A few weeks ago, I hauled home five pounds of juicy red tomatoes for five bucks. They were tomatoes on the vine and were dead cheap for that price, also really juicy and vibrant that I couldn’t resist buying. Had to come up with some solution to put them use before they all could go rancid. This recipe from Aval Vikatan came to my rescue and I ended up making a big batch. Here’s a glimpse of what I did…
|6 nos||tomato (Medium size)|
|6 nos||Sambar onions|
|5 nos||Garlic (minced)|
|1 inch||Ginger (minced)|
|1 marble size||Tamarind|
|1/4 tsp||Turmeric powder|
|1/2 tsp||Fenugreek seeds|
|8 nos||Dry red chili (long)|
|1/2 tsp||Mustard seeds|
|2 tsp||Salt (kosher preferred)|
|1/4 cup||Gingelly oil|
I usually collect recipes from old magazines -especially Aval Vikatan Samayal Kuripugal. I happened to have this old pdf file from “30 Vagai Thakkali Samayal” by Mrs. Revathy Shunmugam from which I have tried a few and they all turned out pretty decent. This recipe is a part of that series,the measurements shown were little too much for me so I just adapted the idea and started on with my own measures and procedures.
To start with… roast fenugreek and dry red chili with a drop of oil. Let cool, grind to a powder form and keep aside. Wash the tomatoes and grind them to a smooth paste along with tamarind.
Now heat oil in a thick pan of kadai. Let the mustard seeds sizzle, then add the onions, chopped ginger and garlic. Fry for few minutes or until the onions start to turn light brown.
Add the tomato puree to the onion mixture. Put the flame in medium, cover and cook over medium flame for 1o minutes. Keep an eye and stir in between to avoid browning on the bottom.
Now add the fenugreek red chili powder along with asafoetida and salt. Let the whole puree thicken, this may take another 15 minutes over low flame. The gravy will splutter everywhere, so keep the flame on low.
Slowly the puree will thicken and oil will separate.
Don’t loose patience keep scraping the pan for the next 10 minutes and allow it to thicken some more.
Finally it will start to stick and roll up like this- almost to a pickle consistency. Switch off. Let it cool completely.
Serve some with Idli/Dosa/Chapati/Bread toast or whatever!! Store this pickle in a sterilized glass jar which will stay good for a week at room temperature and upto a month if refrigerated.
Yield about 1 1/2 cup or (1 small pickle jar size). Original recipe does not include Turmeric but added about 1/4 tsp.