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Fried (and curried) green tomatoes

I went to visit a very good friend of mine recently. I've known her for about 15 years, and she's great. She's always warm, welcoming, funny, interesting company. You know what's also amazing about her? She's now she's got two great kids, and they're almost as brilliant!

When I go and see her, food is always something that we enjoy together. She's a veggie, and we always talk nonsense over cake and tea (she's a big fan of Ms Cupcake, and rightly so), make big batches of katsu, or enjoy crisps as a sandwich filling. Yep, that's how we roll.

She lives outside London, and that means she gets that most precious of resources, a garden. When I saw her on my most recent visit, she had a great big stash of green tomatoes that she had set on her kitchen windowsill to ripen.

"Could I take a couple?" I asked. She waved me off with a big bag of green tomatoes, a block of vegan chocolate and some huge bolts of original 70s fabric. You can see why I think she's so great, right?!

All I knew of green tomatoes is that you fry them, and that was sort of what I was planning to do. I had the idea of getting some cornmeal and sticking in some lime zest, chopped coriander, chilli, salt and what have you.

That was until I was lazily flicking through my newly acquired copy of India's Vegetarian Cooking - and saw a recipe for stir-fried green tomatoes with two of my favourite flavourings in - asofetida and curry leaves.


I've never cooked with green tomatoes before, but they've got a tang and an acidity I really liked, and that chimed so well with the warmth of the chilli.

The recipe was a simple one, six or so ingredients. It was gorgeous - I stuck a few red cherry tomatoes in for good measure, and a nice sweetness in the background, and snarfed down with some paratha.

What's better than a good friend? A good friend with a great big bunch of green tomatoes!

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9 comments

  1. A few weeks ago we pulled up a cherry tomato plant so cooked up all the green tomatoes from the bush. I think some were *too* green, because they made my mouth tingle and my stomach cramp up. It was one of the few times we've ever thrown away perfectly good food. So I am a little scarred from that experience, but I think this looks intriguing!

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  2. Oh man, your friend sounds crazy awesome. I have friends who load me up with garden produce during the summer, but it's not because I don't have the space to garden, it's just that I hate gardening. :) But it works out well because come July, everyone has way too much zucchini, and in September, every gardener's garage is covered with ripening tomatoes. Win! :) I've never cooked with green tomatoes before but have always wanted to. That's a gorgeous bowl!

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  3. You're lucky to have a great friend like that. And what a perfect use for green tomatoes. I never think of putting them in dishes, but why not. I should go see if there are any usable ones left on our plants.

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  4. What a great friend to have! I've never tried green tomatoes but want to give them a go next Autumn. Your dish sounds more appealing to me than fried green tomatoes as I'm not much of a fan of polenta/cornmeal coated food.

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  5. Hey, what a great twist on a classic dish! This gives me some ideas...

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  6. You are lucky to have such a good friend, and with a garden to boot. As an urban dweller, not having any outdoor space is my biggest bugaboo.

    Love your take on US-Southern Meets Indian cuisine. (You know if you put a green tomato on a sunny windowsill, it will ripen in a few days, right?)

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  7. Awww, friends are the best. Especially ones who are generous with produce :) I like the spice route you went.

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  8. That's a nice looking dish of food. It's interesting that various green tomato recipes have arisen, I guess out of necessity.

    I saw curry leaves as an ingredient in an Indian cookbook (and in the Indian food store I visited recently), but I've never used them. In fact, the very concept of them confused me because I know of curry as a spice blend, but not a plant. Of course, I've since looked them up on Wikipedia (see Curry tree) and see that they are fairly popular in Indian cuisine. I'm guessing I should try them.

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  9. Your friend sounds absolutely amazing! Stir-fried green tomatoes sound really good!

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