tomato pickle

Tomato Pickle Recipe

By Swasthi on July 5, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Tomato Pickle made with ripe seasonal tomatoes, spices and oil. An Indian meal is incomplete without a pickle on the side. We make many kinds of pickles like Mango pickle, Ginger pickle, Tomato pickle, Carrot pickle and many more. This tomato pickle is flavorsome, spicy, hot and simply delicious. It goes so well with just anything – roti, paratha, Dal fry, plain rice and ghee. In this post I share the traditional way to make Andhra Tomato Pickle and this is as popular as the Andhra Avakaya.

Tomato Pickle Recipe

In India, every region has their own unique way of making pickles. Not only the method but also the ingredients used vary a lot. In North India a lot of people use mustard oil and in South India sesame oil is used. The pickle recipes are usually passed on over the generations.

Tomato Pickle

Tomato Pickle is a pickle variety from Andhra Cuisine made primarily with tomatoes. While the traditional pickle is a no-cook recipe and is made with sun dried tomatoes, the other easier version shared here is simply made by cooking tomatoes until the raw flavor is lost. A generous amount of tamarind pulp is added to this to increase the shelf life.

Later ground spices like red chilli powder, fenugreek seeds powder, mustard seeds powder and salt are added. Few versions use garlic to impart pungent flavor to the tomato pickle. It is lastly tempered in lots of oil & whole spices to make it shelf stable.

The pickle made with sun dried tomatoes last for years even without refrigeration. But the cooked tomato pickle lasts for a several months to an year depending on the quantity of tamarind used.

Making the sun dried pickle is a labor of love and requires so much patience and time. The recipe shared here in this post comes handy when you want to make tomato pickle with minimum effort.

After making this recipe for many years, I have fine tuned it further and perfectioned it for better shelf life. So read all the notes in the recipe card below.

This tomato pickle tastes tangy, hot and sour with flavors of methi, mustard and garlic. The amount of red chili powder, fenugreek seeds powder to use here depends on the kind of tomatoes you use.

More Pickle recipes
Mango Pickle
Mango Avakaya
Cauliflower Pickle
Ginger Pickle

How To Make Tomato Pickle (Stepwise photos)

You can find all the ingredients in the recipe card below. For this recipe you will first prepare all the ingredients and keep them aside before you begin to cook.

1. Wash tomatoes under running water and keep them.

2. Dry roast fenugreek seeds on a low flame stirring often.

roast methi seeds

3. They will turn deep golden and aromatic. Do not burn as burnt fenugreek seeds will taste even more bitter. Transfer to a plate and cool them.

cooling roasted methi seeds for tomato pickle

4. Optional: If using mustard seeds dry roast them in the same pan just for a min until they begin to pop.

roasting mustard seeds

5. Keep stirring so they don’t burn. You have to be very careful while toasting the mustard seeds. Transfer to a plate and cool them.

cooling mustard seeds

6. Add the roasted seeds to a grinder. If you want you can also powder both the seeds together. But I prefer to do that separately as it is easy to adjust the quantities.

methi seeds in a grinder

7. Grind to a very fine powder. We don’t want any grits here. Keep this aside in a plate.

powdered methi in a grinder

8. The same way, add mustard seeds to the grinder and powder.

mustard seeds for tomato pickle

9. Transfer this powder to a plate. Keep aside.

mustard seeds powdered in a grinder

10. Soak tamarind in hot water. Leave it aside. If you want you may add 25 grams deseeded tamarind directly to the pickle but I don’t prefer as there will lots of fibers and pulp. Don’t worry about shelf life. Water won’t spoil your pickle because you will cook down the tamarind pulp.

tamarind soaked in water

Make Tomato Pickle

11. Heat a pan with oil, add tomatoes. Saute for 3 to 4 mins on a medium high heat..

cook tomatoes for pickle

12. Cook until mushy. If you want you may cover and cook on a low heat. The tomatoes must be fully soft and mushy.

mushy tomatoes for pickle

13. Meanwhile check the tamarind paste. Squeeze the tamarind so much of the fibers separate and all of the pulp comes to the water. You should get a thick tamarind paste.

tamarind paste for tomato pickle

14. When the tomatoes are mushy, Place a strainer and add all of the tamarind into it. Pass all of the paste through the strainer to the pan. For this use a strong spoon and press down the tamarind. Discard the pulp.

add tamarind to tomatoes

15. This is how the tamarind looks.

16. Cook this together until thick.

17. This step is optional – If you want a smooth tomato pickle with garlic flavors then add the cooled tomato mixture along with garlic to a grinder jar. Grind to a smooth paste.

18. To the tomato tamarind mixture, add turmeric, red chilli powder and salt. If you do not blend the tomatoes, add these spices to the pan in which you cooked the tomatoes.

19. Mix well until the spices blend with tomatoes.

Tempering

20. In another pan, Pour oil and heat it. When the oil is hot enough, add mustard seeds. They will soon pop, then add red chilies.

