Tomato Thokku | Tomato Pickle

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Tomato pickle or tomato pachadi or tomato thokku as its called, is a cooked tomato concentrate, spiced with pickle spices, specifically used as a condiment to enhance taste and staple. The most common spices used in tomato pickle recipe is asafoetida, red chili powder, turmeric, and fenugreek with the sourness of ripe tomatoes.

Tomato thokku is perhaps one the simple yet tastiest pickle recipe which can be prepared within minutes. The best part of tomato pickle is it can served either as relish to improvise the staple or as chutney to idli, dosa, adai or even upma recipes. Unlike other traditional pickle recipes, it does not have a strong and pungent flavour and comparatively mild in flavour.

Serves – 250 gms
500 gms ripe tomato,
100 ml oil,
1 gooseberry sized tamarind pulp
1 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp fenugreek + asafoetida powder
Salt as per taste

For tempering:
1 tsp mustard seeds,
3-4 gundu chillies

  1. Wash and towel dry the tomatoes. Cut them into fours and place them in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of salt and set aside for 30 mins.
  2. Remove the pulp of tamarind and set aside.
  3. After 30 mins, the tomatoes would have left some water. Discard this water.
  4. Coarsely puree the tomatoes in a blender and set aside.
  5. Heat almost 3/4th of the oil in a nonstick kadhai.
  6. Add the mustard seeds and once they crackle add the gundu chillies.
  7. Add the pureed tomatoes, tamarind pulp, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and some salt as per taste.
  8. Mix well. Cover with a lid and allow it to cook.
  9. It will take almost 15-20 mins for the puree to reduce and the oil to float on top.
  10. Check for the oil and seasonings. Adjust it if required.
  11. Add the fenugreek + asafoetida powder and mix well. This will thicken the tomato thokku.
  12. Remove from heat and allow it to cool completely before storing it in glass jars.

Important tips and recommendations for a perfect and spicy tomato pickle recipe:

  • Always use ripe tomatoes for any tomato based condiment recipes. It adds the sweet and sour taste the final product with the added spices.
  • When making tomato pickle one has to remember that it spoils much quicker than any other pickle because of the high water content. Ensure to cook the tomatoes well until all the liquid has evaporated from it.
  • I have added 1½ tbsp of Kashmiri red chilli powder which gives a nice color and it should be sufficient for a medium spice level. However if you prefer it be spicer, then you can increase it to 3-4 tbsp as per preference.
  • I have also added a teaspoon of jaggery to cut the sourness of the tomatoes This is completely optional and can be ignored.
  • Use clean and dry spoon every time you use the pickle.
  • Tomato thokku taste great when the right amount of oil, chilli powder and salt is added. Dont cut corners on these things.
Did you make this recipe?
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