Sunday, July 01, 2007

Kiwi Gee's Recipes from Down Under - Tomato thokku

This is a guest post of sorts, on behalf of one of my best friends - KiwiLax, she prefers to be known as - who lives in New Zealand. She doesnt have a food blog and believe you me, that is a definite loss to the world of food blogs. Gee (as I prefer to call her) has always been a wonderful cook, right from college days and, as I understand it, she has only become WAY better over the years. She's always been as much of a foodie as I - but somehow managed to keep the pounds off even while saying all the time that she "hogged like a pig".

Since Gee doesnt have the time to maintain a food blog (did I say that the blog world doesnt know what it's missing?), I suggested to her that perhaps she could email me her recipes for me to try out and then post on my blog. She thought it was a very good idea - but I guess the best ideas take the longest time to germinate (!), because it's been a while since I put forward my suggestion! I'm not grumbling, (not much, not really), but only because I know her time is taken up well and truly in looking after her two chlidren, holding down a full time job and doing a host of extra-curricular (read cultural) work.

So when she emailed me a hasty recipe for her justly famous tomato thokku, I was very pleased. Here's hoping that it doesnt take as much time for the next recipe!

Since I dont post recipes on here that I havent tried and tested, I made the tomato thokku exactly as per Gee's instructions. I only wish I could post the aroma of the thokku here along with the recipe! But you have to make it and see for yourself.

KiwiLax says: "This is a kind of variation of the traditional tomato thokku. Goes great with idlis, dosa, sandwiches, pongal, rotis and what not and is beautiful when mixed with plain rice or as a side with thayir sadam (curd rice)."

This thokku can be stored in the refrigerator for a month. It wont last that long, I'm sure.

Recipe for:
Tomato thokku

4 cups finely chopped fresh tomatoes (about 10 medium)
3 medium onions, chopped very fine
10-20 dried red chillies (or as per taste, depending on their heat)
6 tbsp gingelly oil (most preferred, but can use any regular cooking oil)
1 tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dhal (ulutham paruppu)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp garlic, grated
salt to taste


1. Roast the dried red chillies and the fenugreek seeds in 1/2 tsp gingelly oil till the seeds turn dark and aromatic.

Set aside to cool, then grind to a fine powder.

2. In a large, wide-bottom pan, heat the gingelly oil. Add the mustard seeds and urad dhal. Cover the pan and let the seeds pop (30 seconds).

3. Then add the onions and garlic. Stir well and fry for 3 minutes.

4. Now add the tamarind paste and turmeric powder and stir it in well.

Let the onions fry on medium heat till they turn translucent and brown a little.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes now and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start breaking down.

6. At this point stir in the chilli-methi powder prepared earlier, along with salt to taste. Add another 2 tbsp oil now if required.

7. Let the tomatoes cook on medium high flame until they become a thick mass, with no moisture remaining. Oil should be separating around the edges.

8. Let the thokku cool completely, then transfer to clean glass jars and store in the refrigerator.


KiwiLax said...

I still haven't stopped blushing!!! If you're going to pile on the praises, I'll make sure I send you many more recipes da and soon. Glad you like the thokku though!!

And have to add that the original recipe was a combo of my mom's and MIL's which I slightly modified to suit me!!!!

Yummy - I love it so much, you are right abt it not lasting long in teh fridge. I know for sure that mine doesn't!

And just wanting to ask you _ did u want me to be KiwiGee throughout???? Coz there's one para towards the end where I am KiwiLax (sorry da, blame the ever-present editorial eye for spotting such things!!!)

But I sure made the right choice to spread my receipes through your blog - no way I could have done such a nice job of laying it out etc....thanks Shyam@!!

Shyam said...

Gee: No probs, and stop blushing! :) Send more recipes! I've decided that you're going to be Kiwi Gee for the post titles, but for quotes etc, you're KiwiLax - as per your preference. Does that satisfy you, Madam Editor? :)

bee said...

Was salivating by the time I got to step 6...if last year was any indication, we'll have copious tomatoes to play with this summer. we make preserves, pickles, sauces, ketchups and the like. will make this thokku for sure. --jai

Suganya said...

Guest post or yours, its nice to see you writing, Shammi!

KiwiLax said...

Thank you kindly ma'am, esply for this bit
Gee (as I prefer to call her) has always been a wonderful cook ....
to keep the pounds off even while saying all the time that she "hogged like a pig".
Dunno why you didn't believe me then, but ok, I don't hog like a pig now, simply coz I can no more keep the pounds off....happy;-)

Diane said...

Gosh, thajks KiwiGee and Shyam! This looks amazing. Our tomatos are just starting to come into the farmers market, and I have definite plans to make this - hopefully this weekend. It would make a nice gift for a friends B-Day too I am thinking.

It's so exciting hearing what recipes people get enthused and happy about, and hearing where they come from. I'm not Indian, but every time I make one of these precious home recipes I feel like I'm carrying on the tradition.


priar's, said...

first time in ur blog.Hmmmmmmmmmmm got a wide variety of recipes.
thokku is yummy.Thanks for sharing.

shammi said...

Suganya: awwww... thanks! That's a really nice thing to say! :)

Shyam said...

Bee: I've got one tomato plant growing... will let EVERYBODY know if it fruits! :) Re the thokku - it just smells SO delicious - I think it's the methi seeds that do the trick. I took a thokku sandwich yesterday to work and my colleagues immediately wanted to know what smelled so good! :)

Diane: Yep, I'm happy to be able to post KiwiGee's recipes because otherwise I'd miss out on her cooking! She lives half a world away, so this is the best I can do :)

Priar's: Thanks! Hope you find some recipes you like!