Depending on which part of Bangladesh one is from, this dish is sometimes called Tok or Tengha. It’s basically a Tomato broth or stew and can be made vegetarian style using just tomatoes, or with fish, shrimp or chicken.
6-8 ripe tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon cooking oil
6-8 garlic cloves
Spices: 1/2 tsp Turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt to to taste
1. Peel and dice the garlic cloves and then fry in a drop of oil (about 1/2 tablespoon is all you need). Fry the garlic until it turns brown. Be careful not to burn it. (If your kitchen starts smoking at this point, you’ve burned the garlic)!
2. Chop up all the tomatoes and add the turmeric and salt. Fry for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes soften a little.
3. Add about 2 mugs of water and let simmer on medium heat for at least 20 minutes with the lid on.
Note: If you’re in a hurry and you have a blender, blend 2 tomatoes and add to the pan whilst in stage 2 above. Check to see if you have put enough salt in. Add more if needed. Then add water as in stage 3.
If you are planning on adding fish, shrimp or chicken, add in once you’ve fried the tomatoes and they turn a little soft. You will also need to add more water (one mug’s worth) and 1/2 tsp more of turmeric since the quantities I’ve provided are for the meatless version of the dish. Also bear in mind, that shrimp only takes about 10 minutes to cook. Avoid overcooking the shrimp as they will harden.
4. Once everything is cooked and the consistency is like a soup, add a handful of fresh chopped coriander leaves/cilantro and remove from heat. (Some people use frozen, but I think fresh is best as frozen leaves lose their flavour and the point is to enhance the flavour of your dish, is it not?).
The aroma from this dish should be filling your kitchen right about now!
Recommendations: Serve with brown or white basmati rice.
Recipe by Sabina Huq