21. Add crushed or sliced garlic and curry leaves. When the garlic is slightly roasted, add hing.

22. Now mix the tomato pickle with the tempering. Turn on the stove and begin to saute this for 5 to 8 minutes on a low heat. This step ensure a good shelf life.

23. Add methi powder and mustard powder in batches to suit your taste. Mix well and taste test. I use up all of the spice powders (methi and mustard) and also add more salt. Mix well and turn off.

24. Cool this completely and then store in a air tight glass jar. Store it in a shelf away from moisture and humidity.

I bottle the tomato pickle in many small jars, so each time I open a new jar, pickle smells fresh and tastes good. This keeps good in the refrigerator for 6 months and at room temperature for 2 to 3 weeks.

Tomato pickle made in Andhra style with ripe tomatoes, tamarind and spices.

Pro Tips

  • Tamarind is the key ingredient used for shelf life. The acidity in the tamarind helps in preserving it well. Though you can make the pickle without tamarind it won’t last long due to low acidic levels. However you can use vinegar in place of tamarind.
  • If you prefer to store this tomato pickle for an year, double the amount of tamarind, red chilli powder and more salt. To preserve the same garlicky flavor double the amount of garlic in the pickle, not the tempering. You will need half cup oil for the tempering. Also add half teaspoon more of methi seeds to powder. I have tested this version as well & have shown the same in the step wise photos.
  • Always keep your hands, ingredients and the utensils dry, free from moisture while preparing pickles.
  • Always use a dry spoon to serve the pickles and store them in a dry and cool place.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

tomato pickle

Tomato Pickle Recipe

Andhra style tomato pickle or nilava tomato pachadi is one of the most made in Telugu speaking homes. Serve it with breakfasts like idli dosa, pesarattu, rice or even with snacks and parathas.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings30 servings
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 500 grams tomatoes chopped
  • ¼ cup red chili powder (4 tbsps, byadgi or kashmiri)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 25 to 30 grams tamarind (deseeded Indian dry tamarind or 50 grams with seeds)
  • 15 grams garlic (optional, read notes)
  • 1 teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon oil for frying tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons salt (more to adjust)

To Temper

  • ¼ to ⅓ cup oil (mustard or peanut or sunflower)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic (sliced or crushed, optional)
  • 1 to 2 dried red chilli deseeded
  • ¼ teaspoon hing (asafetida)

Instructions

Preparation

  • Make sure all your ingredients and cutlery are dry and moist free. Wash tomatoes under running water and leave them aside.
  • Skip this step if using tamarind pulp or want to add the tamarind directly to the pickle. Bring 6 tablespoons water to a rolling boil and add tamarind to it. Turn off the stove and let the tamarind soak in it.
  • On a very low flame, dry roast fenugreek seeds on a low flame till they turn deep golden but not burnt. They must emit a nice aroma. Transfer to a plate and cool.
  • If using mustard add them and dry roast on a low flame just for a minute or until they begin to pop but not burnt. Transfer to a plate and cool.
  • Once cool, powder the seeds to a fine powder together or separately (mustard & fenugreek) . I prefer to do them separately as it is easy to adjust the quantities while using.

How to Make Tomato Pickle

  • Heat a heavy bottom pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Add the chopped tomatoes saute for 3 to 4 minutes and then cook covered until soft and mushy.
  • Meanwhile squeeze the soaked tamarind fully with your fingers. You should see most of the pulp in the water and the fibers separated or loosened.
  • When the tomatoes turn mushy and completely soft, place a strainer/colander over the pot and pour the tamarind pulp to it.
  • Using a steel spoon, press down the pulp, so much of the extract goes into the pan. This way pass all of the tamarind to the pan. Discard the fibers and the leftover pulp in the colander/strainer.
  • Cook this mixture until it becomes thick and begins to leave the pan. Turn off the stove.
  • Optional: If you want you may cool this completely and blend to a smooth paste along with garlic in a grinder jar. This step gives you smooth pickle.
  • Add chili powder, salt and turmeric to the tamarind and tomato mixture. Mix all of these until well blended.

