Bowl of Green Tomato
(click to enlarge)

Green Tomato Sabji   #2
India - South
    Hare Tamatar ki Sabji
Do ahead:  
2 main  
55 min  

Green Tomatoes are a popular vegetable in India. A Sabji or Bhaaji is a vegetable dish, what we might think of as a side dish - but this dish can easily stand as a vegetarian main dish. This dish is moderately spiced, emphasizing the vegetable. For a more intensely spiced (but less chili hot) version see Green Tomato Sabji #1



Green Tomatoes (1)
Chili Green (2)
-- Tempering
Cumin Seeds
Curry Leaves (3)
Asafoetida (4)
-- Powders
Coriander seeds
Chili Powder (5)
Garam Masala (6)
Jaggery (5)
-- Garnish
Cilantro leaves

PREP   -   (30 min)
  1. Cut GREEN TOMATOES into about 3/4 inch wide wedges, then cut the wedges into sections about 3/4 inch long, 2 or 3 pieces per wedge depending on tomato size.
  2. Chop ONION fine.
  3. Chop CHILI fine. Crush GARLIC and chop fine.
  4. Mix together all Tempering items.
  5. Grind CORIANDER in your spice grinder and mix together all Powders items.
  6. Chop CILANTRO medium for garnish.
RUN   -   (25 min)
  1. In a sauté pan, heat Oil quite hot. Stir in Tempering mix and let it sputter for just 20 seconds, then stir in Chili mix. Fry stirring over medium heat until aromatic, no browning, then stir in Onions. Fry stirring until Onions are translucent.
  2. Stir in Powders mix until Onions are well coated, then stir in Tomatoes until all is evenly distributed.
  3. Turn heat to low. Cover tightly and sweat the Tomatoes, stirring now and then, until tender, about 12 minutes. They should still have a bit of crunch.
  4. Stir in Jaggery. Adjust liquid if needed. This should be a dryish dish, but I like a little more liquid if serving with rice. Cook covered another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with Cilantro. Accompany with Roti or Paratha - or with long grain rice if you prefer (south Indian or Thai Jasmine).
  1. Green Tomatoes:   These are unripe regular tomatoes, not "Mexican Green Tomatoes" (Tomatillo) which are not actually tomatoes. The tomatoes should be solid green or with a slight white or pink blush. Riper tomatoes can be used, but must be very firm. For details see our Tomatoes page.
  2. Green Chili:   The hot green chilis used in India aren't available here, so we use Serranos. One half to one Serrano, according to taste, size and hotness (these can be treacherous). Combined with the chili powder this will make the dish a little hot by Southern California standards. Use your own best judgement. For details see our Indian Chilis page.
  3. Curry Leaves   These fresh leaves are necessary for the true flavor of southern India, and are now reasonably available in Indian markets, at least here in California. Dried ones aren't of much use. If you don't have them you will have to leave them out - there is no acceptable substitute. Use caution with how many you use, because some people don't like the resinous taste. For details see our Curry Leaves page.
  4. Asafoetida - Hing:   This is the resin of a giant fennel plant, used in India by sects forbidden to eat onions or garlic, but is also often combined with onions.   Caution: there are two forms: Pure Hing (asafoetida beads or ground) and the more common "Hing Powder". The "powder" is heavily cut with rice flour. The amount given here is for pure asafoetida. Use about 3 times as much if what you have is the "powder" form. For details see our Asafoetida page.
  5. Chili Powder   I use Khandela or Reshampatti, which makes this dish fairly hot by Southern California standards. If in doubt, use Kashmir powder. For details see our Indian Chilis page.
  6. Garam Masala: This is a spice mix used in every Indian household, but there are many variations. Here is a recipe for a typical Garam Masala mix for the cuisines of southern India. If you don't have it on hand, using a northern Garam Masala won't change the taste much.
  7. Jaggery: This is a partially refined cane sugar, much used in India, sold in various shaped cakes. If you don't have it, use a similar partially refined sugar. For details see our Sweeteners page.
  8. Comments:s   I have cut the amount of sugar to less than 1/4 what was called for by the base pattern recipe, and consider that more than enough. South Asian dishes often need the sugar cut way back for Western tastes - as well as for health. I have modified procedures a little, in keeping with other recipes for this dish, and added Onion which most other recipes have. I have identified this recipe as from southern India from the use of Curry Leaves, which are tropical and not used in the north.
  9. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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