I often get into one of those “ I so need to clean the pantry “ moods .. especially when I have something major lined up. In this case , it was prepping for the 30 day salad event and with 2 family birthday part events lined up, including one with a herd of teenage boys in the house (shudder ) running amok fueled high on pizza and cake. If you think that’s bad, you see I have another one lined up in 48 hrs – this time it’s a bunch of rising first graders ! Try pizza, cupcake and juice this time .. Plus we do have a family and friends grilling event lined up as well. I love my life .. if I don’t have enough madness thrown at me, I am capable of self- inflicting it! And old habits die hard. You see , I would be one of these maniacs who believed that chasing the dust bunnies and labeling the containers, yields to peace of mind. After all, I would be the one majorly cleaning up my room before an exam !
In any case, I am digressing . So on one of these infamous treasure hunts through the pantry, I discover a stack of cans –3 organic Kirkland tomato paste and 3 cans of Hunt’s diced tomatoes to be precise. I toyed with making homemade pasta sauce vs a nice tomato relish in the tradition Indian style. And guess which won???
Prep time : 10 min Cook time 30-40 min
- Organic Tomato Paste : 3 cans
- Diced tomato in juice : 3 cans ( blended )
- Flavorless oil : 3 tsp
- Mustard seeds : 2 tsp
- Asafoetida : A generous pinch
- Curry Leaves : 12 – optional. Washed and dried thoroughly
- Tamarind paste : 1 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds or Methi seeds : 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder or Parika powder : 1-2 tsp
- In a nonstick pan, dry roast 1 tsp pf fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds till they sputter and you notice a faint red color on the former. Let this cool down and pulverize it to get a smooth dry powder and set it aside.
- In a nonstick wok or big sauce pan , heat the flavor less oil and add in the Hing and 1 tsp of mustard seeds.
- Once the mustard seeds sputter add in the blended ( run the diced tomatoes in their juices in a blender to smoothen it ) tomatoes and stir.
- Cover partially and let the mixture reduce to half its volume. In effect you are trying to get rid of the water content through heat reduction.
- Now add in the paste of the tomatoes from three cans and stir it well along with the added teaspoon of tamarind paste.
- You will see the mixture thickening considerably.
- Let it thicken some more and then add in the salt, and chilli powder and stir well.
- In about 10-15 minutes, you will see the mixture thickened to a soft jelly consistency. Take care not to work this on very high heat.
- Now add in the pulverized mixture of fenugreek and mustard seeds – 1 tsp. Stir well and turn off the flame .
- Let this cool down completely before storing it in a dry mason jar.
- Work the mixture on medium high heat. The idea is to get rid of the water content. Working on very high heart will risk the mixture getting burnt.
- Add in the fenugreek mustard seeds at the penultimate stage. You really do not want to add it in early on. It might result in bitterness been imparted .
- If you choose to add in the curry leaves, it needs to be added in the stage before you add in the blended tomatoes.
- Check the spice and salt levels before you add in the dry powder mix.
This is a great side and accompaniment for Idli’s, Dosa’s, Bread and more.