Tag Archives: tomato

Chole with Palak and Kale – Iron Shakti!

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Since the time the doctor suggested Aditi needs more iron, I spent two days on the net reading up all I could about sources of iron. Though it was convincing to know that most of the plant sources do contain iron – the sad part is that it is all ‘non heme’ iron, which means that the body does not absorb it easily. One good way of having iron absorbed better is to combine your food with vitamin C sources like lemon, orange juice.
Now, we have always been green lovers, but this call for iron brought into my fridge bags of spinach, methi, mint, kale and collard. The leaves have started to appear in everywhere – daal, paratha, sabji, cheela and most recently – the humble chole. I had been making palak chole often, but addition of kale was Nilesh’s idea and the result was different and interesting. While pakal loses all its form (and water) when cooked, kale gave body and bite to the dish. I wish kale was available in India too – till that time, try adding any greens you can find to chole and you will be delighted with the result.

Ingredients –
Chole/ chickpeas/ chane – 1.5 cups (source of iron)
Spinach and/or Kale leaves – 2 to 3 cups, cleaned chopped roughly (source of iron)
Tomatoes  – 2, chopped small or pureed (source of iron)
Onions – 2 small or 1 large – chopped small
Ginger  – half inch piece, grated
Garlic – 2 cloves (optional), grated
Kasoori methi – 1.5 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Turmeric- 1 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Chana masala/ garam masala – 2 tsp
Jeera – half tsp, Rai – half tsp
Oil – 3 tsp

Method –
1. Soak the chole overnight or 6 to 8 hours with lots of water. Wash them and boil in a cooker with a pinch of salt. I dont like them too mushy, so 3 to 4 whistles on a medium flame are good.
2. Heat oil in a non stick kadhai.
3. When oil is hot, add jeera and rai. When they pop and sizzle, add ginger and garlic and let them leave their raw small.
4. Add the onion pieces and keep stirring. The onions should get pale and soft and start browning.
5. Add the tomatoes, chana masala, turmeric, red chili powder, salt and let the tomatoes cook till they get all mushed up and the masala starts to give a good aroma.
4. Now add the kasoori methi, and chopped greens. Cook them for just a minute and add the boiled chole. We want the chole to cook in the juices of kale and spinach – this brings out the flavor and blends everything well.
5. Cook covered for 5 minutes. No need to add water as greens release lots.Taste and adjust the salt etc.
6. Eat with roti/ paratha.

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Quick(est) Aaloo Tamatar

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This is a quick fix – when I am short on both, time and ingredients in the fridge. It goes well with parathas or pooris and when served, looks pretty decent (does not give away the fact that you made this as you had not much alternatives). I have got a pretty elaborate recipe of the “aaloo ka rassa” prepared at my home in Indore, which involves boiling potatoes separately and sautéing tomatoes for a long time. But this worked well for lazy Sunday lunches, when there was a lot of time on hands. In my version, everything goes from the blender- to the pressure cooker- to the plate.
I don’t know from where did I pick this up, prolly hubby N might have made this at some point of time. I think if I jot down all my recipes on this blog, I will have to have a category “coached by hubby N” and half of the dishes I cook would figure there!

Ready to be eaten with pooris or parathas

Ingredients –
Potatoes – 3 medium (peeled, washed, cut into big chunks)
Green Peas – a fistful (fresh or frozen, optional)
Tomatoes – 3 medium or 2 big ( ripe, red ones)
Ginger – half an inch piece (washed, peeled)
Green chilies – 2 (stems removed)
Oil – 1 tbsp
Jeera, Rai, Ajwain – half tsp each
Haldi – half tsp
Garam masala/ Kitchen King masala – 1 tsp
Dhania powder – 1 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Sugar – a pinch or two

