Thakkali Morkootan (Tomato Kadhi, Tomato Curry)

My Mum was a fabulous cook. Unfortunately, she had an unexpected and untimely death. So, many of her recipes were not recorded. About 25 years after she passed away, I had this incredible craving for her tomato kadhi. But did not know the recipe. So, I asked my father (he was still living then), but he did not know the recipe. I asked my sister, sister-in-law; none of them even remembered the dish. So I set out to re-create the dish from the lingering taste in my memory. Told Hari (my super chef) to make it. Turned out to be disastrous. We tried a couple more versions with the same result. All this took 2 years.
Then, common sense struck! Why not try it as a typical mor kootan (kadhi)? EUREKA!

3 cups vegan yogurt
1 cup water
1 big, red tomato
1/4 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
2 dried red chillies
3 green chillies, slit
1/4 tsp cumin powder (jeera/jeeragam powder)
1/4 tsp fenugreek powder (methi/venthiam powder)
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt to taste
Dice the tomato into medium sized pieces
Heat a deep pan and splutter mustard seeds
Reduce heat
Add red chillies, tomato, curry leaves and green chillies
Stir till tomato is cooked, but just short of being mushy
Meanwhile, blend the yoghurt with water and set aside
When tomato is cooked, mash a few pieces, leaving the rest as chunks
Add salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and fenugreek powder
Mix well for a few seconds
Add blended yogurt
Reduce flame to low and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring gently
Remove from flame
Serve lukewarm with red/brown rice

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