Southern Style Green Tomato Dal

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I’ve had Green tomatoes before in the form of “fried green tomatoes” southern style. But I wanted to see if there was another way I could use them, since I’m not so big into southern cooking. When I think of comfort food, I think of a different kind of southern cooking–dal and rice! There’s a dish my mom makes all the time, Nimbu Rassam, which is basically a dal (yellow moong), but with South Indian spices and lemon juice.  Green tomatoes hold their shape much better than regular tomatoes, which go to mush when cooked. This dish uses tomato to give the dal the sour flavor instead of lemon, and it’s nice because you have small chunks of tomato to chew on here and there 🙂 I enjoyed it with a vegetable curry and rice!

Health Stuff: They are packed with antioxidants and vitamins such as A, C and K. Dal is popular all over the Indian subcontinent as a major comfort food, but it is also incredibly healthy, with protein and fiber from the lentils. The turmeric, used in most dal dishes has antiseptic medicinal properties.

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You Will Need:DSC_0279

  • 2-3 Green Tomatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup of yellow moong dal
  • mustard seeds
  • 2 green chillies ( I used the small indian ones, but you can use thai chillies, or any green chilli of your choice)
  • asafetida powder
  • Turmeric
  • Salt
  • Cilantro

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To Prepare

  1. Cut the tomatoes in about 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Rinse the lentils and add them to a pot, along with enough water to cover them by about 1 inch.
  3. Add 1 tsp of turmeric powder, 2 tsp of salt  and 2 of the cubed tomatoes and allow the dal to come to a boil
  4. A froth will form on the top of the dal, lift this away with a spoon so it does not boil over
  5. Boil the dal on med-high, stirring occasionally, adding water when necessary for about 20 mins.
  6. (optional step) Turn off the heat and with an immersion blender, pulse the mixture so the lentils become smooth and mixed together.
  7. Add the third green tomato and continue to simmer on medium heat. Make sure that there is enough water so that the dal does not burn at the bottom of the pot.
  8. Tempering: In a separate pan heat 1 tsp of mild flavored oil such as canola, grapeseed etc. Add 1 tsp of mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Once they sputter, add 2 green chillies sliced lengthwise, and a few pinches of asafetida powder (hing). Sautee for a minute and add this mixture to the dal.
  9. Once the tempering is in the dal, let it simmer for a minute or two.
  10. Chop some fresh cilantro, turn off the heat and mix in the cilantro
  11. Serve with rice!

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