TOMATO THOKKU / SOUTH INDIAN STYLE TOMATO PRESERVE - Hassle-free 2 step recipe - No Onion/No Garlic

Tomato Thokku - A South Indian style Tomato preserve is a facile and frequently prepared dish in our kitchen. Too many tomatoes lying around ripening? Not to worry about wastage.  There are N - number of products that you can make out of it and this preserve is one such painless option.

There are just 2 steps involved. 
1. Grind all ingredients
2. Cook until the preserve condenses in volume. Done.

Yes! Its that easy. 

Preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 15-20 min
Spice level: Your choice
Difficulty level: Very easy
Cuisine: South Indian
Serves: 4
Source: MIL

  • 6-7 big ripe tomatoes
  • 6-7 red chillies (increase the numbers for a spicier version)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • Crystal salt
  • a generous sprinkle of asafoetida
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 20 ml sesame oil
  • 1 tsp jaggery

  • Grind together Tomatoes, Chillies, turmeric powder, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and salt to make a smooth paste.
  • Heat sesame oil in a Kadai or saucepan and pop the mustard seeds. Add tomato paste, jaggery and cook on medium flame until it condenses in volume and the oil surfaces.Turn off the heat.

  • Pulse the dry ingredients first before grinding the tomatoes.
  • As the Thokku/ Preserve condenses in volume, it starts splashing droplets of moisture/paste around. So, stand back to save your hands and face. But continue sauteing.
  • Serve this Thokku with Idlis, Dosas, Chapathis, Pooris, Rice or even with toasted bread.
  • Since this is a Saatvik version its ideal for consumption even on festive occasions.


  1. This thokku looks absolutely divine, Sowmya!

  2. Easy recipe and can be paired with roti,dosa,idli...

  3. Hi Sowmya,
    Instead of adding chillies and fenugreek raw, I fry them in oil and then grind them seperately. Then add it in the end to the thoku. This is more flavorsome. Another version is that I sundry the tomotoes, grind it in the mixie and then do the thoku. This stays for a month or two.

    1. Will try your version next time Akka. The version I ve given is more for immediate consumption as no one likes the stored Tomato chutney at home. Konjama prepare panni udane kaali panniduvom. Hee Hee.

  4. I guess I would have them just like that, licking them from the bowl! Yum that sounds...

  5. Oh no! This thokku is a major temptation. Just drooling over here.


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