TOMATO THOKKU / THAKKALI THOKKU
I had bought a kilo of tomatoes accidentally not knowing that there was huge bag of tomatoes lying in my fridge already. Since I had so many tomatoes and I knew that they surely would spoil. I sorted them and picked out the red ripe tomatoes and decided to make this awesome Thokku. (Read all about thokku in this link). Thakkali thokku tastes awesome with curd rice, bread, dosas, chappatis or absolutely anything
The cooking of the tomatoes takes time but the thokku has a shelf life of weeks and you can enjoy it everyday. I have used to 10-12 tomatoes which gives me about 300gms of thokku. If you want more use more tomatoes.
Tomato – 10 - 12
Tamarind paste – 1 tbsp
Fenugreek powder – 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Red chilly powder – 1½ tbsp
Mustard seeds for seasoning – 2 tsps
Sesame (Til) oil – 8-10 tbsps
Wash and wipe the tomatoes. Chop them and grind them in a blender along with 1 tablespoon of the tamarind paste. Blend into a puree.
Now in a wok heat 8-10 tablespoons of oil, Add in the mustard seeds and when it crackles, add in the fenugreek powder, red chilly powder, asafetida(referred to as masala hereon) and salt and fry for a few seconds. Be careful and don’t let it get black.
Now, add the Tomato puree and cook until the water evaporates. Check for salt. If required you can add some more at this point.
Cook covered as the water in the tomato starts to splutter.
Cook until you see the tomato puree starts to leave the sides of the pan and the oil starts separating from the mixture.
This indicates that the thokku is done. Turn off the heat and let the thokku come to room temperature, after which you can store it in an air tight container and enjoy as a condiment with any of the dishes mentioned above.
Yo(my husband) was eating it with bread and saying that it tastes great and my mom has it with her curd rice. You can even add some to plain hot rice, mix well, add some oil if you want and eat it plain with papad. "Thokkun chaadam"(Thokku rice)
This can be stored in the refrigerator for many weeks like any other pickle.
• I had readymade fenugreek powder, for those who don’t have it. Dry roast a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds and powder it to use in the thokku. Make it fresh, it tastes better.
• Once the mustard splutters, the temperature of the oil will be very high, so reduce the flame of the gas to sim and add in the powders and when you see them froth just wait for about 10-12 seconds, be careful don’t let the masala get black. Frying the masala imparts great taste to the thokku. If you are not confident, then you can add the masalas later to the puree.
• For those who like garlic, you can add 4-5 pods of garlic (4-5 for Indian garlic which is small in size), if using the bigger sized ones that we get abroad, make it half of the said quantity. Fry the garlic well after the mustard splutters and then add in the masala. If you want you can use garlic paste as well, but ensure to fry it well else the thokku won’t be aromatic.
• You can add chinna vengayam(madras vengayam/shallots/ mini onions), but always fry them once the mustard splutters.
• My mom usually adds green chillies . If you are using green chillies reduce the amount of red chilly powder, else your thokku will be very spicy.
• My grandmom used to add a bit of ginger. When you are adding ginger, make a paste and fry well after the mustard splutters.
You can try any variation that you desire and enjoy this awesome finger licking thokku.