Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tomato Oambal

Thanks to RCI, I now know a dish from Nagaland. When I was researching foods from the north-eastern corner of India, I was in for a huge surprise. Half the ingredients were new to me - I hadn't even heard of them. The combinations of ingredients they use were also very different. And I couldn't pronounce the other half! How lovely to live in a country where every state has its own culture and cuisine.

I have traveled extensively in India, and have been to the north-east. And one of the most beautiful states I've been to is Nagaland - the lush greenery, waterfalls and countryside are a sight to behold. And so I was adamant about trying to find a recipe from the Naga cuisine. And here it is in all its simplicity.

Tomato Oambal
(recipe originally from here - I made very slight modifications)

2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp jaggery, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 tsp raisins
2 red chillies, split
salt to taste
lime juice, to taste
mustard oil

Heat the oil in a little pan. Add the mustard seeds and red chillies. When the mustard begins to pop, add the raisins and tomatoes. Continue stirring until the tomatoes start getting mushed and turn a darker red.

Add the dissolved jaggery and salt and let it come to a boil.

Reduce heat and let it simmer until it becomes thick (this took about 15 mts). Take the pan off the heat and add lime juice and stir.

Easy. And delicious. Serve with Egg Shoap.

The chutney had the sour taste of lime with the spiciness of the chilli and the sweetness of the raisins - it was really an explosion of flavors! I just slathered it on a slice of toast and the entire thing was gone in 5 minutes. Lovely breakfast!

Bhags, thanks for opening my eyes to the undiscovered foods of the north-east. Looking forward to trying out more dishes from your round-up!


Sig said...

A totally new dish to me... But I can imagine the tangy and sweet and spicy taste...

Swati Raman Garg said...

right anu .. this even made me make momos too.. even i made a schezuen sauce for it.. i am sure this one will also b a good go with it...

ranji said...

u r right if not for rci we would have never thought of trying dishes from the 7 sister s:)..i am going to make 1 tomo..this looks really good the color..good entry.

live2cook said...

Hi Arundhathi,

We can name it "Tomato relish of India". Wonderful recipe. It will save me on those days when I search for "simple, different and should go well with roti" kind of side dishes. :)


bhags said...

So rightfully said, it made me learn so much of geography and history which I didnt even read in my school i suppose....the tomato ombal looks delish....loved that last pic

Uma said...

looks so colorful and delicious.

Arundathi said...

Sig - Yes it was very different.

Swati - mmm will try your momos soon!

Ranji - thank you :)

Live2cook - Yup :) would be perfect with rotis.

Bhags - Thanks for picking the 7 states!

Uma - thanks!

vandana rajesh said...

Arundathi an award waiting for you at my blog.

Cham said...

U r right Arundathi, many ingredients i ve never seen in my lifetime... This tomato dish looks delish!

Srivalli said...

how lovely anu..the dish looks real yummy...did it taste like our regular chutney?

Jeena said...

So thick and I love the deep red colour, how delicious !

Arundathi said...

Vandana - Oooh thanks - will go off and check it right now!

Cham - Thanks! Isn't it great to discover all those new ingredients, though?

Valli - not really - more like a chunky salsa.

Jeena - Welcome and thanks :)

Happy cook said...

Yumm the chutney looks so delicious.
I can taste the deliciousness but just looking to the pic

Devi Priya said...

Yummy Chutney!. I love tomato chutney!

Madhavi said...

Beautiful dish, lovely recipe, looks awesome, delicious !!!

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Hey Arundathi...what a simple, yet explosive chutney. This is my very first exposure to North-east Indian food...& I'm LOVING it!!

TBC said...

What a lovely dish! I will be trying this soon, Arundhati.:)

Aparna said...

Am hearing of this for the first time, but then RCI this time is discovery time for a lot of us. Sounds delicious.

Shankari said...

This is such a new dish, I am sure it wld taste gr8 with rotis and dosai too

Kamini said...

This looks extremely interesting. I should try this out. I love a combination of flvors and this promises to deliver... Will let you know how it turns out..

Arundathi said...

Happy Cook - :-) Thanks!

Devi Priya - Yup - I love it too!

Madhavi - Thank you!

Pb&b - Yes, so am I! What an amazing theme!

TBC - Do let me know how it turns out!

Aparna - Yes, isn't it! Am so glad Bhags chose these states!

Shankari - Yes, I'm sure it would!

Kamini - Do let me know! Thanks!

skribles said...

ooambal sounds new to me, but from your recipe it looks delish and has a lovely red color ... I love tomatoes, so this is on my must-try list :) thanks for sharing

skribles said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dee said...

Anu , the marriage of tomato and jaggery is beautiful isnt it ?? it sounds so unusual , yet so lovely to the taste buds!

Sunshinemom said...

Looks yummy! RCI-North East has me stumped!

TBC said...

Hey Arundathi,
I made this today. It was unbelievably good! Thank you so much for the recipe.:)

Arundathi said...

Skribles - Do try it - it was delicious.

Dee - yes it is - i rarely use jaggery, so this was very different - i loved it

Sunshinemom - lol, yes, bhags has done a wonderful job choosing these states.

TBC - :D am so glad you tried it!!