I was catching up on my mindless magazine browsing at the doctors office – which is about the only place I get my ten minutes to catch up on Hollywood, self-help and good housekeeping (in no particular order). I happily started an article called “24 Ideas For Saving Money Using Leftovers”, when I chanced upon a very interesting looking blurb about the Healthiest. Chip. Ever. The edible kind, I mean.
I was intrigued. I have suddenly developed an increased affinity for potato chips which is in direct conflict with my lifelong desire to trim the waistline. But the sad story of this addiction deserves a separate post.
To make matters worse, it was Superbowl in our parts a week ago. A veritable excuse to throw caution to the winds on a Sunday night, gorge on junk food (read chips), chug beer after beer and engage in raucous behavior. And in my case, pretend to participate in the revelry despite not knowing the first thing about American football.
OK, I digress. The healthiest chip ever. I squinted at the page – and couldn’t believe what I was reading.
For the ingredients were as follows: Sesame seeds (fine), Corn bran (I can deal), Flax seeds (tricky), quinoa (you’ve got to be kidding), and Chia seeds. Chia seeds??
I would have been green at the gills if I hadn’t quickly turned the page to an interesting article on canine acupuncture.
Dear Editor – Don’t get me wrong – I am all for eating healthy, portion control, and exercise. I must admit I have a healthy disdain for “miracle foods”, but I have no issues with you promoting the green tea and pimping the Acai berries. But let’s not call this a chip? Please.
I made Tomato Kut for dinner – a Hyderabadi dish with hard boiled eggs submerged in a subtly spiced tomato sauce. No wheat germ in this one, but served with rotis and a simple raita, it made for a very superior, very balanced meal.
The original recipe calls for blanching and cooking the tomatoes and then passing the puree through a strainer. Since the only strainer I possess is used to strain my cup of tea, I quickly figured out that this had the makings of a multi-day exercise. I happily skipped steps 1 & 3, and merely cooked the tomatoes and mashed them with a heavy ladle until they disintegrated to a fairly smooth sauce.
10 large tomatoes
2 tbsp gram flour (besan)
One small onion
1 ½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander seed powder
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
6-8 curry leaves
4 garlic pods
2 dried red chillies
5 hardboiled eggs
1 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
1 tbsp canned tomato paste (optional)
½ cup coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Cut the tomatoes into quarters and place in a large non-stick sauce pan on medium low heat. Add a cup of water to it, mix, and cover. Cook till tomatoes are mushy and soft, stirring and mashing with your ladle frequently. Let it cool. Once cooled, pour into a blender and add gram flour. Blend till pureed.
Transfer back to the saucepan, add 2 tbsp water and let it cook on simmer. Add the cumin and coriander seed powder, red chilli powder and salt and mix well. Bring it to a boil, and let it cook at medium low heat until the raw aroma of gram flour is gone, adding more water if necessary.
Slice the onion finely. Pour oil into a small frying pan at medium heat and throw in the cumin seeds, whole red chillies, garlic and curry leaves. As they start to splutter, add the onions, and sauté till they are translucent. Add this mixture to the tomato sauce being cooked in the saucepan.
Cut the hardboiled eggs vertically into halves. Add these to the simmering tomato sauce. Add chopped cilantro and and heavy cream (optional) before serving.
Note: I did not use tomato paste in my recipe, because I feel it sweetens the gravy a tad too much for my liking. But add a tablespoon or two if you prefer a rich red color.