Instant tomato pickle (tomato thokku) step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Tomato thokku is a spicy tangy instant pickle that is served as an accompaniment. This instant tomato pickle is very simple to make and can stay fresh for up to one week in the refrigerator.
Tomato thokku not only tastes great with curd rice or just plain steamed rice, but it is also perfect with idli and dosas too. There are some versions of thokku with ginger-garlic added, but I prefer to skip the ginger garlic and make it in a simpler way. This versatile pickle is something you don’t want to miss when tomatoes are in season.
Tomatoes: Use juicy ripe tomatoes to make the best-tasting thokku.
Tamarind: Adding a little tamarind will make this pickle even more tangy. But if the tomatoes are very tangy, you may skip it.
Jaggery: Jaggery does not make this pickle sweet but it balances the tangy taste very well.
Spices: The whole spices I use are mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, which are dry-roasted and powdered.
Tempering: The pickle is finished with an easy tempering (seasoning) made with mustard seeds, hing, and curry leaves.
Step by step instructions
Dry roast mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Cool completely and grind into a fine powder (steps 1,2).
Saute tomatoes, add tamarind and jaggery to it (steps 3,4).
Cook until the tomatoes get soft and mushy. Add the spice powders and salt (steps 5,6).
Cook completely, then dry out the excess moisture (steps 7,8).
In a separate pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the rest of the tempering ingredients (steps 9,10).
Once the thokku thickens, add the tempering. Mix well, serve immediately or store once it cools down (steps 11,12).
Tomato thokku tastes great as an accompaniment with lunch and dinner. It can also be served alongside other chutneys in south Indian breakfast.
You may toss it with hot steamed rice too. Whisk some thokku with yogurt for a delicious dip.
Tomato thokku served with curd rice
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Tips for making the best tomato thokku
Use ripe and juicy tomatoes for the best-tasting thokku.
Do not add any water to make the thokku. Tomatoes release lots of moisture which it needs to be cooked. Also, adding water will reduce the shelf life of the thokku.
Once the tomatoes are cooked, increase the flame and let the excess moisture dry. The pickle must release oil and should not have any moisture content.
Store the thokku in a clean and dry air-tight container in the refrigerator. It stays fresh for up to one week. Use a clean and dry spoon every time you use it. This way, the thokku will keep good for a longer time.
Tomato thokku can also be stored in the freezer. Cool the thokku completely, portion it, and place it in a freezer-safe container. Freeze it for up to three months. The easiest way to portion and freeze it is by using an ice tray. Place the tomato thokku in an ice tray and let it freeze. Transfer it to a container and store it in the freezer. Thaw the thokku in the refrigerator overnight before using it.
This tomato pickle is:
- tangy, flavourful, and delicious
- great as a side dish too
- good way of using up overripe tomatoes
Instant Tomato Pickle (Tomato Thokku)
- 8-10 tomatoes roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoon oil
- 1½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 1 tablespoon tamarind
- 1 teaspoon jaggery powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon chilli powder or as per taste
- 1 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- 5-6 curry leaves
- Dry roast 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds until aromatic. Cool completely and grind into a fine powder. Set aside
- Heat oil in a fry pan or kadhai and add the tomatoes. Saute for 1-2 minutes
- Add tamarind and jaggery. Mix well, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes
- Add the mustard-fenugreek powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt. Mix well, cover and let it simmer until the tomatoes are completely done
- Remove the cover to dry out all the excess moisture. Cook until the pickle becomes thick and oil starts to separate. Keep stirring at regular intervals so that it doesn’t burn
- In another small pan heat 2 teaspoon oil and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add hing and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds. The tempering is ready
- Add this tempering to the pickle and mix well
- Cool completely. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator
Click here to watch tomato thokku web story.