When I say that we all have not one but 2 mothers then you all will agree with me. Today for Mother's Day recipes I have chosen my Mother in law's specialty, Stuffed Tomatoes with Lentils. She was an excellent cook and made special, very different and exquisite dishes. Thus certain dishes were her forte only. I neither had the capabilities nor the confidence to try them out. So, with due respect, I dedicate this recipe to my late mother in law. Today, I cannot serve these to her and see how much I have passed in making these but definitely remember her more fondly. These tomatoes are different in the sense that instead of cottage cheese or potatoes these tomatoes are stuffed with Bengal Gram Lentils (chane ki dal). These tomatoes are undoubtedly a delicacy on its own. But making these stuffed tomatoes is a little lengthy process. This is because boiled and ground lentils are cooked on a slow flame for about an hour or so, till absolutely dry and powder like. But once you taste these all the efforts seem worthwhile. You can have these in breakfast also just like grilled tomatoes. Since these are stuffed with lentils therefore these are filling also. Also, these are best made with â€˜desi tomatoes as these are tangy and sour. Whenever I make these, I make them in bulk so that they last for at least 2 to 3 days. This is a no onion no garlic recipe. Tomatoes are filled with cooked chana dal and roasted. There is no gravy also.Since these have only tomatoes, lentils and oil, therefore, therefore those who are on vegan diet can also go for it. These tomatoes are in fact very healthy. Both tomatoes and chana dal come with a host of health benefits. Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C and are known to be a good source of lycopene, the phytochemical which makes them red in color and significant antioxidant properties, which get enhanced with cooking. The chana dal is fiber rich and a good source of zinc, folate, calcium and protein. It is helpful in weight loss, helps lowering cholesterol and has a very low hypoglycemic index. Earlier we used to make these tomatoes in a pan only but now have shifted to air fryer. I cook these in air fryer and when done then cook for a minute or two in a pan to get that charred look which unfortunately is missing in air fryer.Though this is not necessary but as they say habits die hard and unless we get that look on tomatoes, it seems something is missing. However, you can make these directly in a pan or air fryer or OTG. If making in a pan, ensure that you do not cover it. As covering will make these soggy and the skin would peel off. So, cook them in open pan, tossing in between so that these are cooked from all sides.Also, cooking in air fryer is hassle free and takes very little time as compared to cooking on the gas stove. Instead of air fryer, you can bake these in OTG also. Though these tomatoes taste best when cooked in clarified butter (ghee) but now I have switched over to oil.Hope you will like this recipe and try it out. Try out these tomatoes. Yes time consuming and lengthy process but the end result is simply beautiful.
Take medium sized desi tomatoes. Ensure that these are tight and firm and not soft.
Wash these thoroughly and wipe with a dry cloth.
Remove the cap of the tomatoes.
Scoop out the pulp and the juices inside it. It is best done with a peeler.
Keep the scooped out tomatoes, pulp and juices inside the tomatoes and tomato caps separately.
Scooped out pulp
Pressure cook the lentils. For this add very little water, just that lentils are immersed in it. Cook for 2 whistles. When the pressure settles down, mash the lentils coarsely with ladle only or with the hand blender.
Put a wide wok on the gas stove. Add 2 tablespoons oil (or ghee), scooped out tomato juices and pulp and the grounded lentils. Add salt, red chilli powder and garam masala powder.
It will be very liquidy at this stage.
Cook on high flame for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Now, simmer the gas stove and let it get dry. Keep stirring in between, scraping the sides of the wok. As the mixture gets dry, stirring becomes tougher and requires lot of muscle power.
After about one and a half hours, it will be like this. Once completely dry, switch off the flame.
When cools down, fill this filling in scooped out tomatoes.
Put the cap back and seal with a toothpick or by tying it with a thread all over. If making in pan then it is better to tie a thread.
Or like this...
Preheat air fryer to 180 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes. Brush oil on the tomatoes and keep in the preheated air fryer. Oil is brushed so that the tomatoes donâ€™t get too dry.
Cook for about 10 minutes or till soft and tender.
Remove the caps and Serve with love, in breakfast or in meals.
Or like this
You can store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days easily.
These stuffed tomatoes are best enjoyed in cool weather.