Tomato and Capsicum Pepper Curry
How To Make Tomato and Pepper Curry
Serves 2 as a main and 4 as a side dish
- 100ml olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 large onion, finely sliced (retain ¼)
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 5cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 green chillies, chopped
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- 600g fresh good quality tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 large peppers/capsicum, finely sliced
- 100 ml water
- 1 tbs desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp sugar (retain ½ tsp)
Using a large lidded pan warm the oil over a medium heat and drop in the mustard and cumin seed, allowing them to pop and fizz. Next it’s time for the onion (only use ¾), garlic, chilli and ginger combo, slide them in and cook for a couple of minutes until the onion has turned into dusky blonde. Coat everything with everything. Then add the ground coriander, turmeric and paprika and stir until you have a dry’ish mix, shovel in the tomatoes and peppers, pour in the water, season with salt and sprinkle in the coconut and ½ tsp sugar. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid it clinging to the pan’s periphery. You’re looking for the oil to rise to the top, the tomatoes should now look pulpy yet still roughly identifiable and the pepper slices should be soft and compliant.
If this Indian tomato and pepper curry is looking a bit sticky loosen its demeanour with a little water, taste it for acidity levels, and if needed sprinkle a little more sugar. You’re looking for sharp and slightly sweet palette. In a separate frying pan glug in enough olive oil to fry the remaining ¼ onion, cooking for a few minutes with ½ tsp of sugar and 2tbs water over a medium high heat. Caramelise the onion until brown and dress the top of each serving with these crispy sweet strands of allium.
Enjoy this tomato and capsicum curry recipe with fresh hot flatbread and a healthy appetite.
The Maternal Curry Code
“Here you go, I’ve got loads of them, it’s been a good crop.”
My diminutive mother thrust a crinkly plastic bag into my hands brimming with cheeky little tomatoes and a few bold peppers. It had been a bumper harvest. I surveyed her kitchen and tomatoes picked from her hanging baskets were everywhere, peeking from baskets, bursting the lids of plastic boxes eager to share their ripeness and their sweet and sour flesh. But something else distracted my attention. Over the frame of her shoulder sat a pan chuckling away at the stove.
“What’s that?” I enquired.
“Oh just something I was cooking for you.”
As is usual she was hoping to feed me, otherwise she was at risk of breaking strict maternal Asian conduct. Rule No1 in this unwritten code is to feed whoever passes the threshold of her household. I was in no place to refuse. Removing the lid, I liberated clouds of steam, clearing to reveal a chunky stew of peppers, cavorting with chopped tomatoes bubbling with pin head mustard seeds and a stiff waft of ginger. A seething mass of malady busting lycopene and as red as the surface of Mars.
Not an obvious choice for curry in Blighty but a delicious one on the Indian sub-continent, tomato curry is enjoyed throughout India and Pakistan and when scooped with fresh flatbread it’s a gorgeously cheap treat using humble ingredients to produce a dish of princely proportions. It freezes well as I discovered a few weeks later after a late night tipple, this tomato and capsicum pepper curry dish is great re-heated.