Rich red, juicy, full of nature's goodness and often tangy; we are talking about a food item that is widely accepted as a vegetable but, surprisingly, is a fruit - tomato. There are so many varieties of tomatoes on the planet that different cultures and countries across the globe use it as a significant part of their everyday diet. We have an amazing collection of tomato recipes with refreshing salads,, zingy chutneys, soul soothing soups and spellbinding curries - there are no dearth to the number of dishes you can be created using them. Enjoy them raw or cooked, tomatoes are hydrating, splendid on taste buds and extremely beneficial for health.
Tomatoes for health
Daily consumption of tomatoes will give you a nourishing dose of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as magnesium, Vitamin B6, C and A, iron, calcium, fibre and potassium. Every 100 grams of the fruit has close to 20 calories and zero cholesterol and dietary fat. Apart from this, fresh tomatoes are also great sources of antioxidants and lycopene, which are great in slowing down the ageing process, keeping age-related skin deterioration at bay.
Including tomatoes in your daily diet can also help in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, aiding in bringing down the triglycerides and supporting heart health. Also, according to a recent study conducted by the American Institute of Cancer Research, lycopene has an ability to act against cell damage that may lead to cancer. Some of the recent studies have also linked high lycopene consumption with reduced risks of prostate cancer.
- Opt for the ones with deep crimson colour.
- The fruit should not have any bruises, wrinkles, fissures or cracks.
- Ripe tomatoes are very sensitive and can lose their firmness with slightest application of pressure.
- Opt for fresh ones over canned tomatoes.
- Tomatoes are sensitive to extreme weather. It is ideal to store them at room temperature away from sunlight.
- Never mix tomatoes with fruits like bananas or apples as they emit a certain gas that will speed up the ripening process for tomatoes.
- Tomatoes should not be cooked in aluminum cookware - it may lead to some kind of reaction.
How to buy and store
Now that the buying and storing has been taken care of, nothing else should stop you from getting those perfectly red tomatoes and cooking up a delightful meal. Just in case you are in need of some culinary inspiration, we have a list of recipes fished out for you to choose your pick and cook away to glory.
1. Bomra's Tomato Salad
Recipe by Bawmra Jap, Owner Bomra's Restaurant, Candolim, Goa
Tomato bits tossed with tamarind, jaggery, coriander, ginger, garlic along with peanuts, sesame seeds and dry shrimp for that extra crunch.
2. Tomato Curry
Recipe by Anjali Dhawan
Tomatoes and moong dal come together to make a tangy curry along with some mixed veggies and chickpea flour.
3. Basil Tomato Soup
Recipe by Chef Joey Matthew
The subtle aroma of basil gets entwined with the tanginess of tomatoes - infused together, these would make a heartwarming soup for your gnawing appetite.
Recipe by Chef Roopa Gulati
Here's an easy-to-make fish delicacy from Chef Roopa Gulati's kitchen. Fresh tomatoes and herbs come together to create a sensational sauce, poured atop perfectly baked fish.
5. Tomato Relish
Recipe by Chef Manju Malhi
A scrumptious relish made with tomatoes along with vinegar, salt, a dash of brown sugar and pepper.
6. Tomato Egg Curry
Recipe by Priya Paul
A sensational and easy-to-make egg curry cooked with aromatic spices and a generous dose of blanched tomatoes.
7. Tamatar Kadhi
Recipe by Chef Niru Gupta
Give your regular kadhi a tangy twist with tomatoes. Presenting, tamatarkadhi, cooked Sindhi style.
Recipe by Chef Roopa Gulati
Tender tomatoes are hollowed, stuffed with a flavourful mix of rice, chickpea and spices, and grilled away to glory.
9. Chicken in Tomato Gravy
Recipe by Chef Marut Sikka
Chef Marut Sikka brings to you a spellbinding chicken preparation in the flavours of tomato teamed with cream, kasoori methi and melon seed paste.
10. Kundapura Koli Saaru
Recipe by Chef Chef Amit Ghosh Hotel Taj Westend, Karnataka
Here's a special preparation straight from Karnataka. Juicy chicken pieces are cooked in a blend of tomatoes, spices and coconut paste