Tomato preserve ( savory ) Thakkali Thokku , A spicy tomato-reduction

Tomato savory preserve also called Thakkali Thokku in Tamil is a a great favourite as an accompaniment to theplas ,  rotis ,Idlis and dosas.

It makes a delicious tangy spicy condiment to have handy at home especially when tomatoes are in season and in abundance.

This tomato Thokku recipe has a slight twist !  Have added freshly chopped fenugreek leaves which is not only healthy but loaded with nutrition and medicinal benefits as well.

Normally Thokku is prepared by reduction of tomatoes and adding among other spices some roasted powdered fenugreek seed powder which is the main ingredient that gives such a wonderful  aroma to the  Thokku.

I decided to add some finely chopped fresh fenugreek leaves which really gave a wonderful taste and aroma to the tangy spicy Thokku .


10 medium size Tomatoes
1 cup finely chopped fenugreek leaves
 6 tbsp sesame oil 
1 tsp Mustard 
1 tsp Chana dal 
1/2 tspbFenugreek Seeds ( optional as fresh fenugreek leaves are already used  ) 
1 sprig of Curry Leaves 
A generous pinch of asafoetida powder
4 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder. 
Salt to taste

Method can either  pulse  the tomatoes in a food processor or finely chop them. If you pulse them , the tomatoes  will become more watery but that's  ok. Will take more time to thicken. Another option is to blanch the tomatoes  in hot boiling water, peel the skin.then purée it. I simply chop them to small pieces and cook them till it reduces. We also like the  texture of Thokku made in  this manner. Your choice. heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add mustard seeds a let it splutter.

3. When it sputters, add the chana dal ,let it turn golden ,  add fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and hing.

4. When it sizzles, add tomatoes. Add the chopped fenugreek leaves too. 

5. Cook till the tomatoes and the fenugreek leaves  reduces and thickens and oil starts to ooze. Keep stirring.

6. Keep the flame on a low and let it cook till smooth,  glossy and thick.

7. Remove from flame , let it cool Completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use a clean dry spoon  every time.


* microwave reduces cooking time. 

* Any oil will work. But Sesame Oil tastes great. 

* You can use more or less oil as per your preference . Typically Thokku is a kind of pickle and needs little more oil for preserving .

* this is such a handy condiment to have and can  be used in variety of ways .

* as a paste to mix with plain rice .

* If you have run out of tomatoes to make rasam this can be used , though the methi taste may be little more evident . As a taste enhancer  can be used in sambar.