Revathi aunty makes a lipsmacking, tangy, tomatoey, spicy thokku. So, when we visited her place for lunch after our wedding (years back) I made sure I got the recipe from her. With luscious tomatoes in the market at good prices, it was difficult to resist the temptation to make this thokku...
Tomatoes - 750 gms, cut into big chunks
Onions - 2, cut into big chunks
Garlic - 6 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Tamarind - gooseberry sized
Chilli powder - 1.5 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek powder - 1/4 tsp
Sesame Oil (Gingelly or Nallennai)- 1 tbsp
Sesame Oil (Gingelly or Nallenai) - 3 tbsps
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Dried Red Chillies - 4, broken in half
1. Heat the 1 tbsp of Sesame Oil, and add onions, garlic, ginger and saute till golden brown. Add the tamarind and tomatoes with salt, turmeric and chilli powder and fry till the tomatoes get mushy. Allow this to cool.
2. Blend this in a mixie to a paste.
3. Heat the 3 tbsp of oil in the same pan and season with mustard seeds, asafoetida powder and dried red chillies. Add the ground paste and stir for a few minutes. Once it starts boiling, make sure that you cover it with a lid or atleast use it as a shield because this mixture can splatter and it's definitely unpleasant to have boiling tomato goo on your arm!
4. I normally cover it and keep it on a medium flame for 5 minutes before stirring it. I do this until the mixture turns thick and becomes a darker shade of red. After this, it's quite safe to operate without a lid. When it has thickened sufficiently, add the fenugreek powder, stir well and remove from the stove. Thokku is now ready and is a perfect accompaniment to idlis and dosais and even upmas.
TIP: When Tomatoes are not in season, you can use a can of tomato paste which is added to the fried onion-garlic-ginger-tamarind paste.