This Pomegranate Banana Chutney is a vegetarian side dish, a simple chutney which can be made really quickly and enjoyed especially with puffed fried bread and Chana masala. You could also eat it with rice and meat dishes. Chutneys as such are intended to be lip smacking, spicy, tangy, salty, sour and sweet. This chutney is served as a condiment to complement other dishes. We cannot think of eating chana bhatura (puffed fried bread with chana masala) without this chutney. Only a few restaurants serve this though and I happened to eat it in New Delhi when I lived there and ever since I started making it at home it’s been my kids’ favourite. The tangy sweet taste of the banana in the spicy tamarind sauce with the pomegranate seeds bursting in your mouth is a tongue tingling sensation which adds a zing to the main dish you are eating it with. A piece of the bhatura (puffed fried bread) dipped in the chana masala, a spoonful of this chutney, then a little bite of the mango pickles and green chilli (not recommended for those who cannot tolerate spicy food)…………………is like a deluge of flavours playing hopscotch on your tongue ……………just so insanely delicious!
Here’s the recipe.
2 Bananas (ripe)
1/2 cup Pomegranate arils
1 cup tamarind pulp*
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp black salt
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 chopped deseeded green chilli
1. Peel and cut the bananas into 1/4″ slices. Chop the fresh ginger, deseed and chop the green chilli.
2. Mix together all the spices, salts and sugar with the tamarind pulp* to make the tamarind chutney. Throw in the
chopped ginger and green chilli.
3. Add the banana slices and the pomegranate arils to the tamarind sauce. Turn over gently to mix.
4. Chill it in the fridge and enjoy.
*To extract the tamarind pulp take tamarind about the size of an orange and soak it in boiling water for half an hour. When it cools down, squeeze and pass the pulp through a strainer. Do not add too much water. If it is runny then reduce it on the stove till it thickens into a ketchup like consistency.
For a short cut you could use the Maggie Tamarina Sauce available at Indian stores.