Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tomato Thokku/ Tomato Pickle

A few weeks ago, my friend (Virgie) suggested that I should post a recipe with tomatoes since they are dead cheap and are available in plenty these days. So I picked up 2kgs of pretty and juicy red tomatoes. I had to come up with some solution to put them to use before they all go stale. “Tomato Thokku” was the best option I could think of. This tomato pickle can be refrigerated and used for months together. It’s typically a recipe from Andhra Pradesh (with my twist) 

Preparation time: 10minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Serves: many

You need: 

2 kg tomatoes (super ripe)
6 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
1 tbsp black salt (kala namak)
salt to taste

For tempering:
¾ cup gingelly oil (sesame oil)
2tbsp mustard seeds
5-6 sliced garlic pods (optional)


Wash and chop tomatoes into big pieces (ideally blanch them and remove the skin, but I was lazy) 
Heat a non-stick pan. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, cover and let it cook (occasionally, give it a stir and keep mashing them)
Meanwhile, heat a kadhai and toast the mustard seeds (on low flame) Once they crackle, transfer on to a plate. In the same pan, roast the methi seeds and add it with the mustard seeds. Cool and powder the seeds (our pickle masala is ready)

(Almost forgot about the tomatoes?) The tomatoes will be soft and mushy by now. Keep stirring so that they do not stick to the pan. (Allow the tomatoes to cook in the water that it releases. DO NOT add extra water, at any point of time!) 

All the moisture from the tomatoes should completely evaporate (at this stage, some people like adding a tbsp of tamarind pulp) add salt, chilli and turmeric powder. Mix well and let it cook. Keep stirring. Now it should look almost dry (will take approximately 2 hours) 

Heat gingelly oil in a pan. When hot, add 2 tbsp mustard seeds. After it crackles add garlic (if using, you can add a few curry leaves too!) and asafoetida (hmmm…smelling good!!) 

Pour the hot oil mixture into the tomato mix and give it a good stir. 

Add 2tbsp of pickle powder (the one you ground) and stir
Fry for 10 more minutes / till the oil surfaces on the top 
Turn off the heat and allow the tomato thokku to cool completely before you transfer it into a container (check the salt and adjust accordingly)

 Tastes excellent with chapattis, curd rice or dosas too!

Whenever you feel lazy, just remember to pull out the magic bottle from your refrigerator and enjoy!

Yours tastefully!

I am sending this recipe to Cooking With Seeds Event(CWS) by Priya Ramesh and


  1. Oh...Thanks a lot, Binitha! That was really nice of you!!

  2. your welcome Virgie! try it and post your feedback:)

  3. Good receipe of tomato pickle, try to post lemon pickle receipe too.

  4. Thank you Mr.Umesh. I don't generally make too many pickles.But I'll find a good lemon pickle recipe and post it too..

  5. Binitha, I think your blog has an inbuilt mechanism to reject my comments ;( "Coz this is the fifth time i am trying to upload, lets see if it works this time!
    Coming to the topic, I tried this recipe last week. Turned out to be really good. Except that eventhough I used only 60% of the chilly powder quantity that you mentioned, it was quite 'Hot'!!!

  6. hehehe! thank you for taking so much of effort to post this comment. Each comment for me is very encouraging...and about the spice, guess I should start mentioning the brands of the products I use:)

  7. Please email to recipes.Thank you.

  8. Looks and sounds really nice, and I'd love to be able to save or bookmark the page (so I can find it easily) or at least copy paste the whole thing, in order to try out the tempting recipe, but no matter what I do the little window keeps popping up saying the pictures are strictly yours..(which of course is totally acceptable and OK with me - but it would be really cool if I didn't have to copy the recipe down by hand, in these modern times!) I can't even copy a single letter! Not even of the comments, if I wanted to....

  9. sorry about that...please mail me I'll send you the recipe:)