Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sev Tamatar

We are on a challenge this month. Every 2 weeks, we go to the Farmer's Market to buy fresh vegetables and fruits. This is also close to our Indian store which we loot. Apart from A being embarrassed by my wide grin and sometimes, spontaneous dance moves to the latest Bollywood number playing in the background. Ya, I do that. However, this month, we decided to take some life-changing environmentally safe decisions. One of them included making only ONE trip to the Farmer's Market and the Indian store for a month. That meant we'd be able to buy veggies for only 2 weeks. And not more than that. This move, we thought, will help us save money, gas, help us go creative with dishes and more importantly, help us cut on carbs and eat more proteins. Yes, we previously ignored our Dals and beans because there was always veggies at home. Yes again, nothing wrong with that, but we certainly needed to work on our proteins.

So, the month of April has been amazing for both of us. We've saved a ton of money by saving on gas because the only place we take the car to is the grocery store. We walk to every other place. Including work. Also, we rediscovered black urad dal, kokum, barley, sorghum flour, Bulgar and what not in our pantry. And it has been a wonderful month for both of us. We've entertained guests this month, gone on a road trip and cooked some wonderful, easy, tasty and more importantly, healthy meals for the both of us. At the end of the month, we are feeling incredibly good about our savings, our life and our fitness levels.

Coming back to the actual reason for the post, we cooked a lot of stuff with fresh vegetables in the first half of the month thanks to our shopping. For the last two weeks, we've cooked Bulgar, Thai (with frozen veggies and pastes), Chinese, Poha (rediscovered) and couscous. One of the things we cooked a couple of days ago was Sev Tamatar.

We'd almost forgotten to cook this delicacy in our hunt for new recipes every month. Tomatoes that we bought on March 29 lasted us until a couple of days ago. Still firm and fresh. A particularly has great memories of this dish and he was the one who introduced this dish to me. This dish is from Gujarat, where he studied and ate this almost everyday at his hostel mess. This is not the healthiest of dishes, but is great fun to make and is super comforting on cold nights when you are seeking a far unhealthier treat than Sev Tamatar :)



Ingredients

Tomatoes - 6-7, medium size - diced
Onion - 1, medium size - diced
2 tbsp Kalonji or Nigella seeds
2 tsp Jeera or Cumin seeds
1 tsp Turmeric
Green Chillies 2-3
Garlic - 1 clove, finely chopped (optional)
Chilli powder - 2 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1-1.5 tsp
3 tbsp oil
Water - 1 cup*
1/2 packet of Sev - usually around 150- 200 gms per packet
Salt to taste

1. Heat 2 tbsp oil and add cumin seeds/Jeera and Kalonji. Let it splutter.

2. Add onions and garlic and let it cook until translucent

3. Add the Tomatoes and salt. Add the remaining oil to this and let cook for a couple of mins

4. Add the rest of the spices and the water and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Once it thickens, add more water. Make sure its watery. This is not supposed to be a solid curry. Let it cook for a good 10 mins.

5. Just before serving, add Sev and eat right away.

Sometimes we cook it in the pressure cooker and add Sev just before serving it on the plate. This time around, we cooked it in a sauce pan. If you add Sev before hand, the Sev becomes really soggy. While we like our Sev soft, we still like the crunch and flavour that it provides to an otherwise ordinary curry. Kalonji is the only spice in this curry and stands out wonderfully. I always squeeze some lemon juice while A can do without it. This dish is fairly tangy even without the lime. Or, you could buy Lime Sev as well. Sev is available in Indian stores and is usually eaten as a snack with tea/beer. They are a noodle like snack made out of Gram Flour or Besan which are fried in oil and spiced with different flavours.

This dish goes to Dee of Ammalu's Kitchen who is hosting Sunita's brainchild of an event : Think spice, think Kalonji. For A, this is Think hostel, Think Sev Tamatar. Mine were Alu Bhindi, Puri Choley and Lauki Kofta! What is/was your hostel's special dish? :)

28 comments:

Indhu said...

my hostel's special dish was thayirsaadham koozh - u would have this whit colour blob - which was supposed to be thayirsaadham... they totally butchered my favourite dish :(
yummy sev... and yeah.. this is far far healthier than the readymade namkeen stuff!

