Thakkali Thokku: This Tomato Pickle Is Irresistibly Yummy
Image Credit: Tomato Pickle

Mango, chilli, or gooseberry are common tropical fruits used in pickle or spicy condiment recipes. They typically have a sour or spicy flavour, and when combined with basic pickle ingredients, the flavour is simply enhanced. The same achar or pickle recipes can, however, also be made with regional and basic veggies. The thakkali thokku recipe is one such quick and easy condiment. 

A very well-liked and delicious easy pickle recipe made with ripe, juicy tomatoes and garlic pods. It is a well-known andhra pickle dish from the south of India, although it can also be found in other Indian states. It can also be served as a side dish to a straightforward dal rice or sambar rice meal. It is often offered as a side dish or condiment to enhance the flavour of idli and dosa. 

Here’s the recipe for Thakkali Thokku.


For the tomato purée:

    2 cups of chopped tomatoes or about 300 gms or 3 to 4 medium-sized tomatoes

    1 gooseberry-sized tamarind (seeds removed)

Tomato Pickle 

    3 tbsps sesame oil or use any neutral tasting oil

    ½ tsp mustard seeds

    ½ tsp urad dal (split black gram)

    1-inch ginger or 1 teaspoon of ginger (chopped)

    1 dry red chilli (broken and seeds removed)

    10 to 12 curry leaves (chopped)

    ¼ tsp turmeric powder

    1 tsp red chilli powder or cayenne pepper

    ⅛ tsp asafoetida

    Salt, as required

    ¼ tsp fenugreek powder

    1 tbsp sesame oil or any neutral oil

    1 tsp jaggery or add as required


    Blend the tomatoes and tamarind together in a blender. No water should be added during mixing.

    Heat oil in a pan. Add the urad dal and mustard seeds. 

    Fry till the urad dal turns golden and they start to crackle.

    Red chilies, curry leaves, and sliced ginger are now added. 

    Fry for a few seconds, until the ginger’s raw scent fades and the colour of the red chiles changes.

    To avoid burning the spices, all of the frying should be done on a low heat.

    Mix thoroughly before adding the red chilli powder, asafoetida, and turmeric powder.

     Add in the tomato-tamarind puree and give it a good mix.

    Salt should be added to taste.

    Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low to medium-low heat until the tomato puree stops sputtering.

    Remove the lid and continue to simmer the puree on low to medium heat once the sputtering stops. Stir occasionally.

    Cook the tomato pickle combination on low to medium heat for a total of 15 to 18 minutes or longer (both with and without a lid), or until it thickens and you notice oil on the top or the sides. The combination will appear shiny as well.

    Add the jaggery, sesame oil, and fenugreek powder last. 

    Mix together and cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

    When the mixture has cooled, keep it in a little, lidded bowl or a clean, dry, airtight glass jar while you serve.

Use red, ripe tomatoes. The larger type of tomatoes, which are less tangy, as well as the desi kinds, which are more tart and sour, both perform well in this recipe. Add 1 to 2 tsps more oil if you want to preserve it for longer. In the refrigerator, tomato thokku stays fresh for about a week.