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Traditional Tomato Pickle

15 Jun

Tomato Ooragaya.

This is a traditional way of preparing a tomato pickle. The preparation takes quite a long time but the tomato pickle stays fresh for a year. Tomatoes are sun dried and ground into paste along with spices. Finally the pickle is tempered with dals and spices and filled in a clean dry jar.
Makes: around 2 Cups of Tomato Pickle.


Tomato 6 – 7 Small
Tamarind 2 inch sized ball
Red Chilli Powder 2 tbsps
Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Ginger 1 inch piece
Garlic cloves 8
Asafoetida 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp


Chana dal 1 tbsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Oil 4 tbsps

Method of preparation:

Wash and pat dry the tomatoes.
Chop the tomatoes into 4 – 8 pieces.
Peel and slice the garlic pods.
Peel and finely chop the ginger.

In a mixing bowl, mix together chopped tomatoes, 3/4 cup of salt and turmeric powder.
Transfer the tomatoes into a jar and leave it for 3 days.
After 3 days, squeeze the tomatoes and reserve the liquid and the tomatoes.
Transfer the liquid into a wide vessel and stir in the tamarind.
Arrange the squeezed tomato on a plate.
Keep the liquid and the tomato under direct sunlight for 3 days.
Make sure the tomato pieces are completely dried or else leave the tomato to dry for couple more days.

In a pan, separately dry roast fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and cumin seeds until aromatic.
Using a blender, blend together above toasted ingredients along with asafoetida into fine powder.

Then add the dried tomatoes, reserved liquid, above spice powder, red chili powder and ginger into smooth paste.

In a small pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order along with garlic.
When urad dal turns light brown, add this talimpu to above tomato mixture.
Mix well and store tomato pickle tight in a clean jar.
Tomato pickle stays for around a year if necessary precautions are taken.
Serve traditional tomato pickle with rice or idly or dosa etc
Notes: Make sure to dry the tomato well.

Suggestions: If the tomato is either too sweet or sour, adjust the tamarind and salt accordingly. Adjust the spice with the red chile powder.
Variations: Use a microwave to reduce the liquid into half or use sun dried tomatoes in place of the whole tomatoes.
Other Names: Tomato Pickle, Tomato Ooragaya.