The super-concentrated tomato flavor of this preserve can be used to brighten sandwiches or turn plain rice into a delicious dinner.
By Radhika Penagonda
Summer tomatoes are supposed to be bursting with flavor. This pickle serves just right for the season. Tomatoes in the pickle taste just like sun-dried tomatoes or even better simmered with the spices! We are voracious consumers of this condiment. A bottle usually never lasts more than a week to ten days at the max.
A few of our favorite ways to use this addictive pickle:
Quick Tomato rice when traveling: We prefer eating some home made food at least a few times. This pre-made tomato pickle comes in very handy as it stores well on the counter for a week easily. Plug in the rice cooker, cook some rice and stir in the tomato pickle for an instant one pot meal in the time it takes to cook rice!
Sandwich with guacamole or avocados: Slather a layer of tomato pickle on toasted multi-grain or whole wheat bread, line up thinly sliced avocado on top, optionally sprinkle with salt & pepper on the avocados, seal with another slice and enjoy or Slather tomato pickle on one slice and guacamole on the other, put them together and enjoy!
Quick tomato pickle rasam: Stir in some tomato pickle into cooked dal, add water to adjust consistency. Bring to gentle boil, garnish with cilantro. Enjoy super quick rasam.
- 12 medium sized Roma tomatoes or about 3 lbs, finely chopped (top sliced off)
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp methi / fenugreek seeds to roast and grind
- 2 tsp roasted and ground fenugreek seeds
- about 10 curry leaves, torn
- ¼ tsp hing / asafoetida
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- a tsp size tamarind (seeds removed)
- 1-1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 3 tsp salt
- In a heavy bottomed skillet, dry roast fenugreek seeds over low-medium heat until fragrant and brown. Be careful not to burn. In a spice grinder, grind it to a fine powder when cooled and set aside.
- Heat oil in a wide, heavy bottomed pan. When the oil is hot enough or shimmering, drop in the mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, sprinkle hing and toss in the curry leaves. When curry leaves stop spluttering, add turmeric quickly followed by chopped tomatoes and the tamarind piece. Cook uncovered on high heat, stirring intermittently until tomato is well cooked. Season with salt and red chilli powder, stir well and continue to cook until the whole thing lumps together and oil leaves the sides of the pan, about an hour.
- Finish off by sprinkling roasted and ground fenugreek/methi powder, stir to mix well and keep aside to cool. When completely cooled, transfer to a clean, dry glass jar with an airtight lid.
- Serve with steaming hot rice and a drizzle of ghee or as an accompaniment for Dosa, Idli, chapathi and the like.