Ke Thakkali Thokku | Tomato Thokku Recipe | Tomato Pickle Recipe F

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Thakkali Thokku | Tomato Thokku Recipe | Tomato Pickle Recipe


Thakkali Thokku | Tomato Thokku Recipe | Tomato Pickle Recipe with step by step photos. 

South Indian side dish that pairs nicely with curd rice, idli, dosa, chapati, and other Indian main dishes. It is spicy, sour, and aromatic. Thakkali thokku is a sort of pickle that retains flavor and aroma after being kept in the refrigerator for more than a month. Let's discuss how to create thakkali thokku, a dish from southern India.

    What is thakkali thokku?

    In the Tamil delicacy known as "thakkali thokku," ripe tomatoes are pickled in a sour and spicy traditional masala. It resembles a south Indian tomato chutney almost exactly, however thakkali thokku can be kept for a number of days. This dish is prepared when tomatoes are abundantly available and inexpensive on the market. People buy tomatoes in large quantities and preserve them by making pickles.

    As dosa and idli are two of the most regular breakfast items in my home, thakkali thokku is the one that I prepare and usually keep in my refrigerator. I believe that dosa batter is a simple substitute for chapati and that it may be made at any moment, especially when unexpected guests arrive. Since most Keralans are unfamiliar with this pickle, I can serve them Thakkali thokku, which I do as a special dish.

    Idli and dosa are the two most common breakfast items in my home.  Because I consider them a simple main course, I make a large batch of batter on weekends and store it in separate steel containers in the refrigerator. As we all know, dosa and idli are quick and easy to prepare when unexpected guests arrive. The majority of Kerala residents have no idea what thakkali thokku is. Takkali thokku is another one that I make and keep in my refrigerator on a regular basis. So that I can serve thakkali thokku as a special side dish with dosa/idli.

    When anything is ground up into a paste and served as a side dish, it is referred to as a thokku. The word thakkali signifies tomato. Thokku is a common side dish, and there are numerous variants, including mangai thokku, Hunasekayi thokku, and thurai thokku, in South India.

    In Tamil Nadu supermarkets, pre-made thakkali thokku and mangai thokku are highly popular. In the beginning, we would purchase pickles in bottles, but these days I attempt to make them at home. The recipe I've included here is one I got from my neighbour Pusha aunty, who serves as my mentor when it comes to making Tamil cuisine.

    Ingredients of Thakkali thokku

    • Tomatoes - Tomatoes are the main ingredient in thakkali thokku because, as we already explained, the name thakkali means tomato. You may purchase nadan thakkali/nattu thakkai locally, which is the best tomato to use for the thokku. To illustrate the recipe, I'll use 1 kg of tomatoes.

    • Tamarind - Despite the sour taste of tomatoes, tamarind juice is still used in traditional thakkali thokku cooking. It really keeps the pickle sour and more appetizing to our palates.

    • Gingelly oil - In terms of flavour and shelf life, gingelly oil is the finest option for pickles. The majority of pickles in South India are prepared with gingelly oil or ellu enna.

    • Chili powder -The colors and heat of chilly powder are used.

    • Fenugreek seeds - Flavoring ingredient. 

    • Mustard seeds - For flavor and seasoning

    • Curry leaves - For seasoning

    • Asafoetida -South Indian pickles require asafoetida as a necessary component.

    • Jaggery - To balance the overall flavor, jaggery is utilized.

    • Dried red chilly - To season the pickle.

    • Salt - To season

    Tomato thokku- Expet's tips

    • When choosing tomatoes for thakkali thokku, try to select ripe, juicy varieties. It is necessary to simmer the tomatoes until they are very soft and mushy, much resembling a tomato chutney. It is not necessary to blend the mixture into a fine paste using a mixer grinder. Some like to grind the cooked tomatoes into paste before tempering them especially when they use whole, unfiltered tamarind. However, we are utilizing tamarind juice in this recipe to do away with the grinding step. If cooked tomato paste is used, the thakkali thokku would have a soft and velvety consistency, which is not what we want.

