Morning Glory

Obsessive cook
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Keralan cooking often uses tamarind and coconut milk in curry dishes. This particular dish doesn’t include coconut milk but has a hot, sour and aromatic flavour reminiscent of Keralan cuisine. To me, one important thing here is the slicing of the onions and tomatoes into ‘petals’. If you simply chopped them, the dish wouldn’t look the same and the texture would be very different.

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Ingredients (serves 2 to 3 as part of an Indian meal)
½ a large onion, cut from tip to root and sliced into fairly large ’petals’
300g medium/large tomatoes, cored and deseeded, cut vertically into ‘petals’ to match the onion slices
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp brown onion seeds
5 fresh curry leaves
3 whole green (or a mix of green and red) bird’s-eye chillies
½ tbsp garlic paste (or minced garlic)1 tsp tamarind paste
½ tbsp tomato purée
½ tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
100 ml water
Jaggery or sugar, to taste
Salt to taste

Method
  1. Begin by preparing the onions and tomatoes as described above.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep pan. Add the sliced onions and a sprinkle of salt. Turn the onions until coated in oil and cook gently until the onions are soft and tender but not coloured (approx. 10 minutes). I cover the pan with a lid as it help to keep the onions moist.
  3. Turn up the heat and add the fennel seeds, onion seeds, curry leaves and chillies. Cook for approximately 30 seconds until the mustard seeds start to pop.
  4. Add the garlic paste, tamarind paste, tomato purée and chilli powder. Stir well and cook for a further 30 seconds then add the water
  5. Lower the heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, uncovered until the mixture becomes slightly reduced and ‘jammy’. Taste and add a little jaggery or sugar if it seems too sour. Add salt to taste.
  6. Add the tomato ‘petals’ and cook gently for 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes are tender but not collapsing.
  7. Serve with rice or flatbreads.
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