This tomato sauce is a type of flavor base used in Indian cooking called tadka (this one happens to be tomato tadka).  Tadka is the flavor foundation of any dish.  It’s a basic technique or process where oil is heated in a pan, whole spices are fried to bring out their flavor, onions are fried till they turn brown, ginger and garlic paste might be added, then ground spices are added and if you are making a dish which uses a tomato base as well, the tomatoes are added.  If you have browsed through the recipes on this site, you’ll have noticed the first five steps to almost every recipe is the same.

You can make an onion tadka, a tomato tadka, a South Indian style tadka with curry leaves and dal, a Punjabi style tadka with cumin seeds….the list goes on.

This ‘Tomato Tadka’ can be used in any Indian recipe that also uses tomatoes, such as Malai Kofta, Chole and many Dal recipes.  I often like to make a large batch of tadka so I can quickly add it to dishes throughout the week. You can save yourself time by doubling or even tripling the recipe, then divide it into single batches and freeze it for later use.

Indian Tomato Sauce

Makes: 2 cups

cook time: 15 minutes

prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

oil for pan-frying

1 medium onion

salt (to taste)

2 teaspoons ginger/garlic paste (can be bought from any major grocery store)

3 medium tomatoes, diced

1 teaspoon red chili powder (or to taste)

2 teaspoons paprika powder

2 teaspoons coriander powder

1 teaspoon garam masala (can be purchased at any Indian grocery store)

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Directions:

heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions and salt. Adding salt to the onions quickens the browning of the onions.  Let the onions brown and add the ginger/garlic paste.  Cook another 2 minutes.

While the mixture is cooking, puree the tomatoes in the food processor or blender until completely smooth.

Add the red chili powder, paprika, coriander powder, garam masala, cumin and turmeric. Cook for another 2 minutes, then add the pureed tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes, until droplets of oil start to separate from the mixture.

If you don’t have a food processor or blender and are using an immersion blender, dice the tomatoes and add to the onion mixture after the garlic/ginger paste has cooked for 2 minutes.  Cook till they are soft and loose their shape, then add the spices.   This mixture can be blended at the end in the pan with the immersion blender. Since the tomatoes diced instead of pureed it will add about 5 minutes of cooking time.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor and or blender and mix for one minute or until silky smooth.  If you are using an immersion blender, blend the mixture in the pan.

Use as the recipe directs or freeze for later use.  It is easier to freeze in the amounts needed for each recipe so you don’t need to thaw the full mixture.

If you try the recipe, let me know how it goes.  Write me a comment or send me an email here.

Indian Tomato Sauce

Makes: 2 cups

cook time: 15 minutes

prep time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

oil for pan-frying

1 medium onion

salt (to taste)

2 teaspoons ginger/garlic paste (can be bought from any major grocery store)

3 medium tomatoes, diced

1 teaspoon red chili powder (or to taste)

2 teaspoons paprika powder

2 teaspoons coriander powder

1 teaspoon garam masala (can be purchased at any Indian grocery store)

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

 

Directions:

heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions and salt. Adding salt to the onions quickens the browning of the onions.  Let the onions brown and add the ginger/garlic paste.  Cook another 2 minutes.

 

 

While the mixture is cooking, puree the tomatoes in the food processor or blender until completely smooth.

 

Add the red chili powder, paprika, coriander powder, garam masala, cumin and turmeric. Cook for another 2 minutes, then add the pureed tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes, until droplets of oil start to separate from the mixture.

 

 

If you don’t have a food processor or blender and are using an immersion blender, dice the tomatoes and add to the onion mixture after the garlic/ginger paste has cooked for 2 minutes.  Cook till they are soft and loose their shape, then add the spices.   This mixture can be blended at the end in the pan with the immersion blender. Since the tomatoes diced instead of pureed it will add about 5 minutes of cooking time.

 

Transfer the mixture to a food processor and or blender and mix for one minute or until silky smooth.  If you are using an immersion blender, blend the mixture in the pan.

 

 

Use as the recipe directs or freeze for later use.  It is easier to freeze in the amounts needed for each recipe so you don’t need to thaw the full mixture.

 

Related posts: