I am a big fan of thokku varieties. I have a bottle of thokku in my refrigerator at all times. Be it tomato, coriander or pudina. They are so versatile and are always a life saviour. They are a perfect accompaniment to idly/dosa/adai and chapathi. They are perfect as a spread on the bread. Just mix a little thokku to a portion of hot rice and have it with some papad or chips and there you have a quick lunch ready in a jiffy for that really busy day.
Among the various varieties of thokku, if I had to choose one, I would definitely pick tomato. It is by far, my most favorite. There are a number of ways to make this. Here is my way. It tastes really delicious and is our family favorite.
I have used Bangalore Tomatoes, feel free to use country tomatoes, but reduce or totally omit the tamarind as they are more tart. Also adjust the seasoning accordingly. Also please adjust the quantity of salt and chilly powder according to your preference. I have provided the measure I have used, but it may vary depending on the brand you use.
What you'll need
- Tomato – 1 Kg (about 12 to 13 Medium sized)
- Tamarind – a small gooseberry sized ball
- Chilly Powder – 2 tbsp
- Powdered Jaggery – 2 tbsp
- Asafoetida Powder – ½ tsp
- Salt – approx 2 tbsp (adjust according to taste)
- Gingely Oil – ¼ cup
- Mustard Seeds – 2 tsp
- Curry Leaves – few sprigs
To dry roast and grind
- Fenugreek seeds/Vendayam - 2 tsp
- Wash and pat dry the tomatoes. Chop into quarters.
- Heat a heavy bottomed kadai, add the chopped tomatoes, tamarind and let them cook in their own juices. Keep the heat on medium and stir once in a while to avoid burning. The tomatoes should be cooked till mushy.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, transfer to a mixie jar and grind it. You may keep it slightly coarse.
- Heat a heavy bottomed kadai with the oil.
- Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves.
- Add the ground tomato, asafoetida, mix well. Cover with a lid and let it cook on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or till the mixture has reduced well. Keep stirring once in a while to avoid burning.
- Now add the chilly powder, jaggery and salt mix well. Keep stirring till you start seeing oil on the sides of the kadai. Remove from heat.
- Dry Roast the fenugreek seeds until dark brown and powder it using a mortar and pestle. Add this to the thokku and mix well.
- I used Bangalore tomatoes which are not very sour, if using nattu thakkali then reduce the amount of tamarind. You may do without it too.
- After add the chilly powder, salt and jaggery, keep stirring constantly.
- This thokku remains fresh for a couple of days at room temperature and upto a month when refrigerated.
- Use a clean dry spoon.