September 24, 2011

Green Tomato / Pachathakkali Aviyal

Green tomatoes are rarely seen in markets. At home, we had access to them  when we had tomato plants growing in our garden. Those plants would have come up on their own from the rotten tomatoes discarded on the foot of the coconut tree or some other plants where vegetable wastes are usually dumped. When the plant comes up, it will be uprooted and planted in  a pot or some better place in the back yard.  Amma used to add them to the dal or make chutney/thogayl with it. I do try to pick some green ones from the vendors. But hardly I get the real green ones. Last month, while we were returning from our trip to BhimaShankar, we happened to see a way side market selling fresh produce. We stopped to buy some veggies. I was excited to find a lady with a basket full of green tomatoes. I don't remember if I have seen such green ones sold before. And while discussing various recipes using them, my friend told me about this aviyal. It sounded very simple and tried it. It was very tasty and I prepared it twice in a week's time.

Preparation time - 5 minutes
Cooking time - 10 minutes
Serves - 3

You need

  • Green tomatoes - 3 nos
  • Turmeric - a pinch
  • Red chilli powder - 1/4tspn
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut oil -1 tspn
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig

To grind

  • Fresh grated coconut - 1/2 cup
  • Green chilly - 1 no
  • Cumin -1/4 tspn

Slice the tomatoes. Grind the coconut with green chilly and cumin to a smooth paste.  Take the sliced tomatoes, turmeric, red chilli powder, salt and the ground coconut paste in cooking bowl. Add water to adjust the consistency. Cook the mix on slow fire for 10 minutes or till the tomatoes are cooked. Take care that the gravy doesn't boil and bubble. This will make the gravy watery.  Remove from fire. Add coconut oil and curry leaves. Close it and let the flavors mingle. Enjoy with hot rice and side of any veggie stir fir or papadam. no souring agent like tamarind/yogurt is added since the tang from the tomatoes is good enough.

Note: if you want to cook it as side dish then, saute the tomatoes in little oil and add the ground paste and cook. Also if you wish you can 2/3 shallots or madras onions while grinding. I did not add since I wanted the taste of tomatoes to be more prominent