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Tomato Vada (Stuffed Tomatoes)

Tomatoes are a very versatile fruit and rich in vit C, vit K and folate. They are also rich in potassium that is beneficial for blood pressure control. Sprouts are an excellent source of protein, fiber and vit C. The proteins and peptides in bean sprouts may also help reduce the risk of cancer by slowing the the growth of cancer cells. All in all, this dish is nutrient dense and delicious at the same time.

Serves 4-6 as part of an Indian meal

This is a very easy to make traditional dish and can be served as starters in a Continental meal. In an Indian meal, it can be served in place of the kachumber or salad or as an accompaniment. The bright colors and the deliciously gentle sour taste and crunchy bite makes it a favorite among children too.


  • ½ kg or 4-6 large tomatoes
  • ½ cup grated fresh coconut
  • 1 heaped cup sprouted moong (green gram)
  • 2 tsps Kashmiri red chili powder or 1 tsp beydgi chili powder
  • 1 very large lime sized ball of tamarind
  • 1 to 1½ tsps jeera-dhania powder (cumin and coriander seeds powder)
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Tempering

  • 2 tbsp cold pressed groundnut or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida


Soak the tamarind in a couple of tablespoons of water to make it soft. Wash the tomatoes and slice off the tops. Remove the pulp in the middle of the tomatoes by running a sharp knife along the inside of the tomatoes and using a spoon to scoop it out. Use this in some other gravy or in a salad dressing. Mix all the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Mash the tamarind with your fingers and add it to the mixture. Heat an iron tempering ladle and add the oil. Add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Turn down the heat and add the asafoetida. Sauté it till you can smell the aroma. Add this to the mixture. Stuff the tomatoes with the mixture. Alternatively add the tempering later to the pot of stuffed tomatoes and stuff the tomatoes with the mixture without the tempering. Put the tomatoes in a thick bottomed steel pot and add half a cup of water. Cover and cook over medium heat for around 5-10 minutes. Check to see if the tomatoes are cooked after 5 minutes and again after 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat once done and transfer to a shallow serving dish.

For the Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) version:

Do not use oil for the tempering. Heat the iron tempering ladle, add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Turn off the heat and add the asafoetida. Sauté it till you can smell the aroma. Add this to the sprout mixture. Stuff the tomatoes with this mixture.

Use rock salt instead of refined salt.

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