It is well know fact that Andhra people love to eat pickles , spicy or mild doesn’t matter. We need some kind of pickles, not the pickles you get in US. I have raised eating mango, lemon, amla and tomato pickles. I remember my grandmother and mom making fresh pickles every summer. They will store them in a big porcelain pickle jars. They last for whole year. Some of the pickles are very good as get aged . I love very spicy pickles and mild pickles depends on what kind of thing you are eating. Now in current world as time is valuable we don’t have time to prepare pickles from scratch and we buy pickles almost all the time. I used to remember the pickle taste my grandmother used to make and compare that with store bought ones, they are way different. I’ll try to make from scratch if I have time and mood.
Now coming to this Andhra Tomato pickle is kind of quick and instant Tomato pickle. This tastes way better than store bought one. It lasts for months if you use dry spoon all the time.
I remember the days when my Ammamma ( grandmother) used to cut tomatoes , which are fresh from farm, and marinate in salt for days. Then sun dry them and in the night add the sun dried ones back into the marination. She repeats this process until all the marination juices are almost dried up. It takes 2 – 5 days. Then grinding them manually with fresh tamarind and red chillies. I think those pickles are good because all ingredients are made fresh and pure from pesticides ..hmm I miss my ammamma and her cooking. I have tried this same procedure for making tomato pickle. I don’t much sunlight in my house so I tried to dry them in oven. It is time consuming but came out good.
This quick Andhra Tomato pickle is adapted from my friend Mom’s recipe. I won’t say this is cost effective because I have used organic on the wine Tomatoes, juicy ones not plum. But I can say this is way better than store bought and you know your ingredients.
Ingredients for Andhra Tomato Pickle:
Tomatoes ( choose good juicy ones)
Red Chilly Powder
Oil ( I like to use Sesame oil)
Methi Powder (Fenugreek Powder)
Urad and Chana Dal( optional)
Red Chilies ( optional)
Garlic pods few ( optional)
Hing ( Freshly grounded makes huge difference)
Making of Andhra Tomato Pickle:
First clean tomatoes. Make sure they don’t have any water. Wipe them or let them dry. Cut into small pieces. Use clean chopping board and knife.
Take a wide pan and add about 1 tbsp of oil . When oil is hot add chopped tomatoes. (Use stainless steel pan and spoons). Keep on medium flame and stir tomatoes once in a while. Wide pan helps juices to evaporate quickly. You need tomatoes to be cooked and 50% of tomato juice to evaporate. Don’t leave the pan and go away. Stay close and keep an eye on it.
Meanwhile if you don’t have methi powder, dry roast methi seeds and Powder them.
You can also dry roast mustard seeds and powder them. (Optional).
Clean and soak tamarind in hot water for faster extraction of tamarind pulp.
Once tomatoes juices are half evaporated add Tamarind extract and continue to cook.
Keep stirring and when juices are gone and if you notice pickle is becoming thicker , add Turmeric , Chilly and methi powders and stir well.
After adding these powders tomatoes mixture will appear thicker in consistency. Keep on low flame and continue to cook. Stir frequently or else a film appears on top of pickle and pickle sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Once the required tomato pickle consistency is reached add salt. Once you add salt , pickle becomes a bit watery. Don’t panic keep stirring on low flame and pickle becomes thick again in few minutes.
Now take a pan and add oil when pan is hot. Add mustard seeds, when they crackle add curry leaves and whole red chillies ,garlic and other tadka ingredients. Once the dal’s turn into golden color increase the flame and add hing and switch of the stove.
Now you can immediately add this to the Tomato pickle or you can cool down a bit and add to it. I have added it immediately. Stir well and store in glass or porcelain bowls.
Andhra Tomato pickle is ready. This tastes good after 2-3 days. If you eat immediately you will taste chilli powder, but if you wait and eat all the ingredients will be marinated properly and chilly heat will tone down.Serve this with rice and hot ghee, idli , dosa , curd rice, rice and dal . We eat Tomato pickle with everything 🙂