Monday, July 7, 2008

Tamatar Shorba

8 pounds of fresh farmers' market tomatoes and a really hot summer's day. What's a crazy chef to do?

Make tomato soup, of course. Rich tomato-ey, cumin-y goodness.

We've seen this recipe before but it's time for a detailed revisit.

Note the changes as improvements in technique, and also various simplifications.


8 lbs tomatoes (quartered)

2 large red onions (diced)
1 large potato (unpeeled, diced)

4 tbsp cumin (read below!)
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
1" ginger (chopped coarsely)

12 curry leaves

2-3 tbsp cumin seeds (read below!)
2 tbsp "home-made" tomato paste (but substitute commercial, you wimps!)

sea salt
extra-virgin olive oil


Fry the onions at a low heat. When dark pink, add the curry leaves, half the cumin, the peppercorns and fry for a bit. Fry the ginger for a bit. Then finally, fry the potatoes for a while. (All of this frying should be languid and will probably take 20 minutes.)

Add the quartered tomatoes, and turn the heat to an extreme low. Resist the temptation to turn up the heat. After about 30 minutes, stir so that all the tomatoes are dunked in the liquid. Let it cook for another 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are quite soft.

In a separate pot, heat some olive oil. Fry the rest of the cumin, followed by the tomato paste.

Now pass the first liquid mixture through the finest sieve of a food mill directly into the second pot.

Turn the heat on extreme low, and let it simmer uncovered.

Skim, baby, skim. Every 10 minutes.

Let the soup reduce. You are better off reducing the soup beyond the desired consistency and then thinning it as necessary.

1 comment:

Raj said...

If you add some "Beet" you get different taste as well as colour.