tomato gojju

23rd July 2014


Over the last few days, I have been working in the garden under slow-falling, drizzle of rain, the gentlest of winds and splashes of the warmest of sunshine.  Soaking up the rain, sun, light and listening to the morning and evening chorus, sipping warm tea on the garden bench.  Enjoying seeing all those plants, seedlings and fruits



I ‘m







get to do it




tomato gojju

Inspired by ‘Mysore Style Cooking’ by Sandhya.

I have not made these fermented mung bean patties for quite some time.  With this welcome wave of hot weather, they ferment quickly.  I soak in the night, grind in the morning and ferment all day, ready for dinner tonight.  Perfect with this tomato gojju, a simple carrot palya and guacamole.


3 Tbsp ghee or peanut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp split channa dal

1 tsp split urad dal

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

1 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped 

½ red capsicum, finely chopped

8-10 curry leaves

¼ tsp turmeric powder

500g tomatoes, finely chopped

1 heaped tsp fine rock salt

1 heaped tsp jaggery/brown sugar

1 heaped tsp rasam powder (moderately spiced)

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste

2 Tbsp coconut grated

a handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

to serve 

mung bean pattiesdosa /rice



1.  In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, add mustard seeds; when they start to splutter and pop, add the channa and urad dal – fry until both dal turn golden-brown.

2.  Add the asafoetida powder and ginger – fry for a few seconds, stirring to allow the spices to fry evenly, then stir in the capsicum and curry leaves – fry for 1 minute.

3.  Add in the turmeric powder and tomatoes  – mix well, cover and cook for 15 -20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Add the salt, jaggery, rasam powder, tamarind paste, coconut and fresh coriander – allow to sit for 5 minutes, taste, adding more sweet or sour, if needed.


Goodness shared from Stacey

cherry tomato sauce

5th July 2011


As promised in Stacey’s last post, I have finally finished this ‘Cherry Tomato Sauce’ post.  (Thanks for the pics, Stace).

Ever since sampling the ‘real’ pizzas in Italy a few years ago and hunting down the ‘authentic’ ones here, I have been experimenting with a sauce that replicates the simple version they use.  This is as close as I can get it at the moment. I have discovered that to achieve that ‘real’ tomatoey taste, frying off the tomatoes in hot olive oil, so they caramelise, and a long-simmering and resting time is a must.

After reading Stacey’s ‘Lasagne with a Creamy Basil Sauce’ post, it reminded me of that lasagne I sampled many a time at her place, so I was inspired to make it myself, using this sauce as the base. I did not have any cream, so I substituted yoghurt instead which worked quite well.  Next time, I’ll try ricotta instead of the cream.  A very tasty lasagne, perfect for Winter and perfect for left-overs, which seems to be my eating habits at the moment.

My other favourite uses for this sauce are: tossed through spaghetti and a generous helping of shaved parmesan and fresh, torn basil leaves; or as a pizza sauce on wholemeal Lebanese bread with bocconcini and mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves.  Very simple, and a quick, tasty snack.

cherry tomato sauce

ingredients :

1 large punnet/700g cherry tomatoes

2 Tbsp good quality olive oil

2 – 3 sprigs fresh oregano

3 – 4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 – 2 tsp sea salt flakes

fresh, cracked black pepper

50g tomato paste (approx. 2 heaped tab.)

approx. ¼ cup water (enough to ensure a sauce consistency)

1 Tbsp raw sugar


1.  Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan (should be hot enough so that herbs sizzle when added), add whole herb sprigs (no need to chop) and toss in the hot oil so that the flavour infuses and herbs turn bright green.

2.  Add whole cherry tomatoes (yes, no need to chop), toss so that all are coated in oil and add salt and plenty of pepper.  Leave to sizzle on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.  Mix in tomato paste and sugar.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let stew away for about 1 hour.

4.  Turn off heat.  Taste and adjust seasoning (sugar, salt and pepper).  Use as-is, without straining or mashing (some tomatoes should still be somewhat whole), or if prefer a smoother sauce, strain so that seeds and skins are removed.  I prefer the unstrained version as the chunks are quite tasty.

