Green Tomato Chutney

Green Tomato Chutney | Playful Cooking

As my Dad’s retirement day was approaching, my Mom started worrying more and more. He was never the kind of man who can sit idle or relax with a book and a coffee. His to-do list never got over and he enjoyed being active, on his toes all the time, including vacations. And once in a blue moon, when he spent a weekend afternoon over a long nap or with no work at all, he would regret saying ‘I wasted a day’. No matter how much Mom would try to explain him that we all need to slow down once in a while, it was not something he could ever deal with. So you can imagine my Mom’s state of mind when they moved to Kolkata after Dad’s retirement.

Turns out that Mom never had to worry at all. He still managed to find some tasks to keep him busy. May be not as much as before, but enough to keep him happy. Even at this age, he doesn’t care to stop or rest much. Mom says ‘he has wheels on his feet!’

One particular activity that kept him most energetic was gardening. It started from two to four pots and now, we have a terrace full of pots, mostly flowers and few veggies in between. And every time I visit home, I get to taste whatever homegrown is available in that season.

Green Tomatoes | Playful Cooking


Green Tomatoes | Playful Cooking


Last year when I visited home for my brother’s wedding, I got to taste some papayas and green tomatoes. The green tomatoes were still very tiny and needed more time, but Mom couldn’t wait and let her daughter leave without taking a bite. And Dad felt very proud of his gardening skills as I admired how stunning those tomatoes looked.

She made a delicious chutney with those tomatoes! It was tangy and creamy with a hint of spice from green chili. So good that I had to share it with you.


Green Tomato Chutney | Playful Cooking

In Bengali cuisine, chutney plays a very important role and gets prepared more often than you can imagine, especially during summer. It’s always made with whatever veggie or fruit is in season and served as a side dish for lunch, to relish with the rice.

This green tomato chutney is probably one of the quickest but trickiest of all that I have prepared so far. It is tricky because of the mustard paste, which when added too much or cooked for too long can make the chutney taste very bitter. So, the timing and measurement is very important. I used whole mustard and ground it to a paste, but to make life easy, dry mustard powder can also be used.


Mustard Seeds | Playful Cooking

Green Tomato Chutney

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 2

Green Tomato Chutney


  • 4 to 5 medium size green tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon whole mustard or 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt
  • oil


  • Using a coffee grinder, grind the whole mustard to powder.
  • In a bowl, mix mustard powder with chopped green chilies and 1 tablespoon water. Mash it to form a paste like consistency.
  • Cut the tomatoes length wise in bite sizes. In a pan, heat some oil and add fennel seeds. Let it cook for a few seconds and then, drop the tomato pieces. Season with salt and let it simmer at medium heat until it is tender when poked with a fork. Keep stirring to avoid it from getting burnt.
  • Then, add mustard paste and sugar, mix properly and allow it to cook for a couple more minutes.
  • Add fennel powder, stir and let it cook for 1 minute.
  • Switch off the heat and serve it warm or at room temperature.


Green Tomato Chutney | Playful Cooking

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Kulsum says:

what a beautiful recipe! I love love greek tomatoes and can’t wait to find some here to make this xx

dixya says:

chutney sounds wonderful..I normally buy store bought ones as they pair so well with Indian dishes 🙂

Soma says:

Your dad is like my mother and I. We both cannot sit more than a few minutes. Nowadays I do try to relax sometimes but it always bugs me. I feel like something needed to be done or fixed/cooked, cleaned 🙁

My Maa makes a chutney very similar to yours. She uses black mustard seeds and green chili as tadka and then ripe tomato, mustard-green chili paste, turmeric, salt and red chili powder. It is yummy. Best in summer. I love green tomatoes, I make the chutney with sambar powder.

Joyti says:

Your dad sounds like an interesting person. My parents (and I, but I live in an apt without even a balcony) love gardening too.

I’ve never had a green tomato – my parents grow tomatoes every year but we always wait until they ripened to eat them. The chutney looks delicious!

I guess after holding a job for so many years, retirement ia never an easy day but its nice your dad keeps himself busy wid something productive.
I make green tomati chutney with coconut and its quite addictive. Would live yo try your recipe and let you know know how it turned out.

Typo error….i to try 😛

A lovely condiment,Kankana. As always, your photos are gorgeous.

oh this is beautiful. and your father sounds like a gem, what a great hobby to pick up and thrive at.

Linda says:

Beautiful Kankana! Chutney always makes me think of the book Midnight’s Children, where a bright green version is a recurring theme, a stand-in for the familiar and everyday. You definitely get a sense of how important it is to the food culture. I’m glad to hear your dad’s keeping himself occupied in retirement! My dad’s just like yours AND he’s nearing that age; maybe I should suggest it to him. 🙂

cheri says:

This recipe looks delicious and simple to make. What kind of dish would be best with this particular chutney? Thanks.

Just love your place! Love the photography, the presentation, and the recipes.
So much inspiration. Thank you so much. xx’s

I love this recipe ..such few ingredients but so strongly aromatic & fragrant. I have never worked with green tomatoes but would love to make this sometime. I think I know bengali love for chutneys. Everyone at my in-laws seems crazy after chutney with bhaat 🙂

nipponnin says:

I liked the story about your father. The way you told was charming. I’m glad he found something he is passionate about. Photos are beautiful(always).

Kiran says:

Such simplicity and delicious flavors envelopes this chutney. Loved reading about your dad. Thanks for sharing 🙂

Your chutney looks so flavorful and aromatic!

Nandita says:

The chutney looks so delicious!!! Loved the recipe!! So simple yet so full of flavor 🙂

Pagla! Swear, swear – jeev diye jol porche – son’t even know how to translate that in English! Think this would be more like a pickle, right?

Your dad sounds like my mom, she can’t sit still either and is constantly finding new things to do!