Method –

1. Cut the tomatoes into halves. Put them in a blender jar along with the ginger and green chilies. Blend it to a paste.
2. Take a dry clean pressure cooker. Put in the oil and heat it.
3. Once the oil is hot, add jeera, ajwain, rai and let them pop and sizzle for a few seconds. Add haldi.
4. Put the tomato paste from the blender jar and mix in the oil and spices. Let this cook till the rawness of tomatoes is gone and the deal starts to look shiny (the oil kinda oozes out). This took 10 minutes for me. You need to keep moving around the paste every few minutes, lest it sticks to the bottom of the pan.
5. Add the garam masala, salt, dhania powder and sugar. The sugar balances out the tartness of the tomatoes.
6. Now, add the potato chunks and peas (if using).
7. Add in water to make the deal watery. We need enough water as this will be cooked in pressure, but not so much as to make things runny. Use your experience and judgment.
8. Close the lid of the cooker and let this cook on a sim flame, upto two whistles. We don’t want the potatoes to turn into a mush.
9. Once the cooker cools down, open it and check the consistency. The tomatoes and potatoes should look like a single entity. If too watery, keep the cooker pan on a sim flame and let this cook in open.
10. Serve with parathas, pooris.

Tomato Chutney :Sweet, Sour, Spicy!

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Like any other town in India, having a lady come at our place was a norm in houses occupied by a bunch of youngsters working in the IT industry in Bangalore. However, because it was Bangalore, it was a luxury to have a cook who could dole out chapattis and parathas. We (me and my set of dear roomies) were so happy to have her and we would not spare any opportunity to demand whatever we liked – and the sweet lady would never refuse – even if the recipe demanded a lot of effort and time. One such thing that was both my and dear friend N’s favorite was methi ka paratha. Now, as the lady would cook the requisite number of parathas and stack them in a casserole, the normal protocol was to go home from work, eat them with curd, pickle and of course – indori senv. However, friend N would take these humble parathas to the next level – by cooking a quick tomato chutney to go with. This was something that I was tasting for the first time – and once I tasted it, there was no stopping me from preparing this sweet-sour-spicy tomato chutney, not just with methi parathas – but with any parathas for that matter. This weekend, it was for aaloo parathas.

I can never ever thank friend N enough for teaching me this simple recipe (it’s not that I have already thanked her for everything else I owe to her !).

Now, two things I should mention here are –
1. I made this for my dad by substituting sugar with a sweetener (Equal/ Sugar Free). He loved it as he can’t eat regular tomato ketchup due to its high sugar and sodium content.
2. Since hubby N likes his food spicy rather than on the sweeter side, I reduced the sugar and added chili flakes to bring on the zing.

tomato chutney : makes aaloo parathas tastier

Ingredients –
Tomatoes – 4 to 5 (ripe and juicy)
Oil – 2 tsp
Rai / Mustard Seeds – Half tsp
Jeera / Cumin Seeds – One-fourth tsp
Heeng / Asafoetida – One-fourth tsp
Haldi / Turmeric Powder – One-fourth tsp
Sugar – 2 tsp (alter based on your taste)
Salt – 1 tsp (alter based on your taste)
Red chili powder / Chili flakes – Half tsp

Method –
1. Wash the tomatoes and either cut them into small chunks or run it through a food processor. I do the latter.
2. Heat oil in a wok/ kadhai.
3. Once hot, add in the rai and jeera and let it pop for a few seconds.
4. Add in the heeng and haldi.
5. Put in the tomatoes and give it a good stir.
6. Now, let the tomatoes cook in open. Keep stirring in between to check the consistency. After 10-15 minutes, it will start to thicken and the raw smell of the tomatoes will be gone.
7. At this stage, add the salt, sugar, red chili flakes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
8. Serve as a side with any parathas, store the rest in the refrigerator in a glass/steel container.
9. I am not sure of the shelf life of this, but I have never used it for more than two days.

Since this recipe reminds me of my dear friend N and all the good days we spent together in college and later in Bangalore, I am sending this to ‘walk thru the memory lane’ event hosted by Jayanthi.

Linking this to Gayathri’s page too.