Saturday, August 27, 2011

Green - Raw minced tomatoes Pickle (thokku)

'Oh what a week' set to the tune of 'Oh what a night!' would best describe the week that just passed [I did not come up with that, I read it somewhere and thought it was perfect]. The events of the week have not all settled yet. Irene the hurricane is a few hours away as I type this.

During an earthquake it is best to stay inside under a sturdy table or a doorway and not rush outside I read in the papers the next day. I certainly did not know and did not have the time to think, my legs involuntarily carried me through the exit and outside at the same moment everyone else came streaming out the building.

floating oil - indication that the pickle is done

Irene which was a faint rumble(no pun intended) was put aside when the earth quake became the focus. After a couple of days it is back to Irene and citizens are exhorted to move out. Different natural furies call for different reactions!. Mandatory evacuations? The freedom to move out or stay put should be made by citizens not government no? Shouldn't the government stop with letting people know what the dangers are?

Perfect on toast

As of last night the storm has been downgraded to Category 1 but the TV channels just can't seem to wind down the hysteria they started. Grocery stores in our area are briskly selling milk, bread and toilet paper, added to the generators and grills. Hopefully Irene won't live up to its hyped reputation and the damage will be limited. For most inland areas including ours the danger is in the winds and that is what worries me the most.

morning breakfast - bread, add a fried egg, spread with the delicious tomato pickle

On to the recipe,
My garden this year has not been productive. I am still not sure if it was the unrelenting heat of July or the stink bugs doing their thing. Most vegetable plants seem to bloom but fruit never set. I know the stink bugs are very destructive and damage young fruit. As for the tomatoes the fruit starting to ripen early in August were getting destroyed by the stinkbugs, thought I'd outwit them and get to the fruit before they did. I collected a good 4lbs worth of green raw tomatoes and had to use them before they rot.

Rather than wait for them to ripen decided to make some pickle with the raw ones. The slightly sour taste the raw tomatoes impart add the little something that is perfect for pickles. The pickles is great as a spread for toasts, sandwiches and even making fried rice.

1. 2lb raw tomatoes washed dried completely of moisture and chopped
2. 3 tbsp of minced garlic
3. 1/4 cup of red chili powder
4. half lime sized piece of tamarind cleaned
5. 1 1/2 - 2 cups of sesame oil
6. 1 tbsp of mustard seeds
7. 1 tbsp of fenugreek seeds
8. 1 tbsp of kosher salt (or as per taste)

1. In a thick bottomed wide mouthed pan heat about 2 tbsp of the oil and add the chopped tomatoes and let them cook. Place a lid and let it sweat and become soft. This takes about 20-30 minutes.
2. Once the moisture in the tomatoes has evaporated heat half of the oil and add it to the cooking tomatoes. Let it cook in the oil for another 10 minutes or so.
3. In the meantime dry roast the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and make a powder.
4. When the oil starts to bubble and the tomatoes start to leave the sides add the chili powder and the roasted powder and salt.
5. Let it cook till the moisture is completely gone and the oil starts to bubble up on top (10 minutes or so).
6. Heat the remaining oil and add it to the pickle. Cook for another 10 minutes. At this point the oil should be floating on top and the bubbles should have subsided.

Cool and store in clean sterilized and dry jars.

1. Add the chili powder almost towards the end of the cooking and in the beginning to avoid burning.
2. Keep stirring at regular intervals, once cooked the tomatoes do not stick to the bottom.


  1. Dear ISG, I thought of you in the earthquake (California is laughing at us now but wait till they have 1/2 inch of snow!!). Now I hope Irene has spared you her worst. Sitting up late here waiting for her arrival tomorrow. Hope you are all well, love the green tomato pickle!

  2. Oh that pickle looks so good!

    People want the freedom to stay put during a natural disaster but also expect to be rescued (by that very same government) when they end up putting their lives in jeopardy- so how does one reconcile this tussle between rights and responsibilities?

  3. Yum ...this looks so fab ...

  4. ISG, It was a pretty windy night here in Baltimore as well. As I am new to the area, looking at the density of trees, worried abt the damage the wind could cause. Thnx for the recipe!!

  5. Linda,
    So nice to hear from you.
    The earth shaking was scary and makes us respect what mother nature is capable of. I know CA can laugh all they want. Irene came and went without much fuss for which I am grateful. Hope you up in the north are fine too.

    Nupur, I totally see your point. It happens all the time and I guess that is why the government overboard in their warnings. But rights come with responsibilities. yes?

    Anon, the wind was not bad as expected. Hopefully Baltimore did fine.

  6. Slurp, sooooo tempting pickle,drooling rite now here..

  7. Indo, hope all is well now. I faced two earthquakes while in Seattle. Now its even worse with the Tornadoes in Dallas.
    Thokku looks delicious and I love pickles, I have a similar recipe with Tomatilloes.

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  9. How long does this keep ? This is definitely going to be made.

  10. Sandeepa, definitely for 3-4 weeks without refrigeration and couple of months in the fridge. Extra oil keeps it preserved.

    I keep a small bottle outside and keep the rest in the fridge. Repeated usage will lead to spoilage hence the small portions. I guess you know most of the theory part.

  11. This is seriously making me salivate. I have had this only ones, but it was a different kind.. did not look so lip smacking good. want some on my hot rice.

  12. This is seriously making me salivate. I have had this only ones, but it was a different kind.. did not look so lip smacking good. want some on my hot rice.

  13. Thats an awesome looking pickle!


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