Friday, November 6, 2009

Tempered Tomato Stew with Eggs- Timatar Kat

A Hyderabadi specialty.  Although, we don't have direct familial connection to the region, there is great love for its tangy, tart and sweet food with the piquant, fragrant spices. Timatar Kat was prepared on special occasion and was eagerly awaited and devoured!

12 plum tomatoes or 1 can stewed tomatoes
2 tbsp. yellow split pea (chana daal)
1 tsp. cumin seeds                                           
2 whole red chillies                                           
2 tsp. tamarind paste (or whole tamarind soaked in water overnight)
3 tsp. ground ginger (about 2 cloves minced)                                          
1 tsp. ground garlic (about 1" ginger minced)                                           
2 green chillies                                           
3-4 fresh curry leaves (kari pata)                                           
1/2 tsp. sesame seeds (til)
1 tsp. brown sugar                                           
3 eggs                                           
salt to taste                                           
1/2 tsp. methi (fenugreek seeds)                                           
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds                                           
2-3 whole dried red chillies                                           
4 kari patta (fresh curry leaves)                                           

- Soak the daal for 2 hours. Remove from water and allow to dry.

- In a dry pan, roast the daal, cumin seeds, whole chillies and sesame seeds till fragrant and the mixture darkens slightly (this should happen fairly quickly). Set aside.

- If using whole tomatoes, blanch in a pot of boiling water and remove skin. Cook over medium heat in a little water till soft and mushy (water should be enough to result in a stew-like consistency). If using stewed tomatoes, skip to the step below. 
- In a saucepan, add the prepared spices, tamarind, ginger, garlic, green chillies, kari pata, salt and til to the tomatoes and cook on low-med heat for 30 minutes. Keep mashing while the mixture is simmering till a medium consistency is achieved.
- Separately, boil eggs. Once hard-boiled, set aside, let cool and then peel and divide into two parts.
- Make the baghar- Add oil to a pre-heated pan and immediately throw in the methi, zeera and red chillies. As they sizzle, add the kari pata (careful as this will sputter).
Let the mixture sizzle for another 30 seconds and then pour over the tomatoes and cover immediately and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Uncover and decorate egg halves in the kat and serve.

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