Meatless Monday · Vegetarian Main Dishes

Green Tomato and Lentil Stew

Roopa's Green Tomato & Lentil Stew

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Here it is, the first week in October, and there is sill plenty left in my garden to harvest. My Swiss Chard plant is almost as big as I am, my 2nd cucumber planting has just started to produce, the scarlet runner beans are still flowering, and there are tons of green tomatoes. Realistically, even an optimist has to admit that those tomatoes will never ripen, and those pretty red flowers will never bear beans. What to do? The bean blossom question was easy – they’re yummy & pretty in a tossed salad (did I mention the lettuce is thriving, too?)

So, I went hunting online for a green tomato recipe. 

I was intrigued by Roopa’s Green Tomato & Lentil Stew, which was a finalist in a green tomato recipe contest by The Kitchn (where you can find the original). I especially loved that it was Roopa’s mother’s recipe. I stopped by an Asian market I hadn’t tried before to pick up some toor dal, tamarind paste, and sambar powder. The latter turned out to be curry powder, which I already had at home, but I bought it anyway. Curry powder is actually a blend of spices, and I thought it might be fun to try a new one. I already had the tomatoes, of course, & figured it’d be okay to use some of my jalapeño crop for the chiles. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that although I loved this, my chief tester was unimpressed. I figure that’s at least in part my fault. Apologies to Roopa! Remembering how hot my jalapeños have been this season, I only put half of one in the stew. Then I compounded that error by serving an appetizer: Chorizo-Stuffed Jalapeños. So the poor man had his mouth lit on fire right before trying a new dish that probably didn’t have enough seasoning. Not a wise move on my part! Since green tomatoes only come around once a year, I’ll probably wait the year & try this again with more chiles & maybe a little more of the sambar powder. Maybe he’ll forget he’s had it before 😉 

I do still have a lot of green tomatoes, and Hurricane Matthew is coming. We’re far enough north & inland that we won’t see him at hurricane strength, but there could easily be enough wind to annihilate my tomato plants. So, I’m in need of another green tomato recipe! If you have one you like, please tell me in the comments. You’ll find a printer-friendly version of the recipe at the bottom of this page.

Ingredients:

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6 cups water, divided

¾ cup dry toor dal (yellow split peas)

4 cups of chopped (~½”) green tomatoes

1-2 chopped small green chilies, membranes and seeds removed

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon tamarind paste

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sambar powder

Preparation:

1.) In a 4½ qt. pot, bring 5 cups of the water to a boil. Add the toor dal; reduce heat to medium-high. Cook uncovered until the dal is tender and starting to fall apart, about 30-35 minutes.

2.) Add the chopped tomatoes and chiles and last cup of water . Cook covered for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients and cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar.

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3.) Cook for another 20-30 minutes. The tomatoes should be very soft and falling apart, and the mixture should be thick and brownish/red and have reduced by about a third.

4.) Mix with basmati rice (about 2/3 cup dry rice will make enough cooked rice to go along with this recipe.)

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Green Tomato & Lentil Stew


Ingredients


6 cups water, divided
¾ cup dry toor dal (yellow split peas)
4 cups of chopped (~½”) green tomatoes
1-2 chopped small green chilies, membranes and seeds removed
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sambar powder

Directions


1.) In a 4½ qt. pot, bring 5 cups of the water to a boil. Add the toor dal; reduce heat to medium-high. Cook uncovered until the dal is tender and starting to fall apart, about 30-35 minutes.
2.) Add the chopped tomatoes and chiles and last cup of water . Cook covered for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients and cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar.
3.) Cook for another 20-30 minutes. The tomatoes should be very soft and falling apart, and the mixture should be thick and brownish/red and have reduced by about a third.
4.) Mix with basmati rice (about 2/3 cup dry rice will make enough cooked rice to go along with this recipe.)

 

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