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Posted by shiyam | September 16, 2016

Spring and Summer are when tomatoes are at their prime. This humble fruit has influenced our cooking in many ways. A hot plate of pasta dripping with tomato sauce, grated Parm and basil with a good glass of wine on a gloomy Fall/Autumn evening is bliss.

Creamy paneer makhani and naan after a couple of gin and tonic during white winter evenings evokes the festive spirit. Makhni is Indian tomato sauce that has spices and is finished with cream and butter. 

I do not do recipes as both Italian and Indian cooking works better on feel. You do it over a couple of times and you get the balance. Tomatoes are tart so to balance that a hint of sugar or honey works fine. 

Tomatoes pair well with herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, mint etc... and offcourse garlic. 

Now let us make a hearty

Italian style tomato sauce 

Blanch tomatoes in boiling water to the count of 20. Shock in ice cold water and peel the skin. Save the skin. Roughly chop the tomatoes.

Roast two heads of garlic, and remove the pulp.

In a pan heat olive oil, chopped herb (preferably rosemary), tomato and garlic, simmer till the excess moisture is reduced, a touch of salt and sugar. That's it. 

Cool and store in freezer bags. Make a big batch to last you through Fall/Winter. Enjoy!

Makhani (the famous Indian tomato sauce)

The most popular BC (Butter Chicken) base is makhni. It makes it self with little effort...

In a thick bottomed pot place whole tomatoes, tomato skin from the Italian tomato sauce and add a cup of water and boil for 25 to 30 minutes. 

Make a spice pack in cheese cloth with cardamom, cloves, bayleaves, cinnamon and  add it to the boiling tomatoes, sprinkle a little bit of Kashmiri chili powder.

Add a handful of cahew nuts and simmer for an hour. Remove the spice pack. Season the tomato mixture and cool.

Blend to a smooth sauce and strain. At this stage you can cool the sauce and store them in freezer bags. 

Finishing: add a few drops of honey while re heating to balance the tartm\ness and finish with cream. 

Science behind tasty Tomatoes is the presence of citric acid and Glutamic enzymes are the secret and the color pigments add to the eating experiece. 

Celebrate Season's!