    • A proper shelf life and taste are maintained by using the right amount of oil. You could think that I used an excessive amount of oil in my pickle. To prevent microbial growth when storing, this is important. A thin layer of oil will cover a perfect pickle to keep it from coming into direct contact with the outside environment. This oil will serve as a barrier against outside bacteria that attempt to penetrate and turn the area into a fungus growth zone.

    • In this specific recipe, gingelly oil—known as ellenna in Malayalam and thil ka theel in Hindi—will be used. Gingelly oil is used to provide the right flavor and extend shelf life. You may definitely use any unscented cooking oil if you are only making a small batch of pickles. Sometimes I use coconut oil to create this pickle. However, when using coconut oil, the pickle must be kept in the refrigerator; otherwise, the flavor will alter in just a week. Use gingelly oil, if at all possible.

    • Tamarind was also included in this recipe. Each variety of tamarind will have a different strength or flavor. Therefore, while used, adjust the quantity according to the strength of the tamarind you use. Typically, this dish only needs one small to medium-sized tamarind, around the size of a gooseberry.

    • Asafoetida and fenugreek seeds are the other two flavor enhancers utilized in this dish. Never ignore these two components; they are crucial to obtaining the authentic thakkali thokku flavor. Although you can also use asafoetida blocks, I will be using asafoetida powder in this recipe. The best flavor will be provided by asafoetida blocks when used carefully. If using, break it up into small pieces, roast it until it is crisp, and then grind it with the other two components, such as fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds.

    • In this dish, tomato and tamarind are the two sour components we're using. When combined, they will obliterate all other flavours. For the flavor to be balanced, we must use a very small amount of jaggery. Instead of adding sweetness to the pickle, jaggery will balance its flavor.

    Tomato thokku - Storage instructions

    • The same guidelines for pickle storage apply to the storage of tomatoes (thokku). 

    • Use glass or ceramic containers; steel or plastic are not a healthy alternative. 

    • The bottles must be thoroughly cleaned and sun-dried. 

    • When you place the pickle in the bottle, there shouldn't be any moisture or water present. 

    • Each and every piece of equipment must be dry. 

    • Make sure there is a thin coating of oil on the pickle. If not, use a cotton cloth dipped in oil over the bottle's mouth. Then use the lid to cover. The oiled cloth will serve as a barrier and stop microorganisms from entering the pickle.

    • In the refrigerator, this pickle can last up to six months while remaining fresh at room temperature for more than a month. Due to the pickle's small amount of jaggery content, refrigeration is the greatest method for preserving flavor. When this is kept outside, its flavor could somewhat change.

    Thakkali thokku - Frequently asked questions

    • How do you preserve thakkali thokku?
        Refrigerate the thakkali thokku if it was made in small amounts and with little oil. It might last a week. However, if you prepare it exactly like a pickle, you may either keep it inside the refrigerator for up to four months or outside for a month.

    • What does thokku means?

        'Thokku' is a Tamil word. It refers to a wide range of pickles and chutneys that are created from components that have been mashed or grated. A "thokku" is a side dish made of mashed semi-solid ingredients.

    • How do you eat thokku?

        Almost all south Indian main dishes, including idli, dosa, chapathi, poori, rice, curd rice, etc., can be served with a thokku.

    • Is thokku a pickle?

    Yes, the word "thokku" also refers to several pickles. For example, Mangai thokku, Takkali thokku, etc.

    • Where is thokku from?

        Thokku is a native of Tamil Nadu in southern India.

    • What is the difference between thokku and a pickle?
    A thokku is a type of pickle, but in contrast to conventional pickles, a thokku uses shredded or mashed vegetables. There won't be any large chunks.

    Here are some additional south Indian pickle recipes to try.....

    How to Make South Indian Thakkali Thokku

    Thakkali Thokku | Tomato Pickle Recipe | South Indian Tomato Thokku Recipe With Step By Step Photos

    Spicy and Sour South Indian Condiment With Tomatoes

    Preparation time: 10 minutes | cooking time: 25 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes


    • 1Kg tomato (Nadan thakkali / country tomatoes)
    • 1 gooseberry sized tamarind
    • 4 to 5 garlic cloves
    • 3/4 cup gingelly oil (1/2 cup for cooking the tomatoes+ 1/4 cup for tempering)
    • 3.5 tbsp chili powder
    • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
    • 1 tsp + 1 tsp mustard seeds
    • 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
    • 2 to 3 tsp jaggery (adjust considering the taste of tomatoes)
    • 1 spring curry leaves
    • 3 dried red chilies
    • Salt to taste

    Tomato thokku with step by step pictures

    1. For the Tamil Nadu-style tomato thokku, I used 1 kg of ripe, juicy, local tomatoes. The tomatoes should be soaked and water rinsed to remove the impurities and pesticide. If you have a vegetable scrubber, use it to gently scrape the tomatoes as you wash them.

