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Tamatar bharta


Stewed tomatoes with flat noodles

Preparation and cooking time: 40 min

15 medium-sized tomatoes
8 large papadams or 12 small
1 cinnamon stick, 2 inches (5 cm) long
11/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 curry leaves or 3 bay leaves
1 fresh chili, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoon chopped coriander or parsley leaves
2/3 cup (150 ml) sour cream or yogurt (optional)
 

Start by blanching the tomatoes. Then either chop them fine. blend them in a mixer, or force them through a sieve. Set aside. Cut the papadams into 1-inch (2 cm) strips and set them aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the ghee or vegetable oil over medium heat. When the ghee begins to smoke, drop in the cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, curry leaves (or bay leaves), chili, and a few seconds later, the asafoetida. Now put the tomatoes in the saucepan with the ginger, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir well. Cover the saucepan halfway, and simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

While the tomatoes simmer, bring some salted water to boil in another medium-sized saucepan, and drop in the strips of papadam. Boil them for 8 - 10 minutes until they are quite soft. Finally, drain the papadam strips, then fold them and the coriander into the stewed tomatoes a few minutes before removing the saucepa:n from the heat. (If you use cream or yogurt, fold it into the preparation and allow to heat for a few minutes more).
Tamatar bharta goes well with any rice dish or Indian bread.