Tomato thokku or preserve is similar to a pickle,where in pickle making, we sun dry the tomatoes.But in making preserve, we don't dry the tomatoes. I tasted this thokku at my In-law 's place for the first time. It tasted too good.So when my MIL came to Dallas, asked her to prepare the thokku and took pictures. Unfortunately, missed the final picture. After that, I have prepared this thokku several time, but didn't took pictures. So when we planned our "Chicago" trip, this weekend, I know ,what I am going to make. Yes, my MIL's special tomato preserve. The reason, is this thokku stays fresh for atleast a week. We took some idlies,and rotis. It tasted heavenly ,with idlies and dosais. This is a fool proof recipe, I would say and also my Family's traditional recipe.
Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 1 hour (approx)
Yield : 1 kg (approx)
1.Tomatoes - 10 (big) about 4 kg
2.Ginger - 1 inch
3.Garlic pods - 4 to 5
4.Cinnamon sticks - 2
5.Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
6.Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
7.Salt - to taste
8. Cooking oil + Sesame oil - 1 cup
* The more the tomatoes are juicier, the time to cook , increases . So select tomatoes according to the time, you have in hand. Wash the tomato and pat it dry. Cube the tomatoes .Take a blender , add ginger,garlic pods,cinnaman sticks and fennel seeds. Grind them into a fine paste.Don't add water while grinding.
* Take a wide pan. It should be heavy bottomed. Add 3/4 cup of the oil and heat it.Now add tomatoe cubes. Let it cook in medium flame.Sprinkle little salt, for the tomatoes to cook fast.
* After 15 minutes, the tomatoes would have been mashed well.Now add the grinded ginger garlic paste to the pan.Cook it till the raw smell dissappears.Mean while, add oil little by little.
* After half an hour, the tomato would have been cooked well. at this point, add the chilli powder. We can either use plain chilli powder or sambar powder. If we use plain chilli powder, we will get a bright red colour thokku.I mixed both chilli powder and sambar powder.It tasted good.
* Once, the raw smell of the chilli powder vanishes, turn the flame to low. Add the remaining oil to the pan.Thokku will start to shrink in its volume and oozes out oil.Adjust salt to taste. By now the tomato thokku would have shrink to 1/4 of its initial volume.Turn the stove off. Let the thokku cool completely.Store in air tight - sterlized containers.Serve for idli,dosai and chapathi. Even curd rice goes very well.
* Always dry the tomatoes,before cooking it.
* Sesame oil will make the thokku to stay fresh for atleast 10 days ,in the refrigerator,
* We can also saute the ginger garlic paste first and then add the tomatoes. But make sure you don't burn the paste.Because, burnt ginger garlic paste,will give slight bitterness to the thokku.
* Always use clean container to store the thokku, if not it will spoiled soon.Store the thokku in refrigerator .It stays good for atleast a week in refrigerator.
* Always use a clean spoon, whenever you take the thokku.
* Don't add more ginger and garlic, then the thokku will have a strong flvour from the garlic.