I am a pickle lover, I cannot have my lunch/dinner without a pickle. While in India, I had a steady supply of awesome pickles from aayi. After coming here, for about 2 years, I relied on our occasional India trips for the supply. I even bought ready made ones couple of times, which were not even close to what aayi makes. Then I started making my own. I must have made my red and yellow lemon pickles atleast 5 times this year. Everytime we finished them in no time. I made a new batch again about 3 weeks ago, while that is getting done, I needed some other option.
So I made another of my favorite pickles – tomato pickle. The recipe is almost same as my earlier recipe. Every time I make this, I slightly modify the recipe to see if it works. Last time, I changed the spice powder to use our standard Konkani spice paste of asafoetida, mustard, fenugreek. I also gave a seasoning of curry leaves. It had a very different taste. This time, I took the seasoning to a new level by adding 1 tbl spn of freshly made ginger paste(I did not take the pictures this time, Please refer my other tomato pickle recipe for pictures). We loved this gingery taste to the pickle.
1/2 kg tomatoes
1 + 1 tea spn mustard seeds
1/4 tea spn fenugreek seeds
1/2 tea spn asafoetida
1/2 tea spn turmeric
50 gms red chilli powder
10 curry leaves
1 tea spn thick tamarind paste
1 tbl spn ginger paste
Heat oil and fry 1 tea spn mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida taking care not to burn.
Switch off heat and add asafoetida, chili powder and turmeric (stand away from the pan, the strong chili aroma might burn your nose).
Cool to room temperature and powder them together.
In a big thick bottomed or non stick pan, heat 1 tea spn oil. Add all chopped tomatoes and salt.
Cook on a high heat, mixing once in a while to avoid sticking. When all the tomatoes look mashed down, add tamarind. Cook for another 5-10mins.
Add the ground powders. Mix well. Let it cook for another 10mins.
In another pan, heat a little oil. Add remaining mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves and ginger paste. Fry for few minutes and add this to the pickle. Mix well.
Cool to room temperature and then store in air tight container.
It can be consumed immediately, but it tastes great after 2-3 days. Keep it refrigerated. Remains good for 3-4months.
PS: I usually make my pickles a bit more salty as salt acts as a preservative. But my advise would be to start with 50gms of salt and check if that works out for you. It also depends on the kind of salt you are using. Usually after 2-3 days when the salt seeps in, the actual flavors of pickle can be tasted.