In all honesty, I had forgotten about this dish altogether, though it was such a part of my life growing up. When I was a kid, this was the dish that was pulled out when we were having company over or for a special meal at festival. Years have passed since then and gradually, this dish took a deeper and deeper place in the pantry of my mind to where it was largely forgotten. Till last weekend.
My sister and my brother-in-law were visiting us from overseas and she wanted to cook for us. The dish that she wanted to make and was justifiably proud of, was this very dish. Having a chance to eat this after so many years, I, of course, jumped at the chance and so she made it. It was good. Very good. And kind of like the food critic eating Ratatouille, in the eponymous movie, it took me back to my childhood. Here it is, based on what I could gather from watching my sister cook.
INGREDIENTS (for 6-7 Stuffed Tomatoes)
6-7 Medium Sized Roma Tomatoes
For the Stuffing
1 tsp cooking oil (I use EVOO)
1 Medium Potato – Boiled
1/2 cup Frozen Peas
1/2 tsp Dried Mango Powder (Amchur)
1/4 tsp Red Chili Powder
For the Gravy
1 1/2 Medium Onions
1 Medium Tomato
1 inch piece of Ginger – peeled
4-5 small Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Oil (I use EVOO)
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
Some Cilantro to garnish
1. Cut a small “cap” in Roma Tomatoes and core them, preserving the shape and structural integrity. Keep the pulp from the inside.
2. Mash the potatoes and mix the spices and and the peas in it.
3. In a frying pan, heat the oil and pan fry the potatoes till the freshness of the spices have gone and the peas are thawed. About 10 minutes. You can add some chopped cilantro to the potatoes.
4. Fill the hollow tomatoes with this stuffing and put the “cap” back on. You may want to use toothpicks to keep the lid in place. Set aside.
5. To prepare the gravy, blend the onion, tomato, ginger and garlic till it is smooth. Add a little water if needed.
6. In a saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp of oil and stir in the blended paste from step 5.
7. Add the other spices, and the pulp from the cored tomatoes and let it cook on low heat till the fat starts leaving the masala.
8. Add the stuffed tomatoes to the gravy, adjust water to achieve a nice thick consistency of the gravy and cook covered till the tomatoes just start shedding their outer skin.
9. Top with some chopped cilantro and serve hot with an Indian bread of your choice.