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I hope you enjoyed reading my review of Asma Khan’s first cookery book, Asma’s Indian Kitchen. From supper club host to guest chef and now the founder of one of London’s best Indian restaurants, Darjeeling Express, Asma is a born feeder, and loves to share her food with the world.
Publishers, Pavilion are kindly allowing us to share three fantastic recipes from Asma’s book here on Kavey Eats. The first is this Hyderabadi Tamatar Ka Cutt (Eggs in Tomato Gravy). Coming soon, Tamatar Ki Chutney and Narangi Korma.
This is one of the dishes I remember most vividly from my visits to Asma’s supper club, which she ran from her own home. It’s a simple and delicious dish packed with flavour!
Hyderabadi Tamatar Ka Cutt | Eggs in Tomato Gravy
This wonderfully tangy, spicy gravy was a signature dish of my great-aunt, Farzana Monem. In 1955, she married my maternal grandfather’s younger brother and moved to Calcutta to live with the extended family. Coming from a very distinguished family from Hyderabad, Farzana introduced my maternal family to a new kind of cuisine. Farzana did not cook from written recipes, but this is the recipe I have written after talking with her and experimenting in my London kitchen.
The tomato base to this gravy was always made with fresh tomatoes, which were slow-cooked and sieved. By using fresh tomatoes, the end result was always a bit watery, so the gravy was thickened with gram or chickpea flour. I discovered convenience of passata in 1997, when a friend invited me over for a pasta meal. The ready availability of sieved tomatoes takes away a lot of the labour from this most traditional Hyderabadi dish, which I hope you will make often.
- 1 large bunch coriander (cilantro), with roots, stalks and leaves
- 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) passata (strained tomatoes), strained tomatoes (if you have slightly more due to the size of the box or bottle, add it all and then adjust the seasoning
- 4 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 40 fresh curry leaves
- 10 dried red chillis, broken in half
- 9 garlic cloves
- 1 piece 5 cm/2 inches long, fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp tomato purée (tomato paste)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp nigella (black onion seeds)
- 5 medium eggs, hard-boiled, shelled and thickly sliced
Wash the coriander to remove any grit. If you cannot find a bunch with roots, then pick one with long stalks as this is where the flavour lies.
Pour the passata into a deep pan. During the cooking process, the tomato liquid will spit and splutter. Using a deeper pan will save having to wipe clean the hob (stove) and walls. Add the washed coriander stalks, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, 20 of the curry leaves and 4 of the dried red chillis to the passata in the pan. Chop 7 of the garlic cloves and all of the ginger into chunks, then add to the pan.
Place the pan over a medium–high heat and then, once the passata is boiling, lower the heat to maintain a steady low boil. Cook for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before straining the passata into a bowl. Discard the contents of the sieve, then return the passata to the pan. Add 1 tbsp of the tomato puree to the pan along with the sugar and salt, then stir.
In a small frying pan (skillet), heat the oil over a medium–high heat.
Slice the remaining garlic cloves into thin slivers. Working quickly so the tempering does not burn, add the garlic, nigella seeds, remaining curry leaves and dried chillis to the pan. Cook for a few seconds, then pour the tempering oil and spices over the tomato gravy.
Taste to check the seasoning and adjust as necessary. To serve, ladle the gravy into serving bowls and lay the egg slices on top.
Kavey Eats received a review copy of Asma’s Indian Kitchen. Recipe extract credited to Asma’s Indian Kitchen: Home-cooked food brought to you by Darjeeling Express by Asma Khan, published by Pavilion Books. Image credit to Kim Lightbody. RRP £20, this title is currently available on Amazon UK for £13.20 (at time of review).