Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tomato - A Rediscovery, & Egg Drop Curry

Does it happen with you that some dishes are so common, once so much a part of your life, so taken for granted that for stretches of time, years even, you go without them, preferring to spend that time and energy in making other things to eat?



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.

35 comments:

  1. This looks like a great recipe! Indian comfort food!

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  2. Man!! These days, every time I make something to post,there is always somebody post the same before me!!:D
    No,actually I made a similar dish, but not at all Indian.This looks like great curry for dosa or rice as you said.Love the color!:)
    Post the photo with Eggs too.

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  3. Anything Tomato - Am there.. Chill down gal... Goose Frabba :)

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  4. in my house My dad makes the egg drop curry and it is known as the emergency kulambu. when there is no time and somthing filling has to be made this one is preferred.

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  5. Well, I'd throw in some veggies or dals into that gravy. The egg idea is great too :)

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  6. This curry looks tasty.I would add potatoes as you said and mmmm yummy with puris. Being a vegetarian I cannot think of adding egg into this :)

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  7. wow the spice and tomatoes would taste great!

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  8. This is our gujju version of tamata nu shaak minus the sugar..... it should be great witht he additiong of yogurt in it! :)Love the colour.

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  9. sra, by curry powder do you mean any general spice mix or something specific?

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  10. hey sra, tomato is our favourite too, I struggle to cook a curry without tomatoes

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  11. Looks delicious.. love the color of the gravy...
    Pic looks tempting!

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  12. Anna, thanks. Comfort food it is!
    Asha, waiting to see your recipe!
    Suganya, yes, goose frabba, I have to chill, sigh!
    Sharmi, at home we often make this for the evening meal.
    Jyothsna, your comment made me think - we usually add tomatoes to dal, maybe we should add dal to this and see how it tastes!
    Archana, well, if you ever change your mind about being veg, try it!
    Roopa, yes, it's tangy!
    Coffee, yes, the colour is what made me decide to post it!
    Bee, I mean a general spice mix - garam masala - I make my own but vary the recipe often!
    Viji, yes, it's a lovely colour.
    Dee, my mom once said trying to do without tomatoes is like trying to manage with a fracture!
    Cinnamon, thanks! I just came back from drooling over your mouth-watering chicken fry - we used to order something like that from the club at home when we were younger!

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  13. Your egg drop curry is very tempting. I prepare tomato with whole egg. Next time its going to be Egg drop :)

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  14. hey..thats a really quick and easy one..:-)

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  15. looks pretty tempting....

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  16. hey, i make something similar and then serve it with gathia(chickpea flour fried thingies :) )
    i can relate with those devoid of energy momentS ;)

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  17. This one of hubby's favourites...with eggs of course...really love the colour:)

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  18. Hi Sra, this is my favourite dish. Looks yum...lovely color. Thanks for sharing dear.

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  19. This sounds heavenly. I agree with Anna, sounds like Indian comfort food, just the thing you'd eat as a kid but still love as an adult.

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  20. How easy, colorful and comforting, Sra. I don't think you should share it w/ Mr. Draper. ; )

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  21. SeeC, let me know how it turned out.
    Santhi, yes, it's quite simple
    Poonam, thank you!
    Priyanka, thanks for stopping by!
    Richa, glad you identify. I know gathia, if they're the same as ganthia, maybe I'll buy them and make your version!
    Sunita, thanks.
    Jyothi, thanks.
    Kalyn, yes, I'm comforted to have discovered I know how to make it :)
    Susan, oh, well, now that they've been delivered, I might give him just a little bit ;)

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  22. Hi Sra, you asked me a doubt about feedburner count. Here is the process for that:
    1. When you open your account in feedburner.com, there you can see
    one menu bar with some titles like Analyze ;Optimize ; Publicize; Monetize; Troubleshootize.

    2. There you select one by one title, you can see some options to activate your blog feed. According to your choice, you can select.

    3. Now you want to put that feedburner count in your blog, for that click on "Publicize". In that you can see a word in the first point "make it easy to subscribe"... in this see the 3rd point "feedcount" with blue color font.

    4. Click on that you will get one more new window with 2 options, there you select an option and click on "activate" button.

    5. In the next page you will get HTML code, copy it and paste in your template sidebar page element. Check your blog. Again click on "save" button at feedburner page. Thats it.

    Still If you have any doubts, feel free to contact me. All the Best. Have a nice day.

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  23. yup, gathia/ganthia/sev.. all belong to the same genre.. YUM & DEEP FRIED ;)
    can do with or without onion.
    just before serving, add gathia to the bowl for an awesome dish :)

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  24. hey, this one looks good, but I am more interested in the egg drop curry (btw what a name ! ) post that soon :)

    Shn
    Hope you got your sofa covers delivered :P

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  25. Yes! I have had exactly that experience. Thanks for this story and this delicious recipe!

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  26. What is egg drop curry and heres to more lucky week

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  27. This is looking great....Different recipe...Lovely colour..

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  28. Jyothi, thank you, have replied on your blog.
    Richa, will do!
    Shn, well, egg-drop soup, egg-drop curry, literally. Yes, my covers came!
    Chocolate Lady, here's to many, many, more such rediscoveries!
    Sandeepa, egg drop curry is when you drop eggs into the curry and let it cook in it - will post the photo soon.
    Sukanya, thank you!

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  29. Thanks for the clear instructions. it makes it so much easier to make.

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  30. BC, I'm so glad you found it useful. Thanks

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  31. Hey My mom mkaes this egg drop curry and it would taste great... colour is inviting and so is the gravy with curds..

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