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.

8 Responses to “Traditional Tomato Pickle”

  1. amar June 16, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    Pic looks good, love it

  2. Ravindra Kamath June 17, 2010 at 4:37 am #


    Are you sure that 3/4 cup of salt is required while mixing through tamato piece in the mixing bowl

    please clarify


  3. Hari Chandana June 17, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    Woww !! na fav pickle.. looks spicy and tempting..Awesome work.. Nice shot too.

  4. Rekha June 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    its amazing i have tasted it but add more recipes related
    to chutneys

  5. minu October 21, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    trust me its really awesum………….. its my fav dish.hve it wth rice…….. it will sounds grt……………………………………………………

  6. vandana March 6, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    its amazing…………. but can i know for 4kg of tomatoes ……….

  7. Surekha Suri March 7, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Hi Raji,

    I just came across this recipe and it looks awesome. Can you just clarify one thing though? Do you need to marinate the garlic pods as well along with the tomatoes for 3 days?

  8. Raji March 7, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    @ravindra kamath it seriously depends on the tartness of the tomatoes and also on the salt.

    @surekha suri
    just add them in the tempering and in time the juices in the tomato pickle softens it a lot.

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