Serve immediately with a dish of choice (pasta or as a pizza sauce), or if using later, let sit covered at room temperature.  Freezes well in airtight containers.


Goodness shared by Donna

tofu capsicum subzi

2nd February 2010

It has been a dull week in the kitchen, mostly doing everything on auto-pilot without much inspiration and enthusiasm.  Usually, when this happens, afterwards, I explode into an enthusiastic, creative burst of new ideas and newfound courage to try different things in the kitchen.  This curry was the result.  I have also been taking the time to sit in the garden, not working in it, not seeing what needs to be done.  Just sitting and admiring its beauty in contemplative silence.

The tofu I use is home-made, but you can use store-bought as well. The recipe from where the inspiration came used paneer and cream.  You can experiment with this dish in many ways.  Make the gravy richer by adding soaked cashews ground to a paste, or use different coloured peppers to add a splash of colour.

The other big secret is obtaining the freshest garam masala powder.  You could try it in an Indian store or, ideally, make your own, here. If you don’t have garam masala, replace it with rasam powder.

tofu capsicum subzi

Serves 2

Recipe inspired from here.


1 cup tofu/panner – cut into 1 cm cubes

3 Tbsp ghee/oil – divided

½ full tsp cumin seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

1 big capsicum (green or red bell pepper) – chopped into 1-inch pieces

2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

2 medium tomato, pureed/2 Tbsp tomato paste mixed with ¼ cup water

¼ cup water/ cream (optional)

¼ – ½ tsp red chilli powder or less, depending on your level of spice

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp coriander powder

½ full tsp home-made garam masala powder (can replace with 1 full tsp rasam powder)

1 tsp salt


1.  Heat 2 tablespoon ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the tofu, and brown lightly on all sides – set aside on a paper towel.

2.  Heat the remaining ghee and add cumin and asafoetida; when the cumin seeds start to darken, add the capsicum and tomato, cover and allow the mixture to cook until tender but not overcooked.  Keep stirring in between to avoid charring.

3.  Add the tomato puree and mix well – bring to boil.

4.  Pour in the water/cream (if needed) and add chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala, salt and tofu*, stir well – simmer for 5 minutes more on low heat.

Serve with rice, chapati and a simple yellow dal with green beans and cabbage.

*If using paneer, do not cook for more than 5 minutes, otherwise, it will become hard.

Goodness shared by Stacey

Added note from Donna:  I made this last night.  Very tasty, Stace.  As I like my dishes leaning towards the milder spicy version, I would only add ½ tsp chilli powder next time.  Now that I am back home and settled into a routine, I will post the next dish. 

mung beans with tofu & tomatoes

30th June 2009


This dish was first made by our dear Amin, who was with us for seven years before returning to her home country.  She was very inspiring to have in the kitchen as she would invent and whip up a dish in a matter of minutes.  It wasn’t easy to obtain recipes from her, as she always forgot an extremely vital ingredient to make or break the recipe.  Thank you, Amin, for all your beautiful recipes and for caring for us!

If I am organised in the mornings and already decided what to cook that evening,  I soak the dal or beans during the day to use that evening.  This makes the cooking time much less and makes them easier to digest.

mung beans with tofu & tomatoes

Preparation – 40 minutes

Serves 2


½ cup green whole mung beans

3 – 4 cups water (add more if needed)

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp ghee

½ cup tofu cubes (1 cm)

1 or 2 Tbsp ghee/oil

3 small Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

1 tsp rasam powder

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper

1 tsp jaggery

handful of fresh coriander


1.  Wash the mung beans in a saucepan until the water runs clear. Drain, add 3 cups water, turmeric and ghee – simmer for 30 minutes or until the beans break down and are soft.

prepare the voggarane

2.  In a deep skillet, add ghee; when hot, add the tofu and allow to brown on all sides.

3.  Add the cumin, ginger and rasam powder – fry for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and simmer on low for 10 minutes with the lid on.

4.  Pour the cooked mung beans into the tomatoes; add lemon juice, salt, a good helping of freshly ground pepper, jaggery, and a handful of fresh coriander.

Serve with a green garden salad and rice/quinoa.

Shared goodness from Stacey

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