Some of you may start wondering what happened to me suddenly to start posting a recipe every day. Here is the answer. We are planning to go to India this month. Before that, I want to post more so that I can convert most of my drafts into posts. I am a cooking freak and the pace at which I post never catches up with the pace I cook. Sometimes it so happens that, I even forget the dish I cooked few days ago and keep wondering what is the dish in a particular picture (I can never type in the recipe soon after I cook it, as I get very tired by the time I finish cooking, so no, that advise will not work in my case). So please bear with me for an overdose in next few days.
Now coming back to today’s recipe. I had never heard of tomato pickle till I went to Belgaum to do my bachelors. There, we had a room mate called Swati – a very sweet girl from Andhra. She used to bring big batches of tomato pickles every time she went home. Though her pickle had more oil than what I prefered, I absolutely loved it. I didn’t know abc of cooking then and now that I think back, I don’t remember how that pickle tasted. But I can clearly remember – I absolutely loved it.
So last month when we went to Sunilanna’s home for a party, he served us a ready made tomato pickle. My love for this pickle re-surfaced and I had to prepare it myself if I wanted a good night’s sleep. So I checked the ingredient list on the bottle and recreated the recipe. I was not very sure that it would work out. But considering the feedback I have got from many people for this pickle, I think it was a success. As for me, I simply love it.
I also found out that, the original Andhra version of this pickle has some kind of seasoning – most of the times garlic seasoning. I didn’t include it in my pickle. I love the way it is, as I never liked onion or garlic in pickles(just an acquired taste). But if you like, you can include it. Addition of sesame seeds gave it a very nice aroma.
1/2 kgs firm, ripe tomatoes
50gms chili powder
1 tea spn mustard seeds
1 tea spn sesame seeds
1/2 tea spn turmeric powder
1/2 tea spn fenugreek seeds
1/2 tea spn asafoetida powder
1 tea spn tamarind extract
1-2 tea spns oil
50 – 100 gms salt(approx)
Heat oil and fry mustard seeds, sesame seeds, fenugreek seeds 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.
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.