Bell peppers and Tomato thokku / Tomato savoury preserve/pickle
This is a must have in most South Indian homes and a great easy
accompaniment to many dishes, idlis, dosas, chapatis and curd rice.
Adding bell peppers gave a nice twist and a good texture to the thokku making it thicker and pastier. Adding bell peppers is optional, but do try it once.
We also use this to mix plain rice and make a tomato rice
with this. Tastes very good and a great handy condiment to have in every
Varieties of thokku are prepared, with mangoes, citron,
Gongura, bittergourds, and many such vegetables.
Tomato thokku is very popular as it is quicker, goes well
with many dishes and tomatoes are easily
available round the year. Thokku can be prepared in small quantities also when
you desperately need some spicy preserve
to go with your dishes, throw some tomatoes in the blender, puree, add the
other ingredients, keep cooking on a slow flame, it is done while you get the
8 medium size ripe tomatoes chopped fine.
2 red bell peppers , chopped ( Optional )
1 small berry size tamrind.
3-4 tsp Kashmiri
Generous pinch of Asafoetida
To roast and grind to a powder
Puree the tomatoes, bell peppers, with tamrind (
can be added separately ) without adding water.
In a big pan, add oil after heating it , crackle
the mustard seeds, add some curry leaves .
Now carefully add the pureed mixture, which will
cause some splash, so better to switch off the gas after the tempering is
ready, let the pan cool a bit , then add the pureed mixture, this way you can
avoid a noisy hot splash.
Switch on the gas on a medium flame. Add chilli
powder, asafoetida powder, turmeric powder, salt. Cover the pan lightly with a lid
to avoid the splatters as the thokku cooks.
This will take some time , as the thokku reduces
gradually , you need to stir occasionally, keeping the flame on low.
Preparation of any thokku is really no ordeal as it can be done in a separate burner,
while you do rest of the cooking. No need to keep monitoring generally.
After some 20 to 30 minutes approximately , you
will see the thokku has reduced considerably and little oil is floating on top, now add the roasted powdered fenugreek powder to the thokku and
Check for the spice and salt taste and remove
from flame when the thokku has come to a thick pickle like consistency.
Cool well, store in a clean dry bottle.