As a child, I hated the very thought of idlis…I always argued with Amma “It`s just batter ma, it has no taste”…How can people ever say “great Idlis”??? And she would wordless pass on this tomato gravy to me, and I would gulp down the hot idlis soaked lavishly with the gravy. The next day when she would make crisp dosas, I would submerge them in this gravy and some times amma would wonder whether it was tomato gravy to eat as a side with dosa or the other way round???
I am guessing that this is a recipe that has been passed on to my amma from her mom…Nobody knows exactly…This is a very versatile gravy cum chutney – This could be a side for idlis and dosas as the tanginess really sweeps you off your senses..It`s also an excellent side for hot Venn Pongal or steaming Gujarati Khichdi. It can also double up as a side for rotis for dinner!!! I always make a lot and put away half in to the fridge for another day so I can toss it out and use it for chappati or parathas and my husband will never even know!!!
It just uses 5 ingredients and is pretty simple. The original recipe does not use onions so there`s no sweat on days when you need to avoid them!!!
5 Medium sized tomatoes chopped.
4 dried red chillis.
3 spoons of urad dhal.
1/3 cup of coconut.
A cup pf water.
A pinch of turmeric
Mustard and curry leaves to season and salt to taste.
- In a kadai, add a spoon of oil and roast the urad dhal and red chillis till the dal turns brown. Make sure that the flame is on medium low and the roasting is slow as this enhances taste.
- Grind this with the coconut and a little water and make a smooth paste. Set aside for later.
- In the same kadai, add a spoon more of oil, and when it begins to smoke, add mustard, curry leaves and immediately the tomatoes.
- Stir in a pinch of turmeric and hing and the requisite salt. At this point pour in the one cup pf water and allow to boil.
- After 10 minutes add the ground paste and adequate water to make it in to a pouring consistency.
- Switch off when it comes to a boil and serve Hot with Venn Pongal , Gujarati Khichdi or Idli / Dosa garnished with chopped cilantro.
- You can grind the roasted ingredients with a spoon of coconut milk to get added richness.
- You could also try this version with onions for an extremely filling side dish.