This flavorful sauce is good on chicken, lamb, lentils, idli's, koftas, and many other dishes. Make lots and freeze it in serving sized portions.
In a large pot (I use a Dutch oven) combine the tomatoes, onions, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and pumpkin with 1/2 cup of water. Cook on low heat until all the vegetables are soft (about 15 mins). Allow the mixture to cool while finding and discarding the cloves and cinnamon stick.
Blend the mixture to a smooth puree in a blend, food processor, or food mill. Rinse a bit more water around the pat and pour that in with the mixture. Take care when blending the mixture if it is anything more than warm. Getting splashed with hot, sticky liquid is not part of this recipe.
In the (semi-clean) pot heat the oil then add the cumin seeds. In about 30 seconds they will start crackle or "splutter". Add the fenugreek stir for 30 seconds then add the chilli. In another 30 seconds add 1/4 cup of water to stop things from burning. You'll want to have the ventilation fan running or be near a window as this process is "very aromatic", especially the hot chilli.
Now add the pureed tomato mixture and splenda. Bring this to a low boil. Adjust the flavor with salt and lemon juice. An extra dash of red pepper can go here if you like things spicier.
Blend the cornstarch into the cold milk and drizzle 1/2 of this into the simmering sauce. Stir as you go and allow the mixture to thicken before adding more. You want to thicken the gravy, not gel it into a solid, lumpy mess.
Simmer the gravy for a few minutes then spoon it over the other food. It goes well with so many different foods both vegetarian and white meats. I've also served it with hard boiled eggs.
The gravy will keep, frozen, for up to 2 months although it usually gets used up a lot sooner.
Each (1 cup) serving contains an estimated:
Cals: 54, FatCals: 12, TotFat: 1g
SatFat: 0g, Polyfat: 0g, MonoFat: 1g
Chol: 0mg, Na: 194mg, K: 294mg
TotCarbs: 11g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 1g,
NetCarbs: 8g, Protein: 2g
Adapted from recipe by Mrs. Tarla Dalal, Mumbai, India
We first experienced this at a restaurant in Dehli, India. It was so good I asked for the chef's recipe. He wouldn't share his, but Mrs. Dalal provided several versions.