Thursday, August 16, 2012

Green Tomato Pickle with Green Chilies and Garlic

Yesterday was an important anniversary day. It was India's 65th year of Independence. The day is usually celebrated by hoisting the flag, singing the national anthem followed by distribution of sweets. No parties or fireworks, but a speech from the Prime Minister after the flag is raised at the Red Fort.

OK, I saw this lady on the Chew (a cooking talk show) in a dress that looked like it was stitched from an American flag. In India that would be a crime, the flag cannot be flown on the buildings owned private citizens, business or on private cars unless the car carries a certain dignitary set forth by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

UPDATE: Looked I was talking about old rules regarding usage of the flag. Here is information about the amended Indian flag code. Thanks to the anonymous reader who pointed that out.

India is fast getting to be a mature democracy.Well wishes for the continued well being of the country and its citizens.

It was also the 100th birthday of Julia Childs. That indomitable cooking icon who perhaps showed the way for a lot of Americans that cooking is not tough and no technique is wrong or right. I like to watch her early shows where her enthusiasm for cooking and her endless optimism shines through. If you would like to catch a few glimpses of perhaps everybody's most favorite chef. Click here.

Now on to the recipe,
DD was practicing her soccer skills in the backyard and perhaps sent her soccer ball flying on to my tomato plants. The next day I found a bunch of green tomatoes on the ground. I had always wanted to try making pickles with green tomatoes but I don't have the heart to pluck tomatoes while they are still green. So this was the right opportunity that I have been waiting for. I also remembered seeing a recipe on NPR's Kitchen Window and used that as a guide.

For a slight variation try this recipe here.

This condiment is great as a spread for sandwich and a perfect spice paste for fried rice (recipe coming up next).

Green Tomato Pickle with Green Chilies and Garlic
1. About 1 1/2 cups of chopped green tomatoes
2. 6-8 green chilies chopped (I used the long variety) about 1/2 cup or so
3. 6-8 garlic cloves sliced
4. 4 tbsp of lemon juice
Spice Powder
5. 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
6. 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
7. a tsp of asfoetida (I used the block kind)
7. 3 tbsp of red chili powder (Indian kind which is not mixed with any other spices)
8. 2 tsp turmeric powder
9. salt to taste
10. seasonings: mustard seeds and curry leaves (wipe or dry the curry leaves of any moisture)
11. 1/2 cup of sesame oil (another 1/4 cup more if needed)

1. In a big mouthed pan or kadai heat half the oil and when hot add the mustard seeds and when they start to pop add the curry leaves.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, green chilies and the garlic and let them cook for about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile toast the fenugreek, mustard seeds and asfoetida for a few minutes till the fenugreek seeds to turn color. Add the mustard seeds a few minutes as they tend to roast faster. Cool and blend to a powder. (I use a coffee grinder for this).
4. Add the spice powder,salt and lemon juice after stirring the tomatoes and let them cook for about 15 minutes more. Add more oil if required at this point. (see note)
5. Add the chili powder and let it cook till the oil pools on the side.

Cool and preserve in airtight containers.

1. I add a bit extra oil as it keeps the pickle fresh longer out of the fridge.
2. Even if oil is added towards the end let it heat up for 5 minutes.


  1. I used your earlier green tomato recipe last year to use up my supply of green tomatoes... this thokku looks really yummy. No tomato plants for us this year so I'll wait till next to try this out.

  2. I can think of so many uses for this lovely recipe. The mixture of spices and seasonings is perfect.

  3. Read your blog regularly. Never posted before. This post prompted me to. Your information about Indian flag hoisting by Private citizens is incorrect. I suppose you hadn't heard about Navin Jindal VS GOI and subsequent amendment to the flag code in 2002 and 2005. Can be worn on clothes as well- T shirts etc. Not below the waist clothing etc. More info here.


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