Thakkali Poondu Thokku


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 Asafoetida
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.

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8 comments to Thakkali Poondu Thokku

  • Krishna

    I tried this recipe… it came out really good… i added some extra chilli’s to make it spiceier… as i’m staying alone in a foreign land, this makes it for a easy mix with rice or roti… thanks for sharing this!!!

  • vijipurushoth

    I Tried this yesterday it was awesome dear….. Thanks dear for posting this kind of receipe
    Continue ur great job

  • Mangal

    Hi Mullai,
    I somehow had bitter experience of trusting the recipes taken from net. But your recipe provide it wrong.This thokku i prepared with an intention of keeping it for 3-4 days. But the taste of it made by hubby to finish it to great extent, that we hardly had something for today. Thanks for your recipe and awesome presentation. Your proportion is very precise. Thanks again!!!! I dont look for any other sites other than yours.. :-)

  • Vaishnavi

    Wow Mullai! The pics are too good. The dish also look yummmmmyyy!!!! I’ll make this and let you know how it turned out. Would you mind a different question from me? What camera do you use to take shots of the steps? They turn out too good…Also, could you please post recipe for sabudana (Javvarisi) Khichdi…TIA

  • Cappuccino

    asusual kalakals ! I tried kavi’s tomato thokku, and i loved it. Will try ur version too. Great work. Nice photography.

  • Nithya

    Wow..WOnderful Presentation Mullai…Even I collect and have a bag full of receipe collections from Aval Vikatan but never once i made a thought to make this…ur way of presentation is so tempting & inviting that i cant wait to try this…Hats off Mullai…

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