I'm salivating!! this looks so delicious. I have to try it.
I love chutney, it is one of those things that I discovered really late in my life...It is delicious.
This looks freaking delicious! Looks relatively easy too!!
I always look forward to your new recipe as it's not only delicious but nutritious.......
Thanks so much for sharing your recipe, it looks amazing! I love the blend of all of the spices! I'm sure it has tons of really great flavors!
This tomato ginger dates chutney is certainly delicious and I have to try it out soon.
We make tomato date chutney all the time at home (because we are bongs). You need to try out another version with amshotto (mango leather) and date. it is the bomb!
Oh wow Poorna. Can you direct me to a recipe for that please?
Everything looks amazing. Your dishes are making me hungry. I will try your recipe.
Goodness gracious they look good! They look so delicious but never tried them before.
My mother makes a version of this at home and it is so tasty..will try making this at home too!
Oh this is amazing and mouthwatering!! I really want to try this I'm sure it really tastes good 🙂
I think a little bit of drool dripped out of my mouth. This all looks so yummy! Time to spice up my kitchen.
This recipe looks new for me. This Tomato Ginger and Date Chutney looks yummy and delicious I like it.
I never heard of Panch Phoran before. Is it spicy? My stomach can't handle spicy food anymore. I hope there is a way to control the spiciness.
Its not spicy at all.
You spices look so beautiful! I have always been a fan of chutney and now I can try to make my own. Wish me luck. 🙂
The tomato chutney is a regular at home. We sometimes prepare it with raw mango and add a whole lot of nuts to it.