Tomato Kurma (4 Servings)

Ingredients

6 medium-sized tomatoes (350 gm)

2 big onions (Indian size)

To grind:

1 green chilli

1″ cinnamon stick

Cloves 4

Cashew nut 10 OR Roasted Bengal gram 2 tsp

Coriander seeds 1 tsp

Poppy seeds 1 tsp

Coconut 3 tbsp

Fennel seeds 1 tsp

Chilli powder ½ tsp

Sugar ½ tsp

Salt 1 tsp

oil 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Cream or yogurt 2 tbsp (Optional)

Method

Blanch the tomatoes and puree in a blender.

Cook the onions with a little water and blend to a paste.

Roast cinnamon, cloves and saute the chilli in a few drops of ghee.

Grind to a paste the roasted ingredients along with soaked cashew, coconut, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, and coriander seeds.

Heat oil in a wok and temper the cumin seeds. As soon as they splutter add the onion paste and saute for two minutes. Add salt and chili powder and saute for another two minutes.

Add the tomato puree and sugar and let it boil for a minute or two. Add the ground masala and  some water to get semi-paste consistency.

Boil for another three minutes or so for the raw flavor to go and for the gravy to thicken.

You can garnish with cream or yogurt (optional). Garnish with coriander or mint leaves and serve.

Vaangi Baath (Six servings)

Rice 2 cups

Onion 2 (medium-sized)

Eggplant 2 cups (diced)

Sesame 2 tbsp

Mustard seed or cumin seeds 1 tsp

Turmeric powder ½ tsp

Masala ingredients:

Cinnamon 2″ piece

Clove 4

Dried red chillies 5

Pepper corns 10

Coriander seeds 1½ tbsp

Chana dal 2 tbsp

Urad dal 1 tbsp

Desiccated coconut or grated coconut 4 tbsp

Curry leaves 5 sprigs

Tamarind  4 to 5 scales

Ghee 1 tsp

Oil    2 tbsp

Salt  1¼ tsp (heapful) or 2 level tsp

Take the rice in a bowl, rinse well, add a spoon of oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3 cups of water. Cook the rice till done. Do not open the cooker for at least 10 minutes. Then transfer  the rice to a big platter or a wide bowl and let it cool.

While the rice is cooking dry roast the sesame  and keep aside. Powder the sesame after it cools.

Add  a few drops of ghee to the hot pan and roast cinnamon and clove. Transfer to a plate;  add a few drops of oil and roast red chillies, and in the same pan roast the pepper corns and dhania seeds. Transfer to t he plate and roast the dal till it changes color. Let all the ingredients cool. Transfer all the ingredients to the blender and add coconut, tamarind and curry leaves too. Powder them finely and keep it ready.

Heat oil in a frying pan and temper with mustard seeds or cumin seeds. When it starts spluttering add the onions and saute well. When the color starts changing add the turmeric powder and mix well. Add the diced eggplant, salt and cook on a low flame after covering with a lid.  Switch off the flame when the vegetable is cooked and add the condiments powder and also the sesame powder and mix well.

Transfer the mix to the cooled rice and mix well.

Chef’s note: If you want a variation and more color to the rice, use 2 medium-sized tomatoes in place of tamarind. Add the finely cut tomatoes to the sauteed onions and when cooked add the eggplant and proceed as directed.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Baby potatoes  15 to 20/ Chunks of big potatoes  15 to 20

Tomato puree 1 cup

Curds 1 cup

Cinnamon 3 sticks (½” pieces)

Clove 4 to6

Green cardamom 8

Fennel powder 1/2 tsp

Kashmiri chillies 6

pepper corns 10

Roasted cumin powder 2/3 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Cashew nuts 10 to 12

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Sugar ½ tsp or honey 1 tsp

Oil 2 tsp

Peel the potatoes, prick them on the surface with a fork and leave them in a bowl of salted water for about 15 minutes.

In case of baby potatoes, boil them in steam before peeling. Drain the water and dry the potatoes  (If you do not mind more oil, you can deep fry the potatoes instead of microwaving).

In a glass bowl add 1 tbsp oil and add the dried potatoes. Cover the bowl with a lid and cook in the microwave for 8 minutes.

While the potatoes are getting cooked, heat a skillet and dry roast all the condiments one by one on a low flame. Powder the chillis and pepper corn separately and all other ingredients together.

Make a thick paste of cashews and keep aside.

Similarly, add the powdered condiments, cumin powder and fennel powder to the curds and mix them well.

Heat the remaining oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds to it.

When the seeds start spluttering, reduce the flame and add the tomato puree. Let the puree cook for 3 to 4 minutes and add the cashew paste. When the gravy starts boiling add the curds mix, sugar (honey) and also salt.  When the mix starts boiling add the fried pieces of potatoes and let it cook on a low flame for 3 to 5 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with chapattis.