Tomato Pachadi is an Andhra style chutney/condiment made with tomatoes, chilies, garlic, spices & tamarind. The Telugu word “Pachadi” translates to Chutney & sometimes even to a pickle. This slightly tangy, nutty & spicy tomato pachadi is mostly eaten, mixed with hot rice & ghee. It also goes well with any kind of Snacks and Breakfasts like Idli, Dosa, Pesarattu and Pongal. It can also be eaten with flatbreads like roti, paratha or even with toasted bread.
A traditional Andhra meal always consists of a spicy, hot and tangy pachadi, eaten as a side. These chutneys are mostly made with vegetables of all kinds like tomatoes, eggplants, ridge gourd, bottle gourd, carrots and even with leafy greens like gongura, spinach and coriander leaves.
About Tomato Pachadi
This Andhra Tomato Pachadi is made the most basic way by cooking or roasting the tomatoes until the raw flavor has gone. They are cooled and then crushed with roasted lentils or sesame seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, red or green chilies and salt.
Tomato pachadi can be made with any kind of tomatoes, – red ripe tomatoes, semi-ripe tomatoes or even with mature green tomatoes. The process to make the pachadi with all these kinds is same. I also have a recipe of Green Tomato Chutney here.
Ingredients like chana dal, urad dal and sesame seeds are most of the times used in Andhra pachadi recipes. These are roasted on a low heat to bring out the nutty aroma and then ground with the other ingredients.
Apart from balancing the tang from tomatoes, lentils and sesame seeds add some thickness and flavor to the pachadi. This is my Mom’s recipe and she always used sesame seeds as they are healthy and are a rich source of iron, zinc, selenium, fiber and many more. If you don’t want to use them replace with chana dal and/or urad dal.
Traditional tomato pachadi is made with heirloom tomatoes and usually no onions are used. If you want to use onions for sweeter tones, you may check this Tomato chutney recipe.
A lot of people also use tamarind and use plenty of green chilies and/or red chilies to balance the extra tang. I have not used tamarind. If you want you may add a small piece of tamarind while you cook the tomatoes.
Garlic adds pungent flavors, while cumin imparts an earthy aroma and also helps in digestion. Tomato pachadi can also be made to a coarse texture, you will just pulse the ingredients for that.
How to Make Tomato Pachadi (Stepwise photos)
1. To a hot pan, add
- ¾ tbsp chana dal & ¾ tbsp urad dal (or 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds)
- 3 to 4 dried red chilies.
Dry roast them on a low heat until golden & crisp. If using chana dal and urad dal dal roast them until golden and aromatic. If using sesame seeds, toast for about 2 minutes and then add the cumin. Toss everything well. Do not burn them, the chutney turns bitter if they are burnt. At the end of this step, you should have crisp red chilies, that helps to blend them well. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool.
2. To the same pan, add one tsp. oil and heat it. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves. As soon as they sizzle, add 2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 2 large or 4 medium). Sprinkle half teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. By cooking garlic along with tomatoes, the pungent smell of garlic goes away. If you want that pungent flavor you may skip it here and add the raw garlic directly to the grinder.
3. Cook the tomatoes till they turn fully mushy and pulpy. If your tomatoes are hard sprinkle some water. Then cook covered. Cool it completely. To fasten the cooling I transfer it to a plate and spread it.
4. Add the cooled roasted ingredients dals or sesame seeds , red chilies and cumin. Powder these finely.
5. If needed scrape off the sides and powder again.
6. Add the cooled tomato pulp. If using raw garlic, you can add it. If you want you can also add ¼ inch piece of peeled ginger.
7. Blend well to a smooth paste. Do not add water. Taste test and add more salt if you want.
Temper Tomato Pachadi
8. Heat 2 tsps oil in a small pan on a low to medium heat. Add a pinch of mustard, cumin, half broken dried red chilli and a generous pinch of urad dal (adds flavor, optional). When the dal turns golden, add 1 sprig curry leaves and a pinch of hing. Switch off. Pour this to the pachadi or transfer the chutney here and mix well.
Serve Tomato pachadi with breakfasts like idli, pesarattu, dosa, pongal, paratha or sandwiches.
Tomato Pachadi (Andhra Style)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 3 to 4 dried red chilies (adjust to taste or red chili flakes)
- 2 cups tomatoes chopped, (2 large or 4 medium)
- ¾ tablespoon chana dal or 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
- ¾ tablespoon urad dal
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 cloves garlic (or ¼ teaspoon ginger)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 dried red chili small, broken
- 1 pinch cumin (⅛ teaspoon)(optional)
- 1 pinch mustard (⅛ teaspoon)
- 1 pinch urad dal (¼ to ½ teaspoon) (optional, adds flavor)
- 1 pinch hing
- 1 pod garlic crushed (optional)
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add red chilies, chana dal and urad dal. Roast them until they turn golden & aromatic. Red chilies should turn crisp. If using sesame seeds add them now and toast slightly.
- Then add cumin & roast just for few seconds. Remove them and set aside to cool.
- To the same pan, add tomatoes, garlic, salt and turmeric. Fry till the tomatoes turn completely soft and mushy. If needed cover and cook. Set aside to cool.
How to Make Tomato Pachadi
- To a grinder add the roasted chilies, lentils and cumin. Powder them fine.
- Add tomatoes and grind. If you want a traditional pachadi consistency, pulse a few times, scraping the sides.
- Check the salt and spice now. if needed add more.
- Add oil to the same pan and heat it. Add mustard cumin, red chili, curry leaves and hing. if you wish you can add a garlic pod too. when the curry leaves turn crisp. Turn off the stove. Add the pachadi to the pan and mix well.
- Serve tomato pachadi with rice, any Indian breakfasts or bread.
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)
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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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