Tomato thokku

Tomato thokku is an instant and handy recipe, you can make as a side dish for idly, dosa, chapati or even for bread. It is just made out of raw tomatoes cooked for about half an hour in sesame oil and red chilli powder. Towards the end, we add little jaggery for that extra special tanginess and ground roasted fenugreek seeds to add pickle aroma. This tomato thokku is used as pickle often times for rice varieties like lemon rice and curd rice. I know the tomato prices can soar as high as rocket but there are also times when these tomatoes are very low in price. During that time, we can make use of the opportunity and make tomato thokku and relish it during the peak season of tomatoes. I believe you like the idea of pickling the tomatoes and using it at a later point in time, but not later than a month :)


7-8 large tomatoes
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
salt to taste
4 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp split urad dhal (black gram)
1 tbsp jaggery


1. Wash the tomatoes nicely, chop them into small pieces. The more finer you chop them, the quicker the tomatoes get cooked.

2. In a pan, add a little oil and roast the fenugreek seeds. Let it cool. Make sure not to burn the fenugreek seeds. Keep low to medium flame while roasting.

3. Once cooled down, add it to a blender and grind it nicely.

4. Take a heavy bottomed pan, add 3 tbsp of sesame oil. Once it gets warm, add mustard and split urad dhal.

5. When the mustard seeds sputter, add half a tsp of ing (asafetida).

6. Then add chopped tomatoes.

7. Then add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix it well.

Tip: You can optionally remove the skin of tomatoes before adding to the pan. For this, boil the tomatoes for 5 minutes in hot water and peel off the skin. Then chop the tomatoes and add to the pan.

8. Let it cook for about 20-25 minutes on high flame. Keep stirring at constant intervals to avoid burning.

9. After 15 minutes the tomatoes look like this.

10. Once the tomatoes get cooked well at about 25 minutes, it starts to ooze out oil to the sides of the pan and thickens.

11. Add jaggery to the pan. Mix it once and saute for 2-3 minutes.

12. Then add dry roast fenugreek powder and mix well.

13. Finally, add one or two tablespoons of gingelly oil and switch off the flame. Spicy tomato thokku/ pickle is ready!

14. You can serve the tomato thokku with dosa or idly. I'm gonna serve it with dosas for today's dinner. Store the tokku in an air tight container and it can stay fresh for a month if refrigerated.


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