Monday, January 23, 2012

Tomato Saar with Asafoetida (Tomato Hingaa Saaru)

Many moons ago, my Pachi (Aunt) invited me for a casual lunch at her place. Since she is a busy Mom she sheepishly informed me that the spread was very simple and she was wee bit embarrassed to serve me Tomato Saaru along with the other simple dishes. I chuckled as I enjoy her food either ways!

The version of her Saaru caught me unaware and has become my go-to recipe now. This is a simple 15-minute-fix kind of a recipe. Every recipe has that one secret ingredient which demystifies the taste of the dish and takes it a few notches higher and in this case she had used Hing (Asafoetida). The recipe has a very Saatvik touch and is very simple. I turn to this once in a while just to experience the departure from my regular Coconut laden recipes which I also enjoy unabashedly. Another tip is the kind of Tomatoes one chooses. For this Saaru, she used the semi-ripe one (the one that is not too bright red but just ripe for use, if you know what I mean) so that the acidity is not way too high in the final broth. The third and final tip she gave was use only Ghee, better if home made. Ghee supplements the flavor, use a sparing helping if you are diet conscious. This recipe holds good for the taste buds of kids, elderly and those convalescing.

~ Tomato Hingaa Saaru ~
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Tomatoes (diced) - 2
Coriander leaves (chiffonade thinly) - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 tsp

For Seasoning -
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Asafoetida (Hing/ Edible Gum) - 1/4 tsp

Dice the tomatoes and boil it with three cups of cold water. Add the coriander leaves as well and bring to a boil and simmer away for 5-10 minutes till the Tomatoes are cooked. Add salt and sugar now and turn off the flame. In a separate frying pan, heat few spoons of Ghee, season with mustard seeds and curry leaves on medium flame. Once they splutter and are cooked through, add asafoetida, wait for few seconds and turn off the flame. Pour this seasoning on the cooked stock, cover with a lid. Serve warm with cooked Par-boiled/ Basmati rice.

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