Special Tomato Curry


There were lots of tomatoes clinging on for dear life to the rapidly dying away plants in the garden, and with the storm coming a couple of weeks ago I knew I could not wait for them to ripen.

I picked 2kg of green tomatoes and then looked at them for a while before remembering the most delicious curry I have ever eaten: Special Tomato Curry.

This dish comes from Gujarat and I fell in love with it there whilst photographing nomads in the 90’s, assisted by the owners of a restaurant in Tooting called Kastoori, who owned a large ice making factory in Porbandar. Kastoori was the ultimate vegetarian restaurant. The food was amazing.

This recipe is a homage.

Any tomatoes will do, and it can be a mixture of green and red. But not tinned.

2kg roughly chopped tomatoes with the woody heart removed.

3 table spoons of Ghee or sunflower oil
2 finely chopped onions
1tsp cumin seeds
15 curry leaves, dried or fresh
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 heaped tsp turmeric
I stick cinnamon
6 cloves
1tsp fenugreek
2 dessert spoons ground cumin
1desert spoon garam Marsala
2 tablespoons fresh yoghurt
Chopped coriander.
Salt to taste.
Optional 2 desert spoons sugar. (Gujarat is famous for sweet curry. I do not each sugar and like the sourness of omitting it.)

Heat the oil and add mustard, fenugreek, cumin seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and curry leaves. Allow to simmer for a few minutes then add the onions and fry until transparent.

Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the ground cumin and garam Marsala and leave on a low simmer for 15 minutes. Turn it off and walk away for an hour or so, or longer if possible. Come back and season with salt, sugar if using, and chopped coriander.

Serve with rice, yoghurt and warm brown pitta bread…. It is just so perfectly delicious!