Friday, May 23, 2014

Tomato Thokku / Tomato Pickle - South Indian Style

Summer reminds me of the summer vacation spent at grandma's place. While we kids will be busy having non-stop fun, grown-ups will be busy making the summer goodies. Different types of pickles, vathals (sun dried vegetables), vadams (dried ready to make fryums) are made and stocked up for the year. While the vathals and vadams are prepared to make an ample use of the sun in summer, the pickles are made for the availability of the seasonal produce. That being said the market is overflowing with tomatoes and I am making a great use of them. 
Ripe Tomato - 1/2 kg
Garlic - 10 small cloves
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Tamarind - lime sized
Dry Red Chillies - 12-15
Salt - 1-1/2 tsp or taste
Gingelly oil / Sesame oil - 1/3 cup
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Asafoetida / Perungayam - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies - 1

Soak the tamarind in a little water. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds until it slightly changes in color. Allow to cool and powder. Add the dry red chillies in a blender and pulse until almost fine. Add the soaked tamarind and make a smooth paste. In a heavy-bottom saucepan, add the chopped tomatoes, salt, ground paste and fenugreek powder. Allow to boil in medium-high heat until the mixture boils over and the tomatoes cooks through. Heat oil in a separate pan and splutter the mustard seeds, asafoetida and one dry chilli. Pour over the tomatoes and cook in medium heat. Mix occasionally and continue cooking until it comes together and the oil oozes out. Allow to cool completely and store in a dry glass container.
It is not recommended to store pickles in plastic container since the oil could react with plastic. Glass or ceramic jars work perfect.


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