Thakkali Thokku – Tomato Thokku Recipe

Thakkali Thokku Recipe – Tomato Thokku Recipe

Hi buddies,

Thakkali Thokku” is an age-old South Indian dish prepared by cooking tomatoes with gingelly oil and other spices until they form a pickle-like texture. Thakkali Thokku is preferred by people who travel long. Those who go for picnics or long-distance travel would take it with them so that they can use it for their Chapathis/Parathas/Idly/Dosa/Ric for 3-4 days when they can’t get anything that is so much palatable during their journey.

Health Benefits of Tomato:

Tomato is known to be rich in anti-oxidants which can prevent cancer. Also, it is a rich source of potassium and vitamins. They are rich in fiber too which helps to watch your weight 🙂 To top everything, it is very good for skin as it protects the skin against harmful UV rays.

Thakkali Thokku Tomato Thokku HomeMakingDelight

Thakkali Thokku Tomato Thokku HomeMakingDelight

I have always been a big fan of tomatoes since my school days. That tanginess of tomatoes with a mild sweetness drew me to tomatoes always. But, my mom wouldn’t prepare tomoto-only dishes very often as my thatha ( Grandfather) was not a big fan of them. But, I had tasted tomato thokku in my friends’ places several times. Those days, I dint care much about getting the recipe (Getting the dish was my goal, then 😀) for my favorite items.

Then, after starting to explore the recipes, whenever I eat something delicious, I would ask people how they have prepare it. Once back in my previous company, my TL had brought Thakkali thokku with chapathi which was so delicious. It was her Mom’s preparation ( Her Mom is a great cook and it is a mystery to me how all Moms cook well 😐 May be, when girls become Moms, all they prepare would be divine, I suppose 😐 😐 ) and the next day she got me that recipe, which was so simple.

I prepare this very often and this would stay good even for 2-3 days when not refrigerated and even more days, when refrigerated. I always prepare this more for dinners thinking that I could take it as lunch (mixed with Rice) the next day, but would end up finishing up the whole Thokku that day itself ( Poor me!!!) 😀

Over to that Tomato Thokku Recipe for all tomato-lovers..

Tomato Thokku – Thakkali Thokku Recipe

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 -30 minutes

Serves – 3



1) Ripe Red Tomatoes ( Medium Sized)  – 10

2) Salt – As needed

3) Curry leaves – a few as per your taste

4) Fenugreek seeds ( Methi/Vendhayam) – 1 tsp

5) Gingelly Oil – 8 tsp

6) Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

7) Cumin Seeds ( Jeeragam/Jeera) – 1 tsp

8) Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

9) Sambhar powder/Chilli powder –  2 – 3 tsps ( as per your taste) ( Sambhar powder is recommended)

10) Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp ( adjust with your sambhar powder accordingly as per your taste)

11) Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp

12) Jaggery ( well powdered) – 1 tsp

To Garnish:

Cilantro leaves ( Coriander leaves/Kothamalli Thazhai) – a few (as per your taste) 


1) Heat Gingelly oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds. When it begins to splutter, add cumin seeds, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds.


2) Saute for a few seconds and then add finely chopped tomatoes.DSC00585


3) Then add salt, Turmeric powder, Cumin powder and pepper powder.


4) Saute well in medium flame for 5 minutes and then lower the flame.

5) Keep the lid closed and saute once in 3 minutes to prevent the thokku from sticking to the bottom. Don’t add water.


6) After a few minutes, you would see the oil getting separated from tomatoes. But, keep stirring and cook closed so that it would emit more oil.

7) After 20 minutes, you could see more oil being given out and the tomatoes would be completely mashed.

8) Now, add powdered jaggery and stir it in for a minute and switch the stove off.


9) Garnish with Coriander leaves and serve your tangy thakkali thokku – tomato thokku with Chapathi/Roto/parathas/Rice.


Thakkali Thokku Tomato Thokku HomeMakingDelight

Thakkali Thokku Tomato Thokku HomeMakingDelight


1) I like that bit of sweet taste (of jaggery) along with tanginess of Tomato. I would strongly recommend you to try that. If you are not a big fan of jaggery, then you don’t have to add that 🙂

2) Don’t be so stingy about Gingelly oil as this oil is good for health as well as this would preserve the thokku for many days.

3) Initially, I tried this thokku/ vatha kolambu/ puli kolambu /Puli-Kaichal by adding very little oil and it dint turn out well. And, then I learnt that Gingelly oil plays a major role in all those dishes.

4) Initially you might see foaming bubbles forming in oil as you add cumin and fenugreek seeds. This is fine.

5) Dont add too much of fenugreek seeds as this would add bitterness to our Thakkali thokku.

6) This thakkali thokku can be eaten mixed with Rice and it would taste good as an accompaniment for Chapathi and curd rice too.

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