Thursday, October 2, 2008

Green Tomatoes in VathaKuzhambu (Spicy Gravy)

When I saw plump green Tomatoes at the market, I started dreaming about this! Seriously!! This Vethakuzhambu is so tasty that once you make it it will be on one of your favorites list.
My mother used to call these "Naatu Thakkali".
I bought three of them, and made Vethakuzhambu. You can also add one or two of this to your sambar in addition to other veggies you may have and also in your kootu. I also added this, to mango dal i had made and it had an unique flavor. I loved it.
These are different from the Tomatillos you get in the market. They come covered and are much smaller and more sourer in taste.
This is the same way that you would make the Brinjal Vethakuzhambu.
You will need (this measurement serves 3 to 4 adults)
Green tomatoes - 3 (cubed)
Tamarind - (2 grape tomatoes size)
Sambar Powder - 2 or 3 Teaspoons
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Water - 3 to 4 cups
Hind - 2 dashes
To Garnish
Oil - 3 Teaspoons
Mustard - 1 Teaspoon
Red Chili - 3 Broken
Fenugreek - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 2 strands

For making Vethakuzhambu, I prefer sesame oil, or gingelly oil, it adds a whole lot of flavor to it.
--->Start with Soaking the tamarind in 1 cup of water, (for atleast 10 to 20 minutes)
--->Start Cubing the tomatoes
--->when the tamraind is soaked well, you should squeeze it well and extract all the juice out of it., take the juice from that slowly without letting the tamarindout of your hand!
--->In the vessel you are going to make, pour this tamrind juice, add the sambar powder, turmeric powder, 2 Cups of water and the hing and let it start to come to a boil on a medium-High Flame
--->In a different vessel, add the oil, and then add the mustard seeds and once it starts sputtering, add the fenugreek, Curry leaves and then the Cubed green tomatoes.
--->Saute this for 5 to 10 minutes
--->Pour this in to the Boiling tamarind water and reduce the flame a little and let it all come together
--->After you see that the gravy has thickened a little, you can turn the stove off.
I have made my Vethakuzhambu in my Kal Chetti. The great thing about this pot is that even after you take it off the stove, it keeps boiling for 10 minutes! It retains heat that long.

And once you are done with your vethakuzhambu, just add a handful of cooked rice to the empty Kal chetti and just move the rice around so it holds on to whatever little bit of the vethakuzhambu is remaining in the vessel, and enjoy it. You will become an eternal slave to this taste!!!!
As an afterthought I added some Fried Manathakkali to this. I don't know what it is called in English but I found this in Wikipedia.

More about Manathakkali (What I know)
Manathakkali is an acquired taste.
It usually grows on the roads, like a weed in Tamilnadu. you can pluck them and eat them from the plant itself. This berry is very high in Iron Content.
We also use the ripe green ones to make pachadi (Raita).
The way they dry this India is they pluck the berries, and wash them and soak them in buttermilk and salt and dry them in the sun.
After the drying is done, (the Manathakkalis shrink) they are bottled and lasts as long as 10 years! Nothing happens to them if they are kept water free.
When you are ready to make them, just deep fry them in hot oil, it is so much fun to see them plump again once they are in hot oil, and as you would fry a vadai, take them out and place them on a tissue paper, thats it.
My kids eat it just like that. They love it for the salt!
Whenever I make it I put two handfuls of the fried ones in a Ziploc box and store it for my son. My son has it with whatever I give him for Dinner.
I also add them in Vethakuzhambus like this to give an extra taste. It is fun to hear the sizzling sound when you plop the freshly fried ones to the boiling Vethakuzhambu.....
It also tastes so good with some Jeera Rasam, I will post the recipe soon.
I am dreaming about this combination... now so bye bye!!

The one on the left is the Dry ones and the one on the right is Deep fried ones. The deep friend ones stay crunchy till a month if stored in an airtight container.


Vanamala said...

Sounds good nice recipe....bookmarked

Priyanka said...

when we make green tomato sabzi, we usually add jaggery to it to decrease the sourness.this one looks just delicious.

Bhawana said...

This is great. I have never tried green tomato. will try soon :). made a note of it.