It does, with me, and the tomato curry I have here, a childhood staple, happened by chance and not by design. This week has not been one of my best, what with inspiration for the blog not striking, my sofa covers not being delivered on time (“This is the 21st century, you know, Mr Draper, women don’t sit at home waiting for curtains and sofa covers, they go to work, how would you feel if I didn’t pay your bill for the next two weeks?”), the gas cylinder not being delivered on time (“Madam, you booked it on the 10th, it still has not come?” “No, Madam, I booked it only on the 15th and this is only the second reminder, but yes, it still has not come.”), and various other irritants small and smaller. But somehow, I was feeling sunny this Sunday morning — The Spouse had brought stuff for Sunday lunch, and we had planned various things and things were going along swimmingly when we couldn’t find the curry powder and things went rapidly downhill after that.
One of the dishes I had planned was tomato egg-drop curry but after methi dal, the hunt high and low for the garam masala, and the tomato gravy, I suddenly found myself devoid of the energy to crack a few eggs into it. Well, I had to go back from the kitchen to the fridge, open the door, collect the eggs and carry them gingerly back to the kitchen and crack them one by one into the gravy, didn’t I? Nah, too much energy to expend, and I had to go out and shop a bit for the next week, go to the library to see if there were any Harry Potter copies left over (fat chance, so perish the thought) and voila, the tomato curry became a moment of rediscovery!
Not that I hadn’t tried to whip up this on occasion, but I would only be faced with tired old tomato mush, the skins curling up and coming apart, more brownish than red, but today (and this past week, actually, when I had tried the egg-drop curry), I realised the trick to this curry is to add a lot of water, finely chopped onions, and cooking for a long time! (Read about another tomato-ey rediscovery here.)
This is a curry/gravy tailor made for puris and chapattis, tastes great with rice too, and can be the base for several curries. In my home, a favourite variation was to add peeled, diced potatoes to it.
This is an as-you-like-it curry, vary the proportions as per availability and taste, experiment till you arrive at the version you like. This recipe is just a guideline:
Tomatoes: ½ a kilo/ 7 medium, chopped
Onion: 1 small, minced
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Cumin seed: 1 tsp
Turmeric: A pinch
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Salt: to taste
Curry powder: 1 tsp
Oil: ½ tsp
Water: (Please see recipe)
Curds/Yoghurt: 2 tbsp, beaten
A frying pan with a lid
1. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds.
2. Add onion, saute till transparent.
3. Add the ginger-garlic paste, fry for two minutes.
4. Add the turmeric, chilli powder, salt and the curry powder. Mix well.
5. Now add the tomatoes, mix well with the spices.
6. Add some water, enough to cover the tomatoes.
7. Cover the pan and let the mixture cook on medium heat for more than five minutes. (Keep checking to see that it doesn’t dry out and stick to the pan.)
8. If it’s boiling well and has a nice and healthy volume, gently mash the tomatoes with the ladle. If they mash easily, the curry’s done. If you feel the volume isn’t enough, add a little more water, and simmer. Keep checking for the consistency of your choice – I like it thick.
9. Once you take it off the fire, add the curds to the curry. Do you see the several yellow specks in the curry? That’s the curds, which makes it all tangy and nice. Now fry some hot, calorific puris, dip them into this curry and taste heaven!
I'll post a picture later of the tomato egg-drop curry I made sometime ago, but here's how you make it.
For this, at Step 8, when you have a thick gravy, turn the heat down to simmer, crack a few eggs into it (as many as you think the gravy will hold), cover it and let them set. Resist the temptation to poke the eggs or ensure that the curry covers the eggs – if you are worried that the spices may not reach the top of the egg, sprinkle a little salt on the tops. (In that case, make sure you put in less salt in the gravy earlier.) Here's another variation.
I'm sending this off to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by The Chocolate Lady of In Mol Araan.
Weekend Herb Blogging Curds/Yoghurt Gluten-free Tomato Curry Rediscovering Egg drop