Monday, 25 March 2013

Healthy least oily Tomato Pickle

Tomato pickle
Pickles make regular appearance in the dining table and are most welcome guests. They have an intrinsic property to make a most dull platter of food look enticing and change the taste to mouthwatering. We Indians are blessed with different variety of food because of the diversity in weather, culture and eating habits of people of different part of our country. Tomato soup, ketchup, sauce etc. are well known as frequently used form of tomato but tomato pickle? It was a surprise to me in late seventies, when I had tomato pickle at my friends place while doing Ph.D. and wondered how the lady converted tomatoes to such innovative yum tasting pickle have. Later when I got married tips from my Andhrite friends and habit of experimenting in the kitchen resulted in this less oily healthy pickle.
 I love having it not only with rice and chapatti but love  using it for making sandwich also. My family loves having curd and rice with tangy spicy Tomato pickle.
Preparation Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 45 min
Servings  500 gm. pickle.
Materials Required for Making Tomato Pickle:
  • 500 gm. Red Ripe Fleshy Tomatoes
  • 100 gm. Tamarind
  • 100 gm. Jaggery
  • 50 gm. Salt
  • 25 gm. Red chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tea spoon Chana dal
  • 1 Tea spoon Dhuli Urd dal ( Urd dal without green / black cover)
  • 15-20Whole Red chilies
Spices for seasoning
  • 50 ml. Cooking oil (Ground nut oil / sesame oil / soya oil / olive oil/ Mustard oil)
  • 1/4Teaspoon Asafoetida powder
  • 5-10 Kadi Patta (Curry leaves)
  • 4 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 10 ml. Vinegar
Directions For Masking Tomato Pickle:
  • Wash and dry tomatoes nicely.
  • Cut tomatoes thin long pieces.
Tomato pieces for Pickle
  • Take thinly cut pieces of tomatoes in a glass / stainless steel container and mix 25 gm. salt and 1 tea spoon turmeric powder in the tomato.
  • If the pickle is being made in hot weather / summers then cut and mix salt and turmeric in night cover and leave overnight but if pickle is being made in cold weather / winters then cut and mix salt and turmeric in morning cover and leave for 24 hrs.
After 24 hrs of soaking Juices squeezed from tomato pieces
  • Sieve the juices and squeeze the tomato pieces by pressing between the palms.
  • Mix the squeezed juice to the sieved juice.
  • Keep the squeezed tomato pieces under the s8un for drying on a stainless plate / plastic sheet / glass plate for 4-5 hrs. when the temperature is high ( 40 o C or more), 7-8 hrs. in winters when the temperature is 30o C – 35oC.
Tomato pieces kept under the sun for drying after squeezing the juices
  • Clean the tamarind of the seeds and soak cleaned tamarind and whole red chilies in the tomato juices for 5-6 hrs.  under the sun.
Tamarind and whole red chilli soaking in tomato juices under the sun
  • Tomato pieces will become semi dry and the tamarind will soak the juices of tomato and become soft.
Tomato pieces drying under the sun

Dried Tomato Pieces
  • Blend the soaked tamarind and chilies to pulp along with juices. Keep extra juices aside.
Juice from tomato pieces , chilies and Tamarind pulp
  • Take oil in a thick bottom wok (I always cook in anodized / non-stick wok / pans) and heat on high flame.
  • When the oil is smoking hot lower the flame and add mustard seeds. Mustard seeds will splutter immediately.
  • Add chana dal and urd dal and cook on low flame till touch of pink starts coming on them.
  • Add 4-5 whole red chilies and kadi patta.
  • Cook for 30 seconds.
Seasoning getting ready for pickle
Add Asafoetida and immediately add semi dried tomato pieces.
Ready for Tomato pieces to be added
  • Stir and mix spices and tomato pieces nicely. Cook with continuous stirring for 3-4 minutes on low flame.
Tomato pieces added to the seasoning
  • Add the mixture of tamarind pulp and tomato juices.

Tomato juice left after making pulp of the soaked tamarind added

After 10 min of cooking 
  • Mix nicely and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add
    • Salt red chili powder
    • Jaggery
  • Mix and cook with regular stirring till all juices are absorbed and the pickle starts leaving the edges of wok.
  • Add vinegar and mix nicely.
  • Cook again for one minute with continuous stirring.
  • Switch off the gas and let the pickle cool without covering the wok.
Pickle ready for bottling
  • Store the cooled tomato pickle in a dry glass bottle.
Tomato Pickle
  • Enjoy the Tomato pickle with Dosa/ Pesarattu / Idli / da-chawal / mutton or chicken biryan / Stuffed paranthas.It goes well with all vegetarian and non- vegetarian foods.
  • Do not dry the tomato pieces so much that they become hard.
  • Remove the seeds and hard cover of tamarind before soaking in tomato juices.
  • Preferably used fruit based vinegar rather than synthetic vinegar because fruit based vinegar has nutritional values.
  • Pound /cut the jaggery before adding to the pickle it will dissolve faster.
  • Always break whole red chili before adding to oil otherwise it may burst and cause accident.
  • Tomato taken for pickling should be fleshier. Lesser fleshy and more juicy the tomato will require more cooking time and hard work.
  • Jaggery, salt and red chili powder can be increased or decreased according to the taste.
  • Always add red chili powder in small amounts and check the taste for hotness before adding all  said amount of chili powder. The grade of hotness for chili powder differs from one chili powder brand to other and homemade chili powder may have altogether different degree of hotness.
Suggested Variations:
  • Peeled whole or sliced garlic can be added to the pickle just before adding the vinegar.
Ready to be bottled
  • Grated 4-5 cm. piece of ginger can be added to the oil after adding kadi patta and cooked till the foam due to the moisture of ginger stops coming from oil. Then the semi dried tomato pieces can be added.
  • Sugar / brown sugar can be taken in the absence of jaggery.

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