Tomato Pickle

This recipe does more than just preserving the tomatoes. It gives you a wonderfully tangy and spicy pickle that is perfect with breads or rice.
By Kavitha Iyengar

Preserving fruits and vegetables by pickling them is an age old tradition. This recipe does more than just preserving the tomatoes. It gives you a wonderfully tangy and spicy pickle that is perfect with breads or rice. Not only does it brighten up your meal but you will also be left with the a lingering taste that will not be forgotten for a long time to come.

Tomato Pickle
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Fresh tomatoes & tamarind combined with a whole lot of spices to become a tangy and spicy tomato pickle
Recipe Type: Pickle
Serves: 1 kg
  • 1 kg (10-12 medium) tomatoes
  • 250 ml (1½ cups) sesame (til) oil
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) rock salt
  • 2 tbsp (10 gms) turmeric
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) tamarind
  • 80 grams (around ¾ cup) red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 3-4 tbsp vinegar
  • ¼ tsp baking soda (sodium bicarb)
  • 2 tbsp (10 grams) Jaggery (or sugar) (optional)
  1. Cut tomatoes into 1 inch cubes. Add the turmeric powder & crushed rock salt to it. Mix well & keep aside for 24 hours (1 day)
  2. After a day, the tomatoes release water.
  3. Add the tamarind, mix well and again let it sit for a day. The tamarinds would soften up.
  4. Next day, smash everything together.
  5. Add the mixture little by little to the blender & blend it roughly to form a pureé.
  6. Add the puree to a large bottomed pan along with the red chili powder. Mix well. Let that fry.
  7. Meanwhile, dry roast fenugreek (methi) seeds and grind them to a coarse powder.
  8. To another smaller pan, add 1tbsp oil and heat up. Add the mustard seeds & asafoetida (hing). Once that crackles, add it to the tomatoes on the pan.
  9. Also add the remaining oil and fenugreek seeds (methi) mixture.
  10. Let it cook for. Keep stirring completely, taking care of the sides. Do so every 5 or 10 minutes.
  11. As the oil starts to come out, add the jaggery / sugar & mix well.
  12. You'll have to keep cooking until the mixture is reduced and looks solid. It takes around 45 minutes - 1 hour.
  13. Once that is done, switch off the flame. Add vinegar and sodium bicarb (baking soda) as preservatives and mix well.
  14. Store in a sterilized, air tight jar.
This pickle lasts for more than a year. Use fresh tomatoes. Rock salt gives the pickle a better taste. But you could substitute it for normal salt too. For other variations, try cumin seeds instead of fenugreek seeds You don't need to refrigerate the pickle; although there's no harm in doing so. It lasts even longer
  1. can I clarify, are you using tamarinds or tamarind past? I’ve only used paste before, have seen tamarinds in the shop but never really knew what to do with them! do they need soaking or anything?

    1. Hey Lucie.. I’m using tamarinds, not the paste. You can check out my website for step-by-step photographs.
      They don’t need prior soaking because we’re mixing it with the tomato & leaving it for a day. It softens during the time. :)
      Edible Entertainment

  2. cool. I bought some tamarinds, they looked like hard turds and when I broke them up they contained a mushy centre surrounding pips. I just chucked that in and hope for the best. Tastes less tangy than tamarind paste.
    Also that’s a loooot of chilli! In the process of making it now, I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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