Monday, January 16, 2012

Tomato Saaru (With Dal)

Tomato Saaru is a very delicious accompaniment to rice. There are so many varieties of tomato saaru. I am not a big fan of Tomato saaru but this saaru won my heart. I tasted this for the first time at my friends place. I liked it soo much that I asked him the measurements. He had to call his mother and gave me a rough measurement. It was in my to do list from so many months. Finally I made it and the taste was so good that my happiness knew no boundaries. The method might look lengthy but its worth to give a try! 
Try this method and I am sure you all will love it!

  • Tomato, medium sized- 2-3
  • Toor dal- 1/4 cup
  • Ginger, grated- 1/2 tsp
  • Green chillies, sliced- 2-3
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves- Few sprigs
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Tamarind- A small piece (adjust accordingly)
  • Salt- To taste
For Masala:
  • Dried red chillies- 3-4
  • Coriander seeds- 2 Tbsp
  • Split black gram/Urad dal- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds/Jeera- 2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds/Methi seeds- 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida- 2-3 pinches
  • Oil- 1 tsp
  • Grated Coconut, fresh/frozen- 3-4 Tbsp (Optional)
For Seasoning:
  • Oil- 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds/Jeera- 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves- Few

Wash the tomatoes and cut them roughly into big chunks. 

Now cook these tomato pieces adding water as required along with green chillies and ginger. Add salt, to taste. Meanwhile, cook the dal in a cooker adding water as required for 2-3 whistles.

Once the tomato looks cooked, transfer them on a plate (without water) and allow them to cool. Once completely cooled remove the outer skin of the tomato. Put these pieces in a mixer and pulse it 2-3 times, for couple of seconds (don't make a puree). Put it in a bowl.
Now Fry the spices listed under masala, one by one (except grated coconut), until they turn light brown using oil. Allow them to cool. 

Now grind the grated coconut (if using) to a smooth paste. To this add all the roasted spices and tamarind, to get a smooth paste. Add water as required. Now, the masala is ready.
Next step would be to mix all of them one by one. First add the crushed cooked tomato to the left over water containing ginger and green chillies. Then add cooked dal (beaten properly) and ground masala. Mix well. Add turmeric powder and salt, if required. Bring it to a boil. Adjust the consistency by adding water (you can make it very thin or medium thick). Continue heating for 3-4 minutes after it comes to a boil. Garnish it with chopped cilantro.Turn off the heat.
For seasoning- Heat oil. Add mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering, add cumin seeds. Roast it until it turns light brown and then add curry leaves. Turn off the heat. Add to the prepared saaru and mix well. Tomato Saaru is ready.

Serve it hot as a side dish to rice or idlis, with a generous amount of ghee on top. You can as well serve it as a soup. Above measurement serves 3-4 people.

Note: #Adding grated coconut is optional. Skipping it doesnt hurt the taste.
# You can as well make the spice powder. Just dry roast the spices mentioned under masala (except coconut) and then grind them to a fine powder and store it. Add this powder as required while making. This would save the time of grinding and thus helps people who are pressed for time. 
# You can as well garnish a Tbsp of grated coconut, instead of grinding it.

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