Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tomato Pithalay

My maushi makes this excellent tomato pithale which is entirely different than the usual pithale. I have seen my maushi making it all my life, but my version never ever comes even close to hers. So when I asked her why my pithale never tastes as good as hers, she retorted, "well, you try to cook everything in a few drops of oil and expect to get the same taste?". Craving for the same taste, today I used more oil than usual. It's still the second best tomato pithale I have eaten in my life.

Tomato Pithalay
Tomato-Besan Curry
Ingredients
6 roma tomatoes, chopped to 2 cups
3/4 cup besan/chickpea flour
salt to taste
1 tsp chili powder

Tempering
2 tbsp oil (or more)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
Garnish
1 tbsp coriander leaves/cilantro, chopped
Suggested Accompaniment
Bhakri or chapati/poLi
Sliced raw red onions

Method
1. Heat oil in a wide kadai or a pan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As the curry leaves sizzle, add tomatoes. Saute for 2 minutes. Stir in chili powder. Saute for 30 seconds.
3. Cover and cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes. Do not add water. The tomatoes need to be cooked in their own juices.
4. Add salt. Mix well. Now with one hand stirring the mixture, pour besan a spoonful at a time till all the besan is absorbed by the mixture. Saute for 1 minute.
5. Cover and let it cook for 2 minutes.
6. Switch off the gas. Just prior to serving, garnish with chopped cilantro.
Note -
1. Very basic ingredients are needed for making this simple pithalay. However, do not substitute anything else or miss any ingredient mentioned above to get that simple taste.
2. This pithalay gets ready fairly quickly. Do not make it in advance. Make it just before ready to eat and serve hot with hot bhakri.

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