Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Tomato Kurma for Dosa/Idlis and Chappathis.

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I have this abominable craziness to make so many sides with tomatoes – by now any reader of this blog would have guessed just how much I love them in any form!  Fried and roasted to a Tomato Thokku,  sauteed and ground with coconut milk in a Chettinadu Chutney, fire roasted and spiced with garlic and ginger in a Tomato Rice, or simply chopped and added to a tangy Bhujia Chat, my list goes on..and yet, when I glimpse an interesting concoction made with tomatoes in any form – I go for it! This kurma is a rehashed version of an everyday kurma, made more flavourful with the addition of shallots.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Large / 5 Medium Tomatoes chopped fine.

10-12 shallots peeled.

4 Dried Red Chillies.

3 Tsp Urad Dhal.

1/3 Cup Fresh Coconut.

1 Cup Water.

Curry Leaves.

Salt to taste.

Hing.

Mustard, urad dhal, curry leaves to season.

PREPARATION:

  • Spoon out a tsp of oil in a kadai over low flame and when its hot,add the urad dhal, curry leaves, red chillies and finally the shallots. 
  • Saute on low flame until the urad dhal fries to a golden brown color.  In the very end, add the fresh coconut and saute for a couple minutes more.
  • Remove from flame and give it a quick zing in the mixer. Add a little water if necessary and puree to a smooth paste.
  • Add oil to the kadai again, season with mustard, hing, urad dhal, curry leaves and to this, add the chopped tomato and saute until slightly mushy.
  • Add salt, turmeric, a cup of water and allow to cook the tomatoes until mushy for about ten mins.
  • Add the spiced pureed mix to the kadai, mix and add more water to adjust until it reaches a gravy consistency.
  • Switch off when it comes to a boil and serve Hot with Venn Pongal, Dosai, Idlis or Phulkas.
Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

“Kalyana Rasam.”(Tomato Broth seasoned with ground spices served at weddings)

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I love spring. Period. Its that time of the year when barren brown trees are suddenly bursting with miniscule green buds everywhere, shrubs are already full of lovely colourful flowers and you actually hear chirping birds. From white gray roads, you see miles and miles of lush green grass everywhere. Spring in many places also brings with it showers and thunderstorms. Today was one such day. When I saw the morning sky was laden with dark clouds I immediately yearned for piping soup sprinkled liberally with garlic croutons. Rasam is one such comfort food for me – and I remembered  Jeyashri`s post that I had bookmarked for a “rainy” day, and I knew that I had had had to make it right away! I loved it mixed with rice and a dollop of ghee, with chips and subji on the side.  The best thing about this rasam is that it does not need Rasam Powder or tamarind!!!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Medium/ 2 Small Tomatoes.

1/4 Cup  Cooked Toor Dhal.

1 1/2 Cups Water.

1 Tsp Ghee.

1 Tsp Mustard Seeds.

Curry leaves.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder.

A pinch of hing.

Cilantro to garnish.

ROAST IN GHEE & GRIND:

1 Tbsp Toor Dhal.

1 Tsp Black Peppercorns.

1/4 Tsp Dhania Seeds.

1/4 Tsp Jeera.

1-2 red Chillies.

PREPARATION:

  • Chop the tomatoes finely and reserving a handful,  grind the rest with a little water to a smooth puree and transfer to a vessel. Switch on the flame.
  • Set aside the reserved chopped tomatoes.
  • Roast the toor dhal, pepper, dhania seeds and red chillies in a tsp of ghee on a medium low flame. At the last minute add the jeera and switch off the flame.
  • When cooled,  grind with a little water to a smooth paste.
  • Add the ground paste. salt, turmeric, hing and curry leaves and allow it to boil until the raw smell is gone. This should take about 10-12 minutes.
  • Now mash the cooked toor dhal, dilute it with the 1 1/2 cups of  water and add it to the boiling  tomato mix.
  • Give it a quick stir and allow it to just start boiling. When this happens switch off the flame, add the chopped tomatoes and cilantro.
  • Season with mustard seeds and close the container with a plate.
  • This is one of the most important steps as it locks in all the aromas and flavours until its ready to the served.

HINTS:

  1. I should be trying this version  with dilute tamarind water soon to see if that enhances the flavour. I have also seen versions using dilute tamarind water,.
  2. Its imperative that the jeera is not added initially as it brings out a bitter burnt aftertaste in the rasam.
  3. Some people also add a small piece of jaggery to the boiled rasam.

Do you have a favourite version of rasam that you enjoy???? Please let us know and we`ll try it out soon!

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