Folks! Folks! Folks! What are you guys upto? I am sitting by my kitchen window with my laptop perched on a collapsible table (which I so love!) writing this post in a semi sleepy state. I want to get back to blogging so badly but then laziness overrides every need to be productive whilst on a holiday. Well, the kids have another few days to go before the new academic year starts, so we are collectively making the most of it. Decluttering and cleaning is happening in full swing. Charity bags are making their way towards the doorway, ready to be hauled up and taken to the local charity. In the midst of this chaos I am hardly in the mood to cook up a storm in the kitchen. During such times I fall back on my tried and tested, simple yet delicious recipes. One such recipe is today's Tomato Saar (which roughly means clear soup/rasam) which I have grown up eating. My grandma always made it whenever we showed up for a meal and she didn't have time to make something elaborate. It helped that she had a steady supply of bouillon (pronounced as 'boo-yon') cubes which her children living in the Gulf would bring on their annual trips. All of my grandma's daughters, that includes my mum, carried the tradition forward - of falling back on the ever reliable, unassuming tomato saar when there was either no mood or time or inclination to make anything fancy. Now we, my female cousins and I have carried forward the same tradition and make the most of the bouillon cubes that we rarely use otherwise owing to the load of preservatives but won't bat an eyelid if we have to cook something to feed hungry stomachs in less than 10 minutes. Yeah, seriously, we are like that :-)
This recipe is suitable for the novice cook - bachelors and newly weds who want something quick and easy. It helps if you have homemade stock but that would be asking for too much right? Just go ahead and use those soup cubes! And oh wait! It tastes best with a bowl of piping hot white rice and some fried fish to go with it!
Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5-10 mins | Serves: 4
- 3 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 medium-big onion, finely chopped
- 2 soup cubes (bouillon)
- 1 or 1-1/2 cups water
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped coriander
- freshly ground pepper to taste or 1-/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Mangalorean Stew Powder or Bafat powder
- 2-3 teaspoons oil
- salt to taste
1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions till they turn pale (translucent). Do not brown them or they will taste sweet.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry well. Add the bouillon cubes as they will speed up the frying process. If you are going to use stock, then add salt instead of the bouillon cubes.
3. When the tomatoes have turned mushy add the water (or stock if using). Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Adjust consistency of the saar by adding more water if required.
4. Add the ground pepper or stew powder or bafat powder to taste. Throw in the chopped coriander and give the mixture one boil.
5. Remove from heat and serve hot!
1. If you have ready made/homemade clear stock (chicken or vegetable) you can use that instead of using plain water. In this case don't use the bouillon cubes and also adjust salt as required.