Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thakkali Oorgai - Tomato Pickle

Another Oorugai(pickle)Recipe

This time I am posting a recipe for Tomato Pickle. Generally, pickles are loaded with salt and oil, and that can be the main reason why many people choose to stay away from them. I am one of them, as I need to stay away for health reasons. So I always modify and improvise some food items so that I can enjoy them with out feeling guilty. This tomato pickle is not the usual conventional type of oorugai but will be very tasty as a side dish for curd rice.

To make this you will need good ripe red tomatoes. I used about 20 medium sized tomatoes in this recipe and the rest of the measurements are for this quantity of tomatoes.

Red ripe tomatoes: 20(medium size)

Chilli powder: 5 teaspoons

Salt: 2 teaspoons(you can check the taste later and add a little more if needed)

Gingelly oil: 3 to 4 teaspoons

Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek(Vendayam): 1 teaspoon

Wash the tomatoes and cut them in to quartets and blend them nicely in a mixer.
Pour the ground tomato puree in to a kadai(our conventional kadai or wok is best suited to cook these recipes)

Keep it on the stove in medium and cook the puree till it boils well and just stir it now and then.

When the liquid part almost evaporates completely it will turn into a thick paste like consistency. At this stage add the salt and stir.

In a small kadai (sizzler types) heat the oil and add mustard seeds, when they crackle, add the vendayam and then the chilli powder and swiftly saute it in the hot oil and immediately remove it from the stove. Add this to the cooked tomato paste.
Mix throughly and cook for a few more min.

Switch off once the consistency is reached (please check the photo for that).

Transfer to a container when it cools down a bit and add 2 spoons of raw gingelly oil(unheated oil).

Now delicious tomato pickle is ready to serve. This can be eaten with curd rice, chappatties, idli, dosa and even bread.

A few notes:
Since we dont use too much of salt or oil in this, the shelf life can not be expected as in conventional pickles. It can stay fresh if kept in the fridge for few weeks. But since the ingredients needed are available throughout the year everywhere, I guess there is no need to make this in large quantities and store anyway.

The reason why I boil the puree plain first is because it will be easy to cook that way, if we do the tadka first add chilli powder and then add the puree and cook (as usually done by many in my home too)the puree will start splashing all over when it is getting done and it will be too difficult to stir and you cant leave it open while cooking (otherwise it will be a messy job to clean the kitchen). So by trial and error I found out this method which seems very convenient and easy too. As variations you can add some garlic to the puree while cooking.


  1. wow now we have a pickle recipe too. I make tomato pickle with a slight variation. I add Tamarind juice (filtered) to the tomato puree. This tastes the same to the one you get in Grand sweets.

  2. Yes vidya usually vizag patti makes it by adding some tamarind.She wl actually grind it along withthe tomatoes. I also used to do that way,but then the extra pulipu needs more chilli powder and salt.So i started making it this way and this will be very nice esp if the tomatoes are nice ,ripe, red and has a tinge of both sweetness and pulippu too.At times if the tomatoes are not very tangy then we can add some tamarind paste

  3. And for this particular batch ididnt even add turmeric powder, this isjust the natural colour the good tomatoes and chilli powder:)

  4. hmm ok I will def try making it this way next time.