Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thakkali Kai kootu / Raw tomato curry

My mother used to make this kootu with raw" nattu thakkali". We used to eat with hot rice, ghee and puli inji. A simple and satisfying meal. When I saw tomatillos in the supermarkets here,I bought them home thinking they were thakkali kai. I was all excited to make the same kootu.

It was an epic fail, i have to admit!

a) they were unbelievably tart and
b) it became so mushy! But the nerd in me did not want to accept that failure!

I learnt later that the tomatillos are not the same as raw tomatoes that we get in India. They are widely used in Mexican cooking for making salsas and other sauces which need the tartness! You learn something every day!

Recently, we visited a farm in sunny southernArizona, where there wide fields with okra, bell peppers, black eyed peas, beans etc. I hand picked some regular green tomatoes fresh from the plants. I wanted to try the same tomato kootu this and it was delicious.

So, here is the recipe.

Get ready

  • 4 green tomatoes/ thakkali Kai
  • 1/3 cup dry moong dal, washed and  pressure cooked with a little turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal / ulutham paruppu
  • Couple of squirts of asafetida
  • Curry leaves few
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt to taste

To grind

  •  2 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 green chili ( more as per your taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds


  • Wash & chop green tomatoes into medium sized chunks
  • Cook and mash dal and keep aside
  • Grind everything under grind with little water
  • In a pan, add oil and do tadka with mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and asafetida.
  • Add the tomatoes and sauté for few seconds.

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  • Add a little salt, reduce flame and cook the tomatoes covered till soft.

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  • Add the mashed dal and little water.
  • Adjust salt to taste and let the tomatoes and dal come to a boil.
  • Add the ground coconut paste and cook for 3-4 secs.

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  • Turn the heat off.
  • Serve hot with rice, rasam or chapathi!

What's  your experience cooking  with tomatillos?

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