Saturday, October 9, 2010

Green Tomato curry (relish)

It is always a learning experience in the lunch room at work these days. With not only Andhra but Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharastra all represented, it is quite a revelation to see how even dal is cooked differently in each region(of India) and with a very slight change in the spices added result in very different tasting dishes. Every ingredient takes on a nuance which is unique to that region.

In South India, a new vegetable most often than not tends to land in sambhar or its several different variations one way or the other. I have tended not to stray far and have used green tomatoes mostly in sambhar or pulikuzhambu.

Something clicked when at lunch one day I tasted green tomato curry without realizing it was green tomatoes. Slightly tart, sweet and heat from the chilies it was pleasure for the taste buds and I was sufficiently surprised to learn that they were green tomatoes.

I have never really looked at green tomatoes as different from their mature selves, the ripe red ones. At this time of year green tomatoes are abundant in most gardens as the sun is not sufficient to ripen them and most are harvested green. If you have a few green tomatoes to spare this is one side dish that you ought to try. I guarantee that you and your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised.

A perfect dish for a weeknight, cooks in a jiffy and disappears just as fast (obvious from my photos right?).

1. 2 Cups of sliced green tomatoes
2. 4 green chilies cut into small rounds
3. 1 tsp of cumin seeds
4. 1 tsp of sambhar powder (red chili powder)
5. a pinch of mustard seeds + a few curry leaves
6. salt to taste
7. 1 tsp of sugar (optional) + salt to taste
8. 1 tsp of oil

1. In a pan heat oil and add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and mustard seeds
2. Add in the chopped chilies and the sliced tomatoes. Let them cook for a few minutes
3. Add in the sambhar powder and salt, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes till the tomatoes are soft

Serve as a side for with chapatis.


  1. cook sambar with green tomatoes, it will be yummy

  2. Mmm. so mouth watering. I have green tomatoes on hands that are destined for chutney with dosa but maybe I should try this subzi instead.

    True, regional variations in home style food are just amazing- enough new things to try for a life time.

  3. I have never cooked green tomatoes in my life. I think it is about time I cook this vegetable.

    Green tomato curry looks yummy!

  4. Woww delicious curry..

  5. I was just looking for green tomato recipe and yours looks good with picture and all. Will try it.

  6. looks yummy....have to try out with the tomatillos

  7. Mouth watering recipe! looks yummy.

  8. ummm yum,..happy navratri./

  9. Wish i got green tomato here , looks delish.

  10. Like myspicykitchen has said I have never cooked green tomatoes but your recipe and photo really tempting. Should try it soon. Cooked your red bell pepper chutney y'day. It was really tasty and different.
    Have you any ideas for navarathri? Do you keep golu at home?

  11. Girija, no I do not keep golu. I tasted some peanut sundal today. Genrally add a handful to the regular sundal but this was just peanuts and it was very tasty. If you have raw dried peanuts, soak them and try making sundal.

  12. i have cooked with green tomatoes many years back. over here, unless you have a tomato plant, its difficult to find green tomatoes, isn't it? its easier to find tomatillos instead but not the same i guess. reading the recipe and the pic has livened up the flavor of green tomatoes in my mind now!

  13. I don't think i've cooked with green tomatoes at all.. that looks very inviting.

  14. Oh! That looks good!!

  15. I have tasted this very long back once, and loved it- hankering for this now!

  16. Oh well, it does sounds interesting! I used up all my green tomatoes making chutney... a different version.


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