    2. Next, use a dry, clean cotton cloth to pat the tomatoes dry. If moisture or water is present, it might serve as an ideal environment for microbial growth.

    3. Make large slices of the tomatoes after removing the stalk and set aside. You don't need to cut the tomatoes very fine as they will mash up while cooking.

    4. Take one tamarind ball in the size of a gooseberry and place it in a bowl. 

    5. With your hands, break the tamarind ball, then add a half cup of water. Keep aside for the next ten to fifteen minutes, or until the tamarind has absorbed water and become soft.

    6. We may begin making the thakkali thokku once the tomatoes have been sliced and the tamarind has been soaked. Pour 1/4 cup gingelly oil into a deep-bottomed pan and allow it to heat up.

    7. Put the tomato slices in the hot oil and then cover the pan with a lid. Cook the tomatoes at medium heat until they are tender.

    8. Open the lid as soon as the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked and add the tamarind juice that has been taken from the soaked tamarind. To get the juice out of the tamarind pieces, squeeze them.

    9. The tamarind must be simmered for some time, until the tomato tamarind mixture reaches a medium thickness. It could need to simmer for ten to fifteen minutes.

    10. We will now make the spice mixture. Dry-roast the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds together in a kadai over a medium flame until mustard seeds begin to crackle and the fenugreek turns a light brown color. Never skip these two ingredients since they give our thokku a pickle-like flavor.

    11. Add this whole spice mixture to a dry mixer jar. The mixer jar needs to be sun-dried since moisture hinders the spices from grinding properly. 

    12. Wait a few minutes for the spices to cool down before grinding them into a coarse powder. If using asafoetida blocks, roast them separately and grind them with these two spices.

    13. Now, heat a wok with a thick bottom over high heat. Pour half a cup of gingelly oil into the wok once it has heated up. The tempering process starts here.

    14. Put the mustard seeds in the oil once it has heated up. If the oil is exactly the correct temperature, the mustard seeds will begin to pop right away.

    15. Simmer the flame as soon as the crackling stops. Add the two dried red chilies, curry leaves, and garlic cloves. 

    16. Sauté until the garlic cloves are evenly roasted and a pale golden brown color appears.

    17. The spice powders will then be added; in the interim, you can either maintain the burner on simmer or turn it off. Handle the chilly powders with caution as they will burn quickly. To suit your tastes, adjust the amount of chilly powder. I almost used five teaspoons because I prefer my pickles a little hot.

    18. Start stirring right away to prevent burning and achieve nicely roasted spices.

    19. Once the raw aroma of the spices has vanished, add and thoroughly combine the prepared tomato tamarind mixture.

    20. Add the powdered asafoetida.

    21. Add the roughly ground spice powders.

    22. Add salt as desired. Two sour ingredients mean that we will need between 1.5 and 2 tablespoons of salt.

    23. Cook the pickles until they get thick and the oil separates over medium heat. To prevent burning and sticking, stir occasionally. Test the spices' flavor and make any necessary adjustments. The last component, jaggery powder or syrup, will now be added. Jaggery, as we mentioned previously, will balance the flavor without making your pickles sugary.

    24. Turn off the flame when the pickle reaches a thick consistency and a dark red color. Allow the pickles to totally cool. The pan can be covered with a dry, clean cotton cloth, but never with the lid. The cotton fabric will make it simple for the steam to escape from the pan without affecting the texture of the pickles. If you put the pickle's lid on, the moisture will enter and become water once more. This will shorten the time our pickle will stay fresh.

    25. When fully cooked, transfer to an airtight glass or ceramic container. Use whenever necessary. Enjoy.

    Happy cooking 

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