25 to 30gramstamarind(deseeded Indian dry tamarind or 50 grams with seeds)
15gramsgarlic(optional, read notes)
1teaspoonmethi seeds(fenugreek seeds)
1tablespoonoilfor frying tomatoes
2tablespoonssalt(more to adjust)
¼ to ⅓cupoil(mustard or peanut or sunflower)
½ to ¾teaspoonmustard seeds
4 to 6clovesgarlic(sliced or crushed, optional)
1 to 2dried red chillideseeded
How to make the recipe
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.