Last week it was time to wrap up the garden. We’d been a little behind back in the Spring anyway, so other than tomatoes and basil, there wasn’t much. But there was a whole lot of tomatoes and basil, a whole lot. So much that many batches of pesto were made, and a heap of green tomatoes got brought in from the garden, to sit in the coatroom in a rainbow bag I bought from an elderly woman in Honduras. To sit there a full week, because until tonight I had no clue what to do with them.
I knew I could always make green tomato chutney. But who would really eat it? I would…And then the remaining 10 pounds would sit at the back of the fridge until we all agreed that throwing the stuff out would be the best plan of action. Tomato chutney isn’t a meal; I needed a meal. And tonight, after a little searching, I found a perfect recipe, one that I now know I’ll be using again (and not just because we still have zillions of tomatoes still sitting in the coatroom).
Yes indeed, I found something wonderful. Resplendent with coconut, raisins, and lots of cumin, the smells wafted through the house. Perfect for the rainy night here. Perfect for the rainy weekend ahead.
It was strange. My mom had denounced the green tomatoes from the start, fearing they would be bitter and awful. But they weren’t. And I guess I felt like making the curry was so impossibly necessary. So incredibly, irrevocably important. Because this whole week, this whole month, has been pretty monotonous Monday through Friday. I need the weekends to do things that are out of the ordinary, things that I can’t always be sure of. Those things that remind you how exciting life can be. How wonderful life is if you are willing to remind yourself of the unlimited possibilities–and that green tomatoes just happen to be the perfect fit for curry.
Green Tomato Curry
Inspired by the recipe here, at Mama’s Minutia
2 Tablespoons butter
2 large yellow onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
5 medium potatoes, in 1 1/2 inch cubes
8 cups green tomatoes, sliced into half-moons of 1/4-1/2 inch (or quarters if large tomatoes)
1 cup chicken/vegetable broth
1/4 cup sugar (brown or white)
1 cup raisins
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (I was using light coconut milk just because I felt full would overpower other flavors)
Peanuts, coconut, yogurt, green onions, ect.
In a large saute pan, heat the the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, then add the garlic, spices, and ginger. Cook for a minute, then add potatoes and tomatoes with broth, sugar and raisins. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, so that potatoes are tender. Reduce heat to medium low, add coconut milk and cook for 5 minutes or so more. Serve over basmati rice.