It has been a great year for green tomatoes – both our Asian grocery and our local Middle Eastern green grocer have stocked them at various times. So we have indulged our love of them with a range of recipes.
Some of our most loved green tomato recipes are from India, and today’s dish is a gorgeous sambar from Tamil Nadu. As green tomatoes have a sourness to them, the amount of tamarind is reduced for this sambar.
Green Tomato Sambar with Crushed Curry Leaves
0.5 cups toor dal (red gram dal)
0.25 tspn tamarind concentrate or 2 tspns thick tamarind pulp
3 – 4 larger green tomatoes
2 – 3 tspns sambar powder
0.5 tspn turmeric
6 curry leaves
1.5 tspn brown mustard seeds
0.25 tspn fenugreek seeds
2 – 3 Indian dried red chillies, or to taste
pinch asafoetida (hing)
6 curry leaves
1 tspn ghee or Indian Sesame Oil
chickpea flour (gram flour), optional
coriander leaves, to garnish
sea salt (if required)
Soak the toor day for 2 or 3 hours, and cook until very tender and mushy. Mash the dal a little or pulse with an immersion blender.
Heat the oil in a kadhai for the tadka and pop the mustard seeds. Then add the fenugreek and dried red chillies. When the fenugreek darkens, add the curry leaves and allow them to splutter.
Now add the green tomatoes and saute for a minute or two, then allow to cook until they shrink and cook down. Mash them a little as they cook. They may take 30 mins or so to cook down, depending on how hard they are.
Stir in the sambar powder, turmeric powder and a cup of water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and add the tamarind and asafoetida. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the cooked dal and make up to 3 – 4 cups of sambar with extra water. Bring back to the boil.
If the sambar is too thin, make a paste of gram flour and stir into the simmering dish. While stirring, allow it to thicken. Taste and add salt if needed. Add wet, crushed curry leaves, stir and remove from the heat.
Garnish with coriander leaves, serve with rice, and enjoy!