Having lived in Hyderabad for 12 years, my mother mastered all the andhra style pickles. Needless to say, I learnt the exact methods of Avakkai, tomato thokku, Inji thokku, mahai, gonkura pachadi etc from her.
I am posting two methods for the thokku. One the original long method and one simplified version for busy people. Both are tried and tested many times over. Follow the version that suits you.
- Tomato- 1 kg
- Tamarind – 1 orange sized ball
- Salt – 3 table spoons
- Red chilli powder – 1 cup
- Sesame oil – 1 cup
- Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon.
Original Andhra Style
- Wash and wipe the tomatoes dry. Cut each into 2 pieces and mix with salt in a large container. leave for 1 day.
- The next day, take out only the tomatoes on a plate, leaving the water behind.
- In this salt water soak the tamarind. Place the tomato plate and the container with soaked tamarind in the sun for two days.
- Grind the tomatoes and the tamarind to a smooth paste. Mix the red chilli powder and hing to this paste.
- Heat oil in a kadai on a medium flame.Add mustard seeds.
- When the mustard seeds crackle add the paste carefully and mix well.
- Cook on a low flame covering partially with a lid to avoid the spillage, stirring occasionally.
- This may take around 15 minutes. Once the thokku is thick and the oil float, take off the flame and leave to cool.
- Store in air tight containers in a fridge.
- Wash and place the tomatoes in a microwave safe container.
- MW at 600 watts for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Grind to a smooth paste and return to the MW container.
- MW at 600watts for 1/2 hour stirring once in 5 minutes.
- Store this paste in a freezer container and allow to freeze.
- You can prepare the thokku the day you want.You can also use this paste for other dishes when tomato is not available.
- Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup hot water. grind to a smooth paste.
- Mix salt, hing and red chilli powder to the tamarind paste.
- Thaw the tomato paste and mix with tamarind paste.
- Heat oil in a kadai, on a low flame, add mustard seeds.
- When they crackle add the paste and mix well.
- Continue following steps 7, 8 and 9 of the original method.
Shown below is the picture of pulikaichal, recipe already posted. Click here for the recipe.