We are having a Maharashtrian food festival at my home right now. It all starts every few months when my cook, who's a Maharashtrian herself, hands me a list of ingredients to buy because she's had an inspiration to cook something special. And ever since I tasted her sabudana khichdi and usal, it doesn't take a lot of motivation for me to go get coconut, kokam or whatever else she needs. The biggest motivation of all is her tomato saar.
Saar has a soup like consistency and can be eaten on its own. But my cook insists that its a curry to be eaten with plain rice and it's my favorite way too.
To make saar, drop 2 tomatoes in boiling water. Wait for a few minutes and remove. The skin should come off easily by now. Puree the peeled tomatoes. Mix 2-3 tbsp chopped or shredded coconut, a few cloves of garlic, 2 green chillies and 2 tbsp coriander leaves. Grind to a fine paste.
Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan. Add a tsp of cumin seeds and let splutter. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and after a few seconds, the coconut paste. Stir fry on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the pureed tomatoes and a cup of water. Bring to a boil, the reduce the heat and let simmer until the saar has a thickened and cooked through (about 5-7 minutes).