Gujarati cuisines are known all over the country. Their popular snack recipes are cherished and the sweetness they carry in their recipes along with their culture make people fall in love with it. The cuisines range from kadhi, sweet and savoury snacks to varieties of curries varying from sweet, savoury to spicy flavours.

The recipe shared here is called Sev Tamatar nu Shaak, which means a thick curry made using tomatoes and sev. The curry tastes different from any North Indian curries as it has all the flavours- sweet, tangy, savoury and spicy. The savoury and crunchy flavours come from the sev, tomatoes add the perfect tanginess and jaggery is added which balances all the spices and also helps in bringing all the flavours together. The popularity of this dish is not only limited to Gujarat but also Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Sev, a delicious delicacy, was created inadvertently in the late 19th Century. According to the legend, the Mughals were on a tour through this area when they suddenly had the need to consume seviyan (wheat vermicelli). Due to the lack of wheat in Ratlam at the time, the Mughals requested that the Bhil, a group of local tribal people, manufacture seviyan using gram flour. As a result, the delectable forerunner to sev was created. Locals claim that the gram flour seviyan, formerly called as Bhildi sev, is exclusive to this town and dates back at least 200 years. It was first produced commercially in the 1900s. In 2014-15, the crisp, pale yellow gram flour and spice-made sev received a Geographical Indication Tag (GI).

The preparation of this savoury sev includes the addition of cloves, pepper, and other spices, making it unique from other varieties. It is spicy and has a unique flavour thanks to the particular spice mixture. With the addition of carom seeds, it has a crunchy yet soft texture, a powerful flavour, and a thickness that sets it apart from other types of sev.

This tart, fragrant, crispy sev can be used as a snack, side dish, garnish, or ingredient. Poha, a popular breakfast item in the area, is always served with at least two types of sev. Sev is sprinkled on top of cooked curries. 

Here’s the recipe for Sev Tamatar Nu Shaak.

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 15-20 mins

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 large tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • ½-inch ginger (chopped)
  • 5-10 curry leaves
  • 2 green chilli (chopped)
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • 1½ tsp degi red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup fresh tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ¼ cup water
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp jaggery
  • Sev (for garnishing)

Method:

  • In a kadhai, add ghee, mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add ginger, green chilli, curry leaves and saute well.
  • Add asafoetida, degi red chilli powder, and turmeric powder, and saute well. 
  • Add chopped tomato and toss well.
  • Add tomato puree and mix everything well.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes. Then, add water, salt, ghee, and jaggery, and mix it well.
  • Garnish it with sev and serve hot.

Serve this curry with chapatis, phulkas, or rotlas.