Friday, February 4, 2011

Tomato Thokku (Indian version of Salsa)

It is a commonplace to find Tomato Thokku in the kitchens(rather refrigerators) of South India. I can describe it as the Indian-spiced concentrate of tomatoes. This makes a good side-dish for rotis/chapathis, goes well with rice, can be used as a bread spread or can even be eaten by itself, just like that :) Tomato thokku, really, is versatile, isn't it? This has made my guests go - wow!

Tomato Thokku/ Tomato Chutney / Thakkali Chutney

There are a couple of variations in the way this is made and I'm gonna describe the way my mom makes it. This is very simple and tastes yummy :) You can store this in a sealed container for up to 10 days in the refrigerator. But don't be surprised if the bottle is emptied in just a day or two :)  Make sure you use a dry spoon every time, while serving.


What You Need:

Ripe tomatoes - 8 to 10
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder  - 2-3 tsp (adjust according to your family's spice level)
Turmeric powder / Haldi - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp (or as required)


Oil - 3 tsp
Mustard seeds(black) - 1 tsp
Urad dhall/ Black gram dal - 1 tsp
Asafoetida / Hing - 3 drizzles 

Final touch:

Jeera powder/ Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Sugar or Jaggery - to taste (I prefer jaggery)

How My Mom Makes It:

  • Soak the tomatoes in hot water for 15 minutes.
  • Peel off the skin and mash the flesh of tomatoes (They are partly cooked by now, so it's easier to mash using a potato masher).
  • Alternatively, you can just blend the tomatoes directly in an electric mixer/blender and get the juice from it. I'm just lazy, so I do this way :P

  • Take a deep pan and pour oil and do the tempering  (add mustard, urad dhall and hing). Wait until the urad dhall turns golden from white color.  This gives off a nice aroma and I just love it :)

  • Add Ginger-garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes. If you're using fresg ginger and garlic, blend them together with tomatoes and pour on to the pan.
  • Now, pour the juice of tomatoes and add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.

  • Mix well, Keep it covered (for it will splash all over) and allow it to boil. 

  • This takes about 20-30 minutes in Low-Medium flame. So, set an alarm and go and watch your favorite channel on TV :)

  • Keep stirring until it reduces in volume and becomes kinda thick.

  • Give your final touch by adding Jeera powder, Curry Powder, Ghee and Sugar/Jaggery. Of course, the ghee(clarified butter) and jaggery are optional, but it's always a good option to stock up your kitchen and keep these in your pantry, for you'll love these flavors, definitely! :)  The health-conscious can avoid ghee and sugar.

  • Turn off after 3 minutes.

  • When it has cooled, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Go ahead, taste it :)

Sending this to Srivalli's Condiment Mela

1 comment:

  1. That's a lovely chutney!..thanks for sending it for the mela..


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