Whether they are served as creamy soups, dipped into as thick ketchup while biting into french fries in restaurants, or made into tangy curries, spicy pickles at home, tomatoes are ubiquitous in numerous dishes, both in cuisines worldwide and in Indian cooking. These bright red succulent vegetables are actually the edible fruits obtained from the Solanum lycopersicum plants, that thrive in the warm tropical highlands of many countries like Mexico, the USA, Peru, Chile, Spain, Italy, China, India, Thailand, Nigeria and Egypt. Besides growing abundantly in several parts of the world, tomatoes are also filled with valuable essential nutrients which make them a must-have superfood to include in the daily diet.
Also Read: 5 Health Benefits of Juicy Red Tomatoes
Tomato Nutrition And Health Benefits:
Rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, plus key minerals of potassium, calcium and magnesium, tomatoes boost immunity, regulate blood cholesterol, enrich skin texture, fortify bones and support heart functions. Moreover, they contain profuse amounts of folate i.e. vitamin B9 for normal tissue growth, red blood cell synthesis and nurturing healthy pregnancy, aside from potent antioxidants of lycopene, naringenin, which avert the risk of cancer and lower inflammation.
Also Read: 5 Essential Antioxidants To Add To Regular Diet For Enhanced Overall Health
Tasty Healthy Indian Recipes With Tomatoes:
Surely you don’t need any more reason to stock up on garden-fresh ripe tomatoes right away and look up ways to incorporate them in meals in ways that will tempt the taste buds as well as uplift overall wellbeing. At present, the markets are flooded with bright red tomatoes and if you are wondering how to cook recipes that are both comforting and unique, here they are. This weekend, give your family a delicious serving of good health by preparing these authentic desi dishes of Tamata Pappu – a lentil-based tomato dal from Andhra Pradesh and Bharwan Tamatar – paneer and veggie stuffed tomatoes from Punjab.
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1 cup toor dal
2 big tomatoes, chopped
A small piece of tamarind, soaked in hot water
1 small onion, cut into pieces
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 green chilli, slit vertically
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 cups water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 2 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp urad dal
A pinch of asafoetida
2 dried red chillies, split in half
A bunch of curry leaves
A sprig of coriander leaves, finely chopped
Soak the toor dal in a clean bowl for 25 – 30 minutes.
Transfer the soaked toor dal into a pressure cooker, along with the chopped tomatoes, soaked tamarind piece and water extract, cut onions, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, green chilli, 1 – 2 tsp sesame oil and 3 cups water.
Pressure cook for 4 -5 whistles on medium flame, so that the dal is thoroughly cooked and softened.
Mask the pressure-cooked dal mix, pour it into a clean vessel and set aside.
In a kadai, heat 2 ½ tbsp sesame oil and sauté the garlic pieces until they turn slightly pale yellow-brown.
Put in the mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds and once they sputter, add the asafoetida, red chillies and curry leaves.
Pour the mashed toor dal mix into this tempered blend, add 1 - 2 tsp salt as per taste, stir well and simmer for 2 minutes so all the flavours are completely absorbed.
Garnish the comforting yummy Tamata Pappu with chopped fresh coriander leaves and savour it with warm rice and ghee for a hearty meal at lunch or dinner.
Tomatoes are a storehouse of vitamin C that builds resistance and staves off seasonal infections of cough, cold, sore throat as well as chronic diseases like diabetes. Laden with pivotal essential amino acids, toor dal is an excellent plant-based source of proteins for fostering robust muscles. Tamarind possesses ample volumes of dietary fibres, for enabling smooth bowel movements and enhancing digestion, gut health. Imbued with the powerful antioxidant quercetin, onion protects body cells from free radical damage and prevents cancer. Coriander leaves are high in vitamin A for promoting eyesight, preserving healthy vision.
8 – 10 medium-sized tomatoes
1 cup paneer cubes
2 large potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 medium onion, finely cut
1 green chilli, chopped
1 small piece of ginger, grated
1 – 2 tsp salt, as needed
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
A cluster of coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
Neatly cut the tops of the tomatoes, scoop out the pulp to form carved cup-like shapes and set both the tomato pulp and moulds aside.
Mash the boiled, peeled potatoes, grate the soft paneer cubes and combine them in a bowl, along with salt, red chilli powder, garam masala and coriander leaves.
Heat oil in a kadai on medium flame, add the cumin seeds, onions.
Once the cumin seeds begin to crackle and onions become translucent sans the raw smell, add green chillies, ginger, tomato pulp and salt as required with a little water and cook for 5 – 7 minutes.
In a heavy-bottomed pan, place the stuffed tomatoes coated with a pinch of salt and some oil on top, cover with a lid and cook on low flame for 5 minutes, turning them on all sides until they are soft.
Carefully place the cooked stuffed tomatoes in the spiced gravy and relish this zesty Bharwan Tamatar hot along with roti, chapati or poori for a wholesome meal during lunch or dinner.
Bestowed with potassium, tomatoes aid in controlling blood pressure levels and effectively managing hypertension. Paneer offers plenty of proteins for optimal growth, development of tissues, organs in the body and healthy unsaturated fats for improved cardiac functions. Potatoes comprise vast reserves of calories, carbohydrates for elevating energy levels, combating fatigue, lethargy and also provide noteworthy quantities of vitamin B6/pyridoxine, for uplifting brain power and nervous system activity.