Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Ton Of Protein # 6 - Tomatochi Aamti

I saw this wonderful looking tomato at my friend Mrs. G's place the other day. Luckily, I had my digital camera with me, so I could photograph it. Isn't it beautiful?

By the way, none of the traditional Maharashtrian dishes ask for tomatoes. None whatsoever. Maybe a proof of the fact that tomato is not indigenous to India? When they are used in a dish, they are often a substitute for some other sour ingredient like tamarind or kokum. Having said that, I must mention that this vegetable (or is it a fruit?) has been accepted well in the Marathi cuisine and the dishes made with it are utterly delicious. One of them is this Dal with tomatoes. It is like any other Dal, which you too must be making every other day. I mean, I didn't really have to do a post on it. But then how else would I show you the photographs of that attractive tomato? It deserved a proper post to go with it, didn't it? So, here it goes.

Recipe for Tomatochi Aamti

Serves 4.


½ cup Toor dal
1 large tomato (or 2 small ones), diced small
a pinch turmeric powder
¼ - ½ tsp chilli powder or 2-3 green chillis, cut into ½ inch long pieces
approx. ½ cup hot water
a pinch sugar to balance the taste (optional)
salt to taste
chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

1 tsp oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
a pinch asafoetida (optional)
7-8 curry leaves


1. Pressure-cook the Toor dal with 1 cup of water. Mash it well so that no lumps remain. Keep it aside.
2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add the cumin seeds.
3. Add the asafoetida, if using. Add the curry leaves.
4. Add the green chillis, if using (not the chilli powder, though). Add the diced tomato(es). Please take care at this step, because the oil tends to jump high at this point, and is likely to cause burns. To avoid this, you could cover the pan as soon as the tomato pieces are added.
5. Let the tomato pieces cook a little. Then add the turmeric powder, cooked Toor dal and hot water. If using chilli powder, add it now.
6. Let the mixture come to a rolling boil. Add salt and sugar, and continue boiling the dal on high heat for about five minutes or till it reaches the consistency/thickness that you like.
7. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve piping hot with rice or phulkas/chapatis.

Tomatochi Aamti served with rice

This is one of the simplest Aamtis and can be prepared with the most basic ingredients of Indian cooking. It is one of my favourite ones. However, my fondness for it is nothing compared to the love my cousin, R has for it. He can have it every single day of the year - for lunch as well as for dinner. (That's 730 meals! Omigosh!!)

Anyway, R, this post is dedicated to you.

Jihva for ingredients


Linda said...

Hi Vaishali,

This tomato dal looks delicious, and that tomato itself is so interesting! Do you know why type it is? It looks like an heirloom variety. I wish I could grow tomatoes but I don't have a green thumb :)

Sumitha said...

Oh what an amazing looking tomato!I too make this dal exactly the way u have described,I too love it it goes well with rice as well as rotis!

Anonymous said...

Great picture!!! Amazing photography.Looks like a bell pepper.

Anonymous said...

superb photo of the tomato!! Do you know how tomato became a part of Indian cuisine?
- TheOriginalAnon

KrishnaArjuna said...

Tomato dal.. yumm!
Good picture of the tomato!

Vaishali said...

Linda, sorry, I don't know what type of tomato it is. As said, I saw it at a friend's place and she didn't know what variety it is. However, I know where she has bought it. When I have some time, I'll go to that vegetable vendor and find out. I'll let you know then.

Sumitha, it is indeed a gorgeous one, isn't it?

Thanks, Anonymous.

Thanks, TOA. As far as my knowledge goes, the European traders got tomatoes to India after they found it in the New World, the American continent. However, I don't know when exactly that must have happened. A search on Google is necessary, I guess.

Arjuna, it really is a yummy dal.

shammi said...

Wow, I've never seen a tomato that shape, Vaish. It's beautiful!

Shalmali said...

Hey !! sundari...a very intresting blog u have here....

DO u know how to make golyachi amti though ??

How u doing ?


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Indian Recipe said...

Your presentation of the recipe along is simple and easy. Measurements provided in ingredients is perfect. I tried it and works great.