Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Green Tomato Thokku

Irene came and left us relatively unscathed. While I am very grateful that a storm that inflicted so much damage on so many people was so kind to us I was a little upset with the damages to my small patio garden. All the moving around of the large tomato, eggplant and pepper plants let to many broken branches and a bunch of produce that is too small, too green, too raw.

So long story short I found myself with quite a few green tomatoes. I was not sure how to use these. I tried adding them in stir fries, soups etc but it was not working for me. Green tomatoes have a nice tart flavour that is not disguised in stir fries.

Yesterday I had a brainwave about how I would like to use these tomatoes. What I was doing wrong was trying to mask the tartness of the green tomatoes. What I should do instead is celebrate them. So I made a green tomato thokku. This is a Indian spicy chutney that is eaten with rice and curd and is normally made with raw mangoes. And green tomatoes was the perfect substitute. They were firm enough to stand up to grating. The thokku was tart and very flavourful.


4 large green tomatoes
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp til oil
a couple of pinches of asfoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
3 tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste since this quantity will vary drastically based on chili powder used and your own preferences)

Grate the green tomatoes. Heat 2 tbsp til oil in pan. When oil is hot add the mustard seeds and watch them splutter. Add the asfoetida and turmeric. Add the grated green tomatoes. Add salt and let the green tomatoes cook on a low flame. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the oil forms a nice coating over the green tomatoes. Add the chili powder. Taste, adjust seasoning (chili powder and salt) and cook for a few more minutes.
Cook and store in a bottle in the refrigerator. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is one my favourite cakes and since it has been some time since I baked cakes I decided to stick with a basic, popular recipe found here. It is not the moistest cake but it is a relatively healthy cake that I do not feel too guilty about putting away in slightly larger than usual quantities.

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar ( I could not find brown sugar so I used white sugar instead. In the past I have used brown sugar and there is a definite difference in taste and if I had it I would have used brown sugar)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups grated carrot
1 1/2 tbsp molasses
2 eggs
Juice from 1 orange
zest from 1 orange
handful of raisins
handful of chopped walnuts
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the carrot, eggs, molasses, juice, zest, vanilla essence and oil to the mixture. Mix until the mixture is uniform. Add the raisins and walnuts and stir until they are distributed throughout the mixture. Preheat the oven at 350 F. Grease a 9 inch cake pan and pour the batter into it. Spread if necessary and make sure the mixture is level. Bake in oven for 1 hr and 10 minutes till a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean.

I have been making a host of "relatively healthy" desserts since I find myself eating more and more sweets.

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