Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I'm sure everybody's got their version of bruschetta, so here's mine too, just for the record. I love bruschetta, as long as the tomatoes are raw - partly cooked tomatoes do NOTHING for me. I like 'em raw or else mushed into a base for some other recipe. Fried tomatoes, English style, yeugh. Oven-roasted tomatoes that are all oozy and squashy and burst, yeugh. It's something about the texture, perhaps, combined with the warm taste, that fails completely to rock my world. Give me a raw tomato any day!

I have the same problem with warm chocolate syrup - pour that over sundaes and I can barely get the icecream down. Room-temperature chocolate syrup is bearable. Chocolate syrup mixed with icy cold milk (I'm thinking Hersheys here) to make chocolate milk - YUM. But warm chocolate syrup over lovely cold icecream - why oh WHY spoil my icecream like that?

The last time I had this awful combination was in Bangalore, years ago. (Sanjay, if you're reading this, stop now!) My friend took me to this icecream shop (cant remember the name, I'm afraid - I'm not very familiar with Bangalore) which he said made the most wonderful - and expensive - sundae, called "Death by Chocolate". I could probably have eaten it all (given enough time) had the proprietor not happily poured a glut of hot chocolate sauce all over my mountain of icecream before bringing it to me, thereby totally ruining it.

I ate as much of the sundae as I could, (wo)manfully, because my friend was sitting there looking thoroughly satisfied about having treated me to my favourite icecream, and proud to have introduced me to a local specialty, and I just didnt have the heart to disappoint him then. I managed to down about half the sundae while he watched with a pleased, proprietorial air... and then I just had to give up, pleading a chocolate overdose. I lied (sorry again, Sanj). But that hot sauce melting the lovely icecream into a lukewarm slush just didnt float my boat.

And that, people, is how one segues from tomatoes to chocolate in one smoothly inconsequential move. Learn from this!

Oh, and the bruschetta? It was lovely.

Recipe for:


2-3 fresh fleshy variety tomatoes on the vine (organic if possible)
1/2 garlic clove, minced as fine as possible
A bunch of basil leaves
Pepper and salt to taste
Best-quality extra virgin olive oil (the grassier and peppery-er it tastes, the better)
2 clove of garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
1 small French loaf or baguette, sliced on the diagonal into 1/2" thick slices


1. Chop the tomatoes and put into a bowl.

2. Chop the basil leaves and add to the bowl along with the minced garlic.

3. Pour over 2 or 3 glugs of olive oil, enough to thoroughly coat the tomatoes and herbs. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. Reserve.

4. Toast the bread (or grill) till crisp.

5. Rub the cut side of a garlic clove lightly over the toast.

6. Heap 1-2 tbsp of the tomatoes on each toasted slice. Serve immediately (preferably without slobbering).


bee said...

shammi, your pics just keep getting lovelier. what have you been upto? share some tricks please.

Suganya said...

Getting sidetracked is yr style Shammi ;)

Shyam said...

Bee: This comment coming from you almost seems like a joke - you guys take the most beyooootiful photos and you're asking ME for tips? Anyhow... I just took the tomatoes out in the light for the photo, that's all :)

Suganya: Aw, you've seen right through me! *sigh*

Asha said...

Photo of the Tomatoes is fabulous.Fresh veggies on a cripsy bread,what more could you want? They make the best Fruit salad in B'lore,I miss it so much!:)

TheCooker said...

Love to read your chain of thoughts!

evolvingtastes said...

Shammi, what a lovely write-up about a simple little thing - kudos to you!

btw, I am a little confused about what exactly to call you - sham, shama, shammi, shyamala..?

Roopa(KitchenAromas) said...

Yeah, I'm not a fan of chocolate syrup over my ice cream either..but I love oven roasted tomatoes :)

Rajitha said... em everyway.. yours looks delicious

Namratha said...

I love Bruschetta too and this looks simply delicious! :)

Jyothsna said...

Bruschetta looks good. I'm always on the lookout for different versions of it!

Shruthi said...

Corner House - the icecream shop :D

Shyam said...

Asha: Thank you! I was surprised too by how well the tomatoes photo turned out! :)

The Cooker: You're too kind :)

Evolving Tastes: You can call me whatever you like - but most people call me Shyam or Shammi :) "Shyamala" is for formal circumstances.

Roopa: Phew. Thought I would be alone in the chocolate syrup situation! :D

Rajitha, Namratha, Jyothsna: Thanks, ladies :)

Shruthi: I should have thought to ask you first :)

Raaga said...

Looks delish... and the place you're talking about is Corner House on Residency Road... at least I think so :-)

Shyam said...

Raaga: I think so too. :)

sra said...

Shyam, there's a Death by Chocolate here that's not sundae - it's a mousse-y kind of thing in a chocolate skin, and we jokingly refer to it as Suicide by Chocolate - it's cold and gooey and you can have it with ice-cream as well!

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Hi...This is looking great....colourful dish...I love this...

Spicelover said...

shammi.... i guess i am one of those who like hot fudge on ice cream... chocolate ice cream. trick is to eat the ice cream before it melts and mixes with the fudge i guess. i cant explain why i like it. hmm...
but i really dont like hot gulab jamun over ice cream combo. i dont know if u have heard of it. apparently its a delicacy in punjab. as is hot jelebi -ice cream.

yummy bruschetta by the way.

Shyam said...

Sra: This might not come as a big surprise, but I dont care for the texture of mousses! :) It sounds like Suicide by Chocolate, however!

Sukanya: Thanks! :) It would be even more colourful if I'd had tomatoes of a different colour - yellow pear tomatoes, for instance!

Spicelover: My husband loves hot gulab jamun with good vanilla icecream. But why would anyone want to eat jilebis with icecream? What sacrilege towards the gorgeous jilebis!

Vcuisine said...

Lovely Shammi. Viji