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

delicious looking sev tamatar. u guys r so much into cooking... my god. my hubby never comes to grocery store or to the kitchen. lol.

Deepa Hari said...

Sev tamatar looks delicious...never tasted it.

DEESHA said...

wow, you walk to most places .. great girl .. I need to re think abt my fitness levels too, ages since I've had a great workout .. Sev tamatar does look something that my hubby wud love to dig into, hes a big tamatar fan

Priya Sriram said...

Thats a great way to cut back on budget, I'm getting a lot of ideas!! :D
Sev tamatar looks great A&N!! Nice clicks!
Btw, my hostel's special dish was Friday Lunch!! (Tadka daal, rasam & Fried fish) Noone could beat it!! :D

Cham said...

Never tasted one, even my indian store is walkable distance, i could not save much if it is the case!

Prathibha said...

Sev tamatar looks yumm..
My husband adds sev to the tomato soup sometimes...
Infact never stayed in hostel..only home cooked food...:)

Valarmathi said...

Looks yummy and delicious. Nice color.

SJ said...

FInally!!!! Have nylon sev not this one :( Next time Indian store visit definitely will buy. J will be very happy with this!!!
My hostel special was -Revive Starch ya...sago payasa!!! They butchered it so bad!!!!!

Asha said...

Oh, I made this once, LOVED it. Crunchy and soft at the time, sev is so yummy with tangy tomato. Great entry, enjoy! :)

I have never lived in hostel, lived at home and went to college and law school. I wanted to stay in hostel, but my dad always transferred to cities, was easier for me to attend nearby college.

Have a great Sunday.

Jaishree said...

Thats a great way to cut back on budgetSev tamatar looks delicious..A&N!! Nice clicks!

Pooja said...

Very new to me..Nice color..Looks great.

Lavi said...

WOW..Great Job! So you are saving Gas and at the same time getting healthier Food's. Sev Tamatar look's absolutely delicious!!

Arch said...

Nice one N, they come up with some amazing food in Gujarat...thanks for dropping by my blog...i know i shouldn't complain so much, I am in India at least, but that feeling of being uprooted hit me real hard..now on holiday at mom's place, and it feels sooo good :)

Lisa said...

This looks interesting! Sev is something I've never cooked with.

Soma said...

Very Unique recipe,esp.with Kalonji As spice ( I already love it) & Sev.

good going folks.. we do fresh groceries every 2 or three weeks, other dry ones once a month or even more:-).. & pick up milk & other imp things on our way to & fro from my driving around my monkeys.:-D These days we stop ourselves from getting us stuffs till our fridge & freezer is EMPTY.. more than saving money, makes me feel good that there is no waste,

TBC said...

Lately, I too have been trying to do that- cut down on carbs, mainly basmati rice in my case. But it is difficult after having lived on nothing but basmati forever. I've switched to Kerala brown rice these days and I absolutely hate the taste and so I just don't eat as much!

The sev tamatar looks gorgeous. I've only heard of this dish, never tasted it.

I was at a working women's hostel for many years. I thought the rajma-chawal and kadhi that the cook made was simply out of this world.

Sanghi said...

Wow.. looks perfect.! Delicious!

Jayashree said...

Am definitely trying this one out....looks so tomato-ey.

aquadaze said...

this looks so delicious, the gravy sounds absolutely yum!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

An interesting and delicious looking dish!

Cheers,

Rosa

Veggie Food Journal said...

This looks really like a chaat item. My mouth is watering and i'm oogling.

Shama Nagarajan said...

lovely click and yummy one

Priti said...

Simple sev tamatar you made looks so fab....I love this sabji too....but I hardly make this !!

Cakelaw said...

I have never heard of Sev before, but this dish looks delicious. Good on you for walking everywhere - great exercise and very "green" as well as a cost saver. LOL - I love the fact that you dance in the shop - more of us should take a leaf out of your book.

Natashya said...

I haven't had anything like that. I think I have had sev in a snack mix here called punjabi mix.
It looks really tasty.
We are also stocking up the dry goods pantry, more whole grains, alternative flours and legumes. Good for the pocketbook and the tummy.

Raaga said...

I ate this in Gujarat many years ago... loved it... yours looks very very good :)

Usha said...

One of my faves, yours looks fabulous....