Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Aarti Paarti Ep. 22: Best Grilled Cheese with Tomato Chutney

I've never met anyone who didn't smile at the thought of a grilled cheese sandwich. Just one bite and you're back to being in that magical place where sandwiches cut into triangles tasted better, where Mum could kiss all your boo-boos away, where boys had cooties...


The only thing that makes a grilled cheese sandwich better? Dipping it in a bowl of creamy tomato soup! In this summer heat though, the very notion of hot soup sets my anti-perspirant working double-time.

And so, I present you the tomato chutney: whole grape tomatoes cooked in a little vinegar, onions, garlic, ginger, cilantro and brown sugar, finished with a mustard seed-infused oil. Drop a dollop in your grilled cheese, and prepare yourself for explosions of savory tomato flavour every time you bite into a whole tomato. It's great when you're in the mood for something a little different.

Not in the mood for grilled cheese? This chutney is a great one to have on hand for these grill-happy days. Make a batch, and keep it in the fridge for your cookout days: smush some of this chutney on grilled chicken, pork, veggies or even a burger!

Oh, and don't miss a funny little trick to make grilled cheese sandwiches taste even better, that I learned at Burning Man from my friend Graham. It's an odd one, but try it once and see if you like it... it'll make it crispy but not greasy!

Best Grilled Cheese with Tomato Chutney

2 cups grape tomatoes
a little more than 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup red onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp brown sugar
Handful cilantro, minced
2 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
1 tsp urad dal (optional)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
Pinch of red chili flakes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
White bread
Cheese of your choice, freshly grated (I used cheddar)

1) Throw tomatoes, vinegar and onions in a pot over high heat. Season with salt, boil for 5 minutes.
2) Add garlic, ginger, cilantro and brown sugar plus a splash of water if it's too dry. Stir and boil for another 5 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, in a small skillet, warm oil until shimmering. Add urad dal and red chili flakes. When dal has turned a little darker, add mustard seeds, and stand back! They'll splutter! Once they're done spluttering, pour into the tomato mixture (which should be done boiling).
4) Turn the heat down, simmer 20 minutes until the tomato mixture takes on a jam consistency. Try to keep some of the tomatoes whole.
5) Allow chutney to cool. Then make grilled cheese.
6) Heat nonstick or cast iron skillet over moderately low heat. Make sandwich with cheese and tomato chutney. Slather some mayonnaise on the outside of one side of the sandwich. Place it mayo-side down in the skillet. Slather mayo on the other side. Wait a couple of minutes, until it's browned, then flip and brown the other side.
7) Cut into triangles and serve!




L.Maughan said...

Great twist on a grilled cheese! I am going to try this because I always end up eating what my toddler eats, and it would be nice to have an adult version. Thanks Aarti!

aartilla the fun said...

oooh yippee! let me know how it turns out and what you think about it!

Anonymous said...

i've never heard of using mayo before i can't wait to try it...i loved hearing the "crunch"...good job!

Divya Rao said...

Oooh that looks yummy! I'll try it soon. You know, I make something similar, but I blend it all together in a food processor, kind of looks like baby food, but tastes great :-)

Meg A said...

i absolutely love your little shows and lovely blog.
i have found them so inspiring and uplifting since i recently came across them.

and the mayo makes sense! yum.

aartilla the fun said...

thankyou meg! it is totally my goal to leave people a little happier by the end of the video. whoopeee! thanks so much for checking me out!! how did you find me?

Thomasina said...

Hey Aarti - did the toasted cheese trick - what a marvel, it works brilliantly. Going to make chutney now but will have to adjust recipe because I have a glut of courgettes (zucchini) from my allotment that need using up! Love your shows - they are brilliant x

sippy said...

Just found your blog and youtube videos. Too cute! :-)

I'm a fellow socal Indian too, but am a novice in the kitchen and don't have nearly the culinary talent as you. Tried the Indian pizza though and it was yummy. Thanks! May have to try the grilled cheese trick next.

aartilla the fun said...

thanks thomasina!!! let me know how it turns out with the zucchini!

and sippy -- where are you? how did you find me? i wasn't that great in the kitchen until a couple of years ago. just takes practice, and a husband with an iron stomach. heehee!


Meg A said...

I actually found you through GoodBite. And then I started watching your shows and they're just so much fun!

Justin said...

usually when i'm making grilled cheese, i'm feeling a little impatient, but wow, tomato chutney sounds awesome

sippy said...

Aarti - I live near Riverside, if you know where that is. I take it you're in the L.A. area? Lots of yummy places out there. We've been meaning to try one of the ice cream places you mention in one of the videos -- Mashti Malone's -- but hadn't heard of Scoops. Guess will have to put that on the to do list as well!

Can't remember exactly how I found you (was wasting time surfing online...I excel at that btw), but it was from a link on another site. As for experimenting in the kitchen myself, I do it on occasion but don't think my hubby has quite the iron stomach that is needed for the sometimes questionable end results. ;-)

aartilla the fun said...

hey sippy! yes i know where riverside is, and i think i've even been there but i can't remember when or where in particular. funnily enough, i just went to mashti's yesterday for my birthday! it was just as good as i remembered, if not better! i had the faludeh (a rosewater sorbet with thin vermecelli noodles) over some creamy rosewater icecream with pistachios in it.

(pardon my while i faint).


sippy said...

You're making me salivate now! As if I didn't have enough motivation to check out Mashti Malone's, now you add falooda to the mix. Must be very good if it deserved a birthday visit!

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