California Raisin Tomato and Onion Seed Chutney

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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2 Tbsp. grape seed or canola oil
1/2 tsp. black onion seeds
1 medium bay leaf
2 small dried chiles de arbol
1 pound fresh ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1-1/4 tsp. mild red chile powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. California golden raisins


Heat the oil in a heavy pan and add onion seeds, bay leaf and dried chiles. When they crackle, snap and pop, add the tomatoes and cook them until soft. Stir in the chile powder, sugar and raisins and simmer for 15 minutes, until the liquid has almost evaporated and the chutney is thick and glossy. Cool and serve as a vegetarian side dish or with East Indian flatbreads such as poori or parantha for dipping.

Yields 4 servings.

Recipe by Chef Robert Gadsby.