Express: Spiced Fried Tomatoes

Another express post!

This time from my all time favorite cookbook ( I have many, I am sort of a cookbook-aholic), Savoring the Spice Coast of India: Fresh Flavors from Kerala by Maya Kaimal. If you are looking for a simple, introduction to Southern Indian cuisine then this is the right choice for you. I have tried many recipes, almost all actually, and each one is more delicious than the other but then again I love Southern Indian food!

Almost all of the wet and dry curries that are included in this book can be made in less than 30 minutes, and the ingredients are nothing fancy, they are most likely already in your fridge and/or pantry. All you need is bread or rice and you have a meal. For last night’s dinner, I felt like having some fried tomatoes.

fried tomatoes 1And now for the recipe…

Serves 6


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 18 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 large firm tomatoes (1 KG), sliced into thick wedges

Combine all spices and set aside. Heat a large frying pan with the oil, toss the curry leaves and leave until you can hear a crackling sound, add the onion until soft. Then add the garlic and fry for a few seconds. Add the spice mixture, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Add the tomato slices and fry until soft. I like them very soft, so around 10-15 minutes.

Serve with warm bread.

fried tomatoes 2

fried tomatoes 3

My aunt makes another version of fried tomatoes that is equally scrumptious. She fries the onion and tomatoes with olive oil, instead of the vegetable oil and I believe the only spices she uses is cumin and a little bit of sugar for an extra sweetness. I look forward to going to chalet each weekend, hoping that I can find it so I can snack my weekend away with it, that is if anything is left from it!

I’ll ask her for the exact ingredients.

Until then,


7 thoughts on “Express: Spiced Fried Tomatoes

  1. How interesting I have never heard of a tomato curry before, do you know if there are any restaurants serving authentic south Indian food here? I wonder if you can help me locating recipe, once my husband and I were invited to a dinner by an Indian couple working with him, and amongst the many dishes we were served, his lovely wife made a dry lady fingers dish. It was simply delicious. They are not in Kuwait anymore and now I find myself craving that dish. I have checked here and all the restaurants I went to make a more liquid curry, I cannot seem to find the recipe or I do not know where to look, can you help pls?

    • I recommend Greenland close to the mubarkiya souqs. It’s in that ‘old’ building where they sell antiques and rugs and bshoot.

      And for the okra dish, what I do usually is just fry some mustard seeds and curry leaves, add chopped tomatoes, okra and ground cumin, until tender. sometimes I stir some yogurt after turning off the heat.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Hi there,

    For the dry okra curry, you do need to fry the okra (sliced crosswise) first, and remove them from the pan. Then you temper the spices and curry leaves in the same pan, add in tomato and fry until soft, then you mix in the pre-fried okra, heat through and serve. To turn it into a wet curry, simply pour in some coconut milk in the end and heat until slightly thickened.

  3. Looks Scrumptious! And love those plates:)

    I know it might be too late for the Recipe for the lady finger but if you are talkin about fry lady finger dish without the tomatoes you probably are looking for this ?

    Cut the 1 kg lady fingers lengthwise!

    In a pan heat about 2-3 tbsp of veg oil. Add Ginger, garlic and green chilly paste. Then add 1 large onion( sliced). Nex comes 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1-2 tsp red chilly powder, 2 tsp coriander powder and 1tsp cumin powder and salt to taste. Add the lady finger and cook till done.

    And yes you can fry the lady fingers separately if you like it crispier and add it towards the end.

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