Thokku means pickle in Tamil. I’d like to call this chutney simply because traditional Indian pickles have a lot of oil and salt and this tomato thokku has very little of those. It is one of the easiest pickles you can make at home. I usually stock up on these from Grand Sweets ( a store in Chennai) when I go to India. It can come in handy for a quick tomato rice or even as a side for roti/chapatti. I even like to spread it on bread and grill it with mozzarella cheese for a yummy sandwich:)
About couple of months back I got to taste this awesome thokku at our friend G’s house. It was so yummy that I almost made a meal out of it. G proudly announced that it was his mom’s signature thokku and I immediately wanted the recipe and then we all forgot about it until last weekend. Again we were at G’s place, this time Aunt K ( G’s mom) was also at home .We were eating chips, awesome guacamole and pico de gallo made by T (G’s wife) and talking about food. I told Aunt K that we enjoyed her tomato thokku the last time we visited them and magically a bowl of tomato thokku appeared before me on the table. Guess what I did? I abandoned the awesome guacamole( Sorry T) and started attacking the tomato thokku with the chips. Gosh! I died, went to heaven and came back. It was hands down the best thokku I have had in recent times. Aunt K was super nice enough to give me the recipe right there and I made a mental note of everything she said. Next morning i decided to make this with tomatoes available at home while i still remembered the recipe. Yumjay and I had it for lunch with rice and a dollop of ghee and Yumjay had the same for dinner too ( which means he really liked it).Thank you Aunt K for delectable thokku recipe. It is incredibly simple to make and stores well for about couple of weeks in the refrigerator.
5 Tomatoes pureed
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon asafetida powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds dry roasted and ground to a fine powder
1 tablespoon oil
5-6 curry leaves
1. Heat oil in a pan and when its hot, add mustard seeds and cook for 20 seconds.
2. Add curry leaves and other spices and fry for 20 seconds.
3. Add the pureed tomatoes and salt. Mix well.
4. Cover the pan, set heat at medium high and cook the tomatoes. This step takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
5. Once the tomatoes are soft, remove the lid and cook till the liquid evaporates and oil starts separating from the sauce which is now reduced to a thick paste.