Green tomatoes have a sturdiness that red tomatoes don’t have. This means that they will not collapse in dishes the way a red tomato will do, and so they can be used in Indian dishes as a vegetable rather than a sauce. We are so lucky that our Green Grocer stocks them, and they are plentiful in Summer and into Autumn.
In this dish, the tartness of the green tomatoes pairs well with the sweetness of the jaggery, and dal is added to the tadka for a crunchy textural element. The spices are freshly roasted to bring out their flavour. Pair the dish with rice or roti, or serve as an accompaniment to your dal-rice.
Similar dishes include Green Tomato and Sesame Pickle, Rajasthani Spiced Green Tomatoes, Green Tomato Fry Chutney, Potato Bhaji, Green Tomato Sambar, Sweetcorn and Spinach Bhaji, Spinach Thoran, and Sweet Potato Subzi.
Green Tomato Bhaji
1 tspn coriander seeds, dry roasted in a pan until golden and aromatic
2 tspn cumin seeds, dry roasted in a pan until golden and aromatic
1 tspn brown mustard seeds
1 tspn cumin seeds
1 tspn urad dal
1 tspn channa dal
2 Indian dried red chillies
8 – 10 curry leaves
2 tspn ghee or Indian Sesame Oil
1 onion, chopped
3 medium green tomatoes, roughly chopped
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
0.25 tspn chilli powder
1 Tblspn jaggery
sea salt to taste
Grind the dry roasted cumin and coriander seeds to a powder. Set aside.
In a kadhai or frying pan, heat the ghee or sesame oil and add the mustard seeds when hot. Allow them to pop, then add the cumin seeds, urad dal, channa dal, dried chillies and asafoetida. As the cumin seeds and dals begin to turn golden, add the onion and saute until translucent.
Add the chilli powder and turmeric to the onions and stir well. Now add the chopped green tomatoes and the coriander and cumin powder. Cook, covered, on low for 15 minutes.
Stir in the jaggery and cook for another 5 minutes or so, before serving.
recipe notes and alternatives
Crushed peanuts can also be added to the dish – 1 – 2 Tblspn can be stirred through near the end of the cooking. Omit the dals in the tadka if using peanuts.
Eat with paratha or roti, or serve as an accompaniment to dal and rice, perhaps with some pickle and chutney.