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First principle of cooking:

The most important ingredient in food is Love. That is what nourishes the soul ,the mind and the body. So when you are cooking, try to be in a good mood. Sing, listen to soothing music and sounds, think about loved ones and sweet memories, smile. It will show in the food.


This recipe is slightly more elaborate, and tastes wonderful when made a little spicy! The sharpness of the spice balances the somewhat sour taste of tomatoes.


  • Oil: a couple of tablespoons
  • 2 large onions, diced into pieces of about one square centimetre
  • 10 to 12 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped into pieces of about one square inch (or you could use baby tomatoes chopped in half)
  • 1 square inch of ginger, chopped fine
  • 5 to 7 pods of garlic, chopped into coarse pieces of about half a centimetre each.
  • 1 or 2 green chillis, chopped along the length into pieces of about 1cm each
  • Cumin seeds: half a teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds: half a teaspoon
  • Fenugreek seeds: half a teaspoon
  • Turmeric: quarter teaspoon
  • Garam masala: three quarters of a teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste. Rock salt is tastier than sea salt, and you need less.

This recipe will make 2 servings. To increase the amount, increase all ingredients proportionately.

Important Notes

  • Sunflower or any light oil is best. Indian food should NOT be cooked in olive oil as it burns at a very low temperature. Once any cooking oil has “smoked”, it turns toxic.
  • A gas cooker (flame) is the best way to cook Indian food as the temperature can be controlled immediately. Induction cooking is next best, but it does tend to affect the quality of the food inside (like microwaves, though not as bad). If cooking on an electric coil cooker, be watchful – it is easy to burn food.
  • Use heavy pots and pans to cook. Cast iron is best, but heavy stainless steel (18/10 grade) will also do. Avoid items with non-stick coatings; the coatings are poisonous.


How to:

  1. Put a wide pan on the cooker and allow it to heat a little (if it overheats, wait till it cools down)
  2. Add the oil and watch over it carefully.
  3. When the oil is hot (but before it smokes), add mustard seeds (after a couple of minutes, they will start to pop)
  4. When the mustard seeds pop, immediately add the cumin seeds. They will start to sizzle and release flavour.
  5. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add the fenugreek seeds. Fenugreek burns easily, so wait just a few seconds, and then …
  6. … add onions.
  7. Add salt. Salt is added at this stage because it softens the onions and makes them cook quicker.
  8. Roast until the onions have started turning pinkish brown, then add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillis
  9. Mix everything well and allow to heat for a minute or two, till you can smell the ginger/garlic/chillis release flavour
  10. Add turmeric and mix
  11. Add garam masala, mix everything well
  12. Add tomatoes and mix well.
  13. Roast for a few minutes, then cover the pot.
  14. Check the tomatoes every few minutes. They should not completely turn into puree, nor should they stay hard. When the tomatoes are soft but you can still see pieces, turn off the heat.
  15. Cover the pot again, allow the pan to stand for 10 minutes – the steam inside is still cooking the vegetables.


  • Eat while still hot!
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander.
  • Serve with chapati or as a topping on bread. The inherent sweetness of bread/chapati goes well with the hot/sour taste of the tomato chutney.
Remember: The most important ingredient in food is Love.