Thursday, March 1, 2018

Garlic Chutney Topping (Amma's Garlic Relish for Pizza, Pasta, and Everything Else)

Amma made this delicious garlic chutney topping that we use on everything from pasta to pizzas - in fact  pizza or pasta without it is unthinkable! Once we tasted pizza with it, there was no going back to eating without the Garlic Topping!

Another must for every pantry! Delicious sprinkled over any dish, we love it on salads, soups, pizza, pasta and more. Amma (my mom) received requests for care packages of this from everyone who tasted it :). Many were the jars of garlic topping that Amma prepared for care packages as no one left the house empty-handed. She used to peel and chop all the garlic by hand meticulously but as the demand and requests increased, the food processor was put to good use!

This is such a simple recipe; use your tastebuds as your guide to add salt and chile powder to suit your needs. Make a little for a meal or make a lot and keep a stock ready to use or give away.

Notes:

The cooking needs to be done over low heat so that garlic does not burn. Burned garlic = bitter  taste; so be warned!

Be judicious with the hot chile powder - if you want the lovely red color but a mild taste, use a little Kashmiri chile powder and/or Paprika. Kashmiri Chile Powder is a bit milder than regular chile powder or cayenne.

All the chile powders mentioned here are ground dried red peppers; not a mixture of spices and peppers to make the dish Chili!

Garlic Topping will last for a few days at room temperature. It will last 3 months or more if kept in the refrigerator. Also, as with any preserves, pickles or chutneys, use a clean dry spoon to take out the required amount; do not return unsused portion back to the original jar.

Variation: For a little Chinese twist, add 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce after the chutney topping has cooled a bit. 

Ingredients:

1/4 - 1/2 cup Oil
2 Big heads Fresh Garlic, peeled and trimmed
1- 2 tsp Salt (to taste)
1 Tbsp Hot Chile Flakes
1- 4 Tbsp Hot Chile Powder/Kashmiri Chile Powder/Paprika

Method:

Place peeled garlic cloves in the bowl of the food processor and pulse quickly on and off until garlic is chopped but not mashed.

Heat a wok, skillet or a small pan and add the oil; heat over low-medium heat until a little piece of garlic sizzles when dropped into the oil. 

Tip the garlic into the wok/pan along with a pinche of salt and cook over low heat stirring regularly so as to cook evenly without burning. Adjust the heat up or down as necessary to keep the garlic cooking but not burning.

When garlic is golden and crisp, add the rest of the salt and the spices and cook for about 2 minutes. Let cool in the pan.

Store in a clean dry jar with a tight lid.

Garlic Topping will last for a few days at room temperature. It will last 3 months or more if kept in the refrigerator. See note above.

Serve the Garlic Chutney Topping on pasta, pizza, bread, wraps, in any food you want to spice up. Enjoy!!

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