This coconut masala is adapted from the lovely book Mr Todiwala’s Bombay. Please also take a look at the okra. The tomatoes soak up the coconut really well and I’ve added a little extra of the coriander seeds and cumin seeds, garlic and a tarka with curry leaves to give this dish more flavour. A tarka is simply oil heated with spices to release their flavours.
- 100g dessicated coconut or fresh if you have it.
- 6 large tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt – add more to your taste
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 large green chillies
- a few tablespoons fresh coriander – about half a bunch
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp chaat masala – you can buy this in larger supermarket outlets
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
To make THEM
- Prework – You will need to soak the dessicated coconut in boiling water for about 40 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 160C
- Slice the tomatoes in half and scoop out the middles but do not throw them away.
- Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan and then crush coarsely in a pestle and mortar.
- Chop the garlic, green chillies and coriander finely.
- Drain the dessicated coconut and then add the turmeric, toasted spices, chopped chillies and coriander, the scooped out insides of the tomatoes and salt.
- Give this a mix til it is well combined.
- Then stuff each tomato half plentifully with the coconut mixture.
- Prepare a roasting tin that will fit all your tomatoes side by side, lightly oil the base and then place the tomatoes in.
- For the tarka heat the oil in a small saucepan and then when it’s hot, quickly add the curry leaves and mustard seeds and then leave them to crackle for a few seconds. You are really just opening up the flavours.
- Quickly pour this over the tomatoes in the roasting tin. Be careful. Oil will be hot.
- Cover this with foil and bake for about 15 minutes and then take the foil off to leave the coconut to brown slightly on the top.
You could have one or two tomatoes with a few green salad leaves and a glass of wine for a perfect light supper or as a nice side dish to a roast dinner.