September 25, 2006
GB-3/ Thakkali Mulakittathu/ Tomato Curry.
Last year, I had planted plum tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, and got so much, had to give them away. So this year, for a change I went for the biggest tomatoes I could find, literally called the Big Red or Beefsteak tomatoes. Each of this tomato is equal in quantity to 3-4 of the plum tomatoes. It is a deep red inside, criss cross in its cross section and very sweet and tomatoey in flavor. I watched impatiently as it took about a month for the tomatoes to ripen from the time they fruited, but it was well worth the wait. This summer I did not have to buy tomatoes.:)
This is my third entry for Ginger and Mango's growing collection of the Green Blog Project.
It tasted amazing when just sprinkled with sugar and eaten. One of my friends chops up a bunch of red tomatoes, adds a couple spoonfuls of sugar and lets them sit in the refrigerator for some time. Its tastes perfect on a hot summer day when the flavors merge. These tomatoes were used up initially in my mozzarella and basil (from my garden!)salads, but as it ripened, it demanded to be cooked. And when I cut one, it is so much, that I prefer to use it at one go.
I have used two recipes here. One is an easy everyday kind of tomato curry and the other is a garlicky chutney that can be stored for a long time in the refrigerator. Very similar to each other but the curry is a Malabar favorite whereas the chutney has other influences. My mother used to make this chutney and store it for weeks. We ate it with toast and cheese, with adai and dosa and with idlis. The garlic-tomato chutney recipe is explained below.
A version of this tomato curry (without the mustard seeds) is common as tomato fry served along with rotis/chappathis in some small restaurants.
For the Tomato Curry:
You will need:
Tomato- 5 cups (chopped).
Green Chilies/Any hot chili-4-5
Onion- 2 medium one, sliced(optional)
Ginger -1/2 inch piece
Red chili powder-1 tsp
Coriander powder-1/2 to 1 tsp as per taste
Tamarind Extract- 1tbsp (If made from fresh tamarind)
Salt-1/2 tsp(to taste)
Fenugreek Seeds-1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds- ½ tsp
Curry leaves-one sprig
1. Cut the tomatoes into small cubes and measure 3 cups and keep aside. Cut the green chilies, onion, ginger and garlic into tiny pieces. If using fresh tamarind, soak a small ball in warm water and extract the juice. If using the store bought tamarind, use very little as it is in concentrated form. How much tamarind to use depends on the sourness of the tomato.
2. Tempering: Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan. After a minute, lower the heat and add the mustard seeds and cover till it finishes spluttering. Keep a safe distance if uncovered. Now add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Make sure it does not burn as it will add a bitter taste if burnt. Then add the onions and saute till they turn transparent and start to brown at the edges. Add the green chilies, ginger garlic paste,saute and then add the turmeric, coriander and chili powder. Fry for a minute or two on medium heat and then add the tomatoes. Fry till they soften and then add 1 cup water. Cover and cook on low heat for about 5-10 minutes, till the tomatoes turn pulpy. Open and add the tamarind extract, sugar and further cook, stirring all the while. The whole mass should come together. Check the taste and add more sugar or spice if needed. Take it off the flame, and serve with roti or rice.
P.S. This tomato fry if allowed to cook longer on low heat, releases all its oil and becomes a thick chutney like consistency.
Tomato Curry,Malabar Recipes