Temper Tomato Pickle

  • Heat oil in a pan until hot enough. Turn down the heat to low, add mustard seeds.
  • When you hear the seeds splutter, add broken red chillies, garlic and curry leaves.
  • Let the garlic sizzle and change their color slightly then add and pour this to the tomato pickle.
  • Mix well until the oil incorporates into the tomato pickle. Then continue to cook on a low heat for 5 to 8 mins.
  • Add methi and mustard powder. You may add in batches to see if you require all of the powder we made. I add all of it plus more salt at this stage. Turn off the heat.
  • Cool the tomato pickle completely. Store this in a air tight glass bottle. Keep it at room temperature for 2 to 3 weeks or up to 6 months in the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Tomatoes: Use red ripe, and pulpy heirloom tomatoes.
  2. Red Chilli Powder: I used milled byadgi chilli powder that is pure and is not hot. So 4 tbsps gives a moderate level of heat to the pickle. If using any other variety, then feel free to cut down as much as you think is good enough. *Update – I have also made this with Kashmiri chilli powder and works well.
  3. Tamarind: This recipe is best made with dry tamarind for better shelf life. If you want to use tamarind concentrate start with less amounts. However I can’t guarantee about the shelf life. If you want you may add 25 grams deseeded tamarind directly to the pickle but I don’t prefer as tamarind contains lots of fibers, pulp & sometimes pesky ingredients. So I prefer to soak and then pass through a strainer.
  4. Garlic: Traditionally raw garlic is blended in with cooked tomatoes and tamarind. This gives a pungent, garlicy and hot flavor to the pickle. For a kids’ friendly version of this tomato pickle simply skip grinding the garlic and add all of them crushed to the tempering or reduce the quantities .
  5. To the Tempering/seasoning, 1 tbsp. channa dal and urad dal can be added and fried till golden, it imparts a good aroma to the pickle. They soak in the pickle and eventually taste tangy. Adding them is optional. Not everyone may like this, if you wish use them.
  6. For a more tangy, pungent and more spicy pickle that you can store for an year, double the quantity of tamarind, red chilli powder and garlic (not in the tempering). You will need half cup oil for the tempering and more salt. You can also add half teaspoon more of methi seeds to powder. I have tested this version as well.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Tomato Pickle Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 34 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 506mg22%
Potassium 90mg3%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 736IU15%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 12mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Tomato pickle recipe first published in May 2012. Updated in July 2022.

Tomato Pickle Recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.

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Hi Swasthi,

I have been following all ur recipes.. i am an amateur in cooking… Its been usually easy and perfect out put.. not sure wat happened here but tamrind kind of exceeded. Is there a solution to what i can do reduce the tamrind tangyness?

5 stars
Walmart stopped selling this item so I tried your recipe. Is so much better, not going back store bought ever again. Thank you!

4 stars
I swathi I’m great fan of your recipes,, thank you so much.. I have tried your recipes they are good.

5 stars
Great recipe, well explained! I have a pot of tomatoes boiling for the past 6 hours and almost ready to add the rest of the ingredients to yield about 10 pounds of finished pickle. The last time I made this was in 2016 and one bottle got forgotten in the fridge. Opened that bottle recently and still tastes great after 4 years! In addition to your listed ingredients I add an ample quantity of lemon juice concentrate.

5 stars
Ma’m,

Can I skip red chilli powder and increase the amount of red chillies?

5 stars
It’s not confusion ma’m, I am having more red chillies and less red chilli powder at home now. So I thought maybe I could replace red chilli powder with red chillies. I didn’t know that red chilli powder is a mandate to prepare a pickle.

5 stars
This was great and an easy way to use up all the tomatoes in my garden right now

Hi Swasthi,
I’ve been following your recipes for quite awhile. Everything turned out out good and yummy.
I tried the tomato pickle without the tamarind. So reduced the chilli accordingly. But it turned out to be very very spicy. I added so much oil to compensate that but nothing seems to work out. Any tips to make it edible?
Thanks in advance.

Thanks for responding Swasthi. That sounds good.. I’ll surely try that.

Hi Swasthi,
I read in your description above that tomato pickle is made with sun-dried tomatoes. Could you please share that recipe too.
Thank you

5 stars
Hi Swasthi, I am a great fan of your recipes..Most of them I have tried and they are of excellent taste..Thank You..

Hi swathi,
Great recipe..I have a doubt..do we need to blend fenugreek and mustard separately are together?
Thanks,
Haripriya..

3 kgs Tomatos pickle nilva pachadi ki kolathalu.

5 stars
Fantastic recipe! Did double quantities. Used tamarind purée which is easier, and added the dal. And gingelly oil for the tempering. The beauty of this recipe, unlike some others, is that it is very quick to prepare. Thanks for posting this!

5 stars
Awesome recipes Swathi . Please keep posting recipes of chutneys, picles, and vegetables cooked for daily meals in Andhra Pradesh/ Telengana . Your step wise directions are very helpful ! Thank you ?

Hi swasthi, tempting recipe…. how long can v store it?….can it be stored without fridge?… thanks…

Thank you Swathi. For many years I was looking for an authentic tomato picke recipe and finally found yours to be just like the ones I had many years ago when I’m lived in Secunderabad. Thanks again.

Can we use dabur homemade tamarind paste without soaking tamarind pulp in water?

5 stars
Hi Swati, Thanks a lot for your wonderful recipes. This is my one stop blog for all my cooking needs. I tried this recipe and it turned out great.
This time I want to try it with readymade tamarind pulp. Do you think this will work?

5 stars
My pickle turned out a little bitter. Do you know what may have caused this? I’m wondering if I roasted the fenugreek a little too much.

5 stars
Thank you so much.. Really delicious . Actually I happend to taste this achar before from my frnds mom n it was delicious n I was lookin for the recipe n I found urs..Both of em so yummy !

5 stars
I tried this recipe. Really awesome. Thank you

5 stars
very nyz ….

5 stars
I BUY TOMATOES FREQUENTLY…MY FAMILY REALLY LOVES IT

hi

should we store these pickle in refrigerator?