I always wondered about food magazine editors who put out a December Christmas issue in the beginning of November, when are they testing all those cookies, turkeys and hams?  Then I read an article by one who talked of reindeer cookie cutters at the 4th of July.  I realized that by the location of Austin versus some of you northerners, I will have the opportunity to post something pre-season that you can file away for a month or two down the road.  We are in the thick of tomato season here, each 95 degree day yields a whole basket full of sweet, red, deliciousness.  This recipe is great for fresh garden tomatoes, but you can also sub canned (whole, diced) at any time of year.  The curry flavor is subtle, coming from the mustard seeds, cumin and cinnamon – its more of a variation on Italian tomato sauce to serve over rice instead of noodles.

The varieties of tomatoes shown: Matt’s wildcherry (marble sized), Juliet (mini-roma), Black Cherry (purple) and Early Girl.  A tip on the mustard seed, since I think this is not a common one to stock: look for a grocery store that carries bulk spices, like Whole Foods, and just buy what you need.

Tomato Curry (adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook)

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 bell or 2 small spicy peppers (depending on if you want it hot), chopped
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups tomato puree (from fresh or canned)
  • 6 medium tomatoes, chopped (or equivalent from cherry)
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu, cubed
  • cilantro, thai basil, for garnish
  1. Heat the oil over med high heat.  Add the mustard seeds and cover until they pop.
  2. Add onion, salt, ginger, garlic and pepper.  Continue to cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add spices and cook for a minute until fragrant.  Add tomato puree and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add tofu and warm through.  Top with cilantro and serve over rice.  Some plain yogurt on the side is nice to balance it too.
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