Stuffed tomato is a savory dish made with tomatoes and several other ingredients which may consist of vegetables, cheese, seasonings, sauces, and flavorings. Stuffed tomatoes serve as scrumptious snacks, which are easy to make and are quite filling for the stomach. The top of the tomatoes is cut off and the pulp is removed before filling them with a delectable tomato stuffing which may vary from one cuisine and one recipe to another. The stuffed tomatoes are popular in several cuisines, with Indian, Chinese, and Italian variants being quite popular. Potatoes act as the main filing ingredient in Indian stuffed tomato dish; capsicum and cabbage are preferred in Chinese cuisine; and the Italian cuisine suggests using carrots as the main stuffing ingredient. Lime juice, tomato sauce, and soy sauce are used in a few recipe variations for enhanced flavor.
Stuffed tomatoes are best relished in the peak growing season when tomatoes are at their best quality. Tomatoes are broadly classified into three categories - cherry, plum, and slicing tomatoes; however, the stuffed tomato dish can be prepared with any variety of tomato. Though a few recipes suggest cooking stuffed tomatoes in a pressure cooker, baking them in oven is a preferred choice. Further, stuffed tomatoes taste best when they are served hot after garnishing them with coriander leaves.
‘Stuffed Tomatoes’ is one such recipe which can have a number of variations, as the tomato can be stuffed or filled with rice or mashed vegetables or even shredded meat. Though the history for Stuffed tomatoes cannot be determined specifically, the recipe has been mostly known in the European region around the late 1880s. The unique preparation and the flavors added in the Stuffed Tomatoes completely depend on the region and the availability of the filling products. The Stuffed Tomatoes are popular picnic or barbeque snacks throughout the world.
Preparation Overview of Stuffed Tomatoes
The simplest stuffed potato recipe suggests the use of firm and small sized tomatoes, grated coconut, finely cut cucumber, grated onion, pepper, salt, lime juice, groundnut powder, and coriander leaves as the ingredients.
The preparation process suggests removing the top portion of the tomatoes and getting rid of the pulp before filling the hollowed out tomatoes with coconut mix. The interior of the tomatoes is sprinkled with some salt before stuffing them with a sautéed mix of coconut, onion, cucumber, lime juice, groundnut powder, and seasonings. The stuffed tomatoes are baked for a few minutes in oven and garnished with chopped coriander leaves before serving.
Stuffed Tomato Recipe Variations
There are numerous ways of preparing stuffed tomatoes, with few of them discussed as under:
- Paneer stuffed tomatoes- this is one of most popular stuffed tomato dishes which is prepared by filling hollowed out tomatoes with a sautéed mix of garlic, onions, green chilies, tomato pulp, and mashed or grated paneer (cottage cheese). The stuffed tomatoes are topped with chopped coriander leaves and some cheese, and then baked for a few minutes in pressure cooker. Alternatively, they can be baked in oven.
- Cabbage and capsicum stuffed tomatoes- this is a Chinese variant prepared by stuffing cabbage and capsicum in tomatoes. Other tomato stuffing ingredients used for this dish consist of carrots, garlic, soy sauce, and seasonings.
- Potato based variant- stuffed tomatoes in Indian cuisine are popularly made by combining together boiled and mashed potatoes, thinly sliced Indian gooseberry, finely chopped ginger, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper. Coriander leaves are used for garnishing the dish.
- Carrots stuffed tomatoes- The recipe for this stuffed tomato is popular in Italian cuisine, which suggests filling the hollowed out tomatoes with a sautéed mix of carrots, onions, garlic, and milk. Salt and pepper are used as the seasoning agents.