Monday, May 4, 2015

Tomato Pickle - தக்காளி ஊறுகாய்- Summer special - Step by step

          Tomato pickle is my favourite among others. My mom used to prepare this in batches always. During March and April, my mom will gear to preapare vadagam,vathal and pickles. These condiments will last for a year and again, when its all over, she will prepare it again for the next year.This is our tradition for almost 3 decades.During our schooling, we used to sit in the terrace and guard these thing from crows.Fond memories. When my sister and I got married, she used to prepare more and send it to us.So whenever I go to India for vacation, I would pack everything and bring it here. This year,since we have moved to sunny state, I wanted to try my hands in preparing my favourite pickle. Noted all the points my mom gave and prepared this wonerfull pickle. This pickle tastes great, a day after it is prepared. 

Chekc my Travel time Tomato thokku recipe here

Preparation Time : 32 hours
Cooking time : 30 mins
Yield: 500 gm (approx)

For drying:
1.Tomatoes - 9 ( About 2 lbs)
2. Tamarind - goose berry size
3.Salt - 1 tsp

To temper:
1.Methi seeds - 1 tsp
2.Hing - a fat pinch
3.Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
4.Sesame oil - 1/2 cup
5.Red chillies - 20
6.Salt - to taste
7.Garlic pods - 20


* Try to use juicy tomtoes for the pickle.I used these juicy tomatoes.Wash and pat dry the tomatoes. Remove the stems and keep them ready.
* Cube the tomatoes using your knife.The cubes can be big or small. 

* Take the cubed tomatoes in a mixing bowl, add tamarind and salt. Shake them well . Cover the bowl with a muslin cloth and keep it in the sun ,during day time. At night, keep it inside . By the end of the day, tomatoes would have started releasing its juices.

* On day - 2. we are going to strain the tomatoes and tamarind from its juices and arrange them on a clean plate. Place the tomatoes under the sun. We are going to de hydrate the tomatoes. This will increase the shelf life of this pickle.

* When the tomatoes are sin dried, keep the red chillies uner the sun too. This will make the red chillies crisp and will make the red chillies into fine powder ,while grinding.

* On the evening of day 2 , the tomatoes would have de- hydrated and ready for making pickle. Lets start making the powder for the pickle. Dry roast methi seeds to golen brown. Turn off the heat and add hing to the pan. The heat is enough for the hing to get roasted. Let it cool.

* Take the sun ried red chillies,dry roasted methi seeds and hing in a blender and make it into a fine powder. This is the only spice powder,we are going to add it to the pickle. So alter the amount of red chilles accoring to your taste.

* Now take the sun dried tomatoes,tamarind and grind it into a fine paste. (My mom would also add some ginger and garlic to the tomatoes and grind. This will give a good flavour to the pickle. But I have skipped it. Also, my mom, will not marinate the tomatoes with tamarind. She will just pulse the tamarind with the tomatoes.) 

* Grind the tomatoes to fine paste. There should not be any lumps. Now mix the grinded puree and the tomatoe juices together. Keep them ready to be cooked.

* Now lets start making the pickle. Take a heavy bottomed pan. Add oil .Let it get heated. We need more oil ,as it acts as a reservative.

* Temper with mustard seeds. The mustard seeds should be lot ,which will give good flavour to the pickle. Now throw  the peeled garlic pods to the oil. The garlic should be small in size. Bigger garlic pods will not give flaour to the pickle. Saute the garlic pods well.
* Now add the grinded tomato puree to the pan and mix. Start mixing the tomato puree well. Cook the puree in medium flame. Because the tomato puree will start splashing .

* Once the tomatoes are loosing their moisture, add the powdered pickle masala to the pan. Start mixing again. Now check for the spice level. If you want more spice, then just add plain chilli powder ,because we cannot go and dry the red chillies again. ( My mom always asks me to sun dry more red chillies, than needed. so when we want to make the pickle spicier, just grind the extra red chillies in the blender).

* The mixture will start oozing out oil and the pickle will gather like a mass. This is the right consistancy for the pickle.Now adjust salt to taste.Turn off the flame and cool the pickle. 

* Before starting the pickling process, sterilize a glass jar with hot water and dry it completely under sun.This step is essential for the pickle to stay fresh. Once the pickle is cooled completely, transfer it to the glass jar and store. The pickle will stay fresh on the kitchen counter for a week. If you have very bad humidity in your house, then refrigerate the pickle. Serve the pickle with rotis,idli,dosai or even curd rice. My pickle got over within a week.

* Pat dry the tomatoes ,if not it will reduce the shelf life of the pickle.
* We have not used turmeric powder, the colour of the pickle is from the tomatoes.
* We can also grind some garlic and ginger long with tomatoe mixture for a good flavour.
* Instead of marinating the tomatoes with tamarind,we can also grind the tamarind directly along with tomatoes.
* Already the tomatoes are sour so add tamarind according to it. If not the pickle will become too sour.
* If your pickle masala is less spicy, then we can add plain red chilli powder .

Linking this to "Friendship 5 Series ", started by "Savitha Ramesh" and "Geetha Achal"


great-secret-of-life said...

Wow! nice color.. Looks yum!

minnie@thelady8home said...

Wish I could get a jar from you hahaha. Its looking mouthwatering. Feel like having some now.

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