Tomato Pachadi

tom.jpgFresh and juicy tomatoes are an essential part of my everyday cooking and the sweet-tangy flavor of the fresh tomatoes are irresistible. Almost every day tomatoes are used in my cooking right from breakfast to dinner, it can be Indian or any other cuisine. South Indians are very fond of chutney (pachadi) and no South Indian meal is completed without a chutney (pachadi).

There are zillion different varieties tomato chutney from instant which needs refrigeration, to avakaya or ooragaya (pickle) where sun dried tomatoes are grinded along with spices and preserved with out refrigeration for year long or more. My mil always sends me pickled version while I make the instant ones here. Both my mom and mil have taught me different ways of doing instant chutney which can be served with South Indian breakfast (like dosa, idly and upma) even as a spread or a dip or as a side dish with rice and dal. This is my mom’s recipe, simple to make and you can still taste the tomatoes without overpowering the taste of spices and anything else.


10-12 large tomatoes
Tamarind (lemon ball size)
1/4th cup vegetable/ peanut oil
Salt to taste
2 tbsp mustard seeds
1/4th tsp methi/ fenugreek seeds

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Red chilli powder, according to taste
10-12 small garlic cloves (peeled)
1/4th tsp hing
Fistful of curry leaves


ctom11.jpgIn a small pan dry roast mustard and methi seeds, cool them completely and grind into fine powder and keep aside.

Clean and chop tomatoes, heat oil in a heavy bottomed deep skillet (pan/pot) on medium heat, add chopped tomatoes, tamarind and keep cooking, do not put the lid at this point. Keep stirring in the middle to avoid burning the bottom of the pot. After 25-30 minutes the tomatoes will start to bubble. Reduce the heat to low-medium, partially cover the pot and simmer until the mixture cooks down to 1/3rd and looks thick (oil will start to float on the top of mixture, it takes 1-1 ½ hr to reach between sauce and jam consistency.) Now add salt and cook for 10 tomm.jpgmore minutes. Check the taste and add anything needed at this point. Turn off the heat and let the tomato mixture rest.

My mom uses the oil from the cooked tomato mixture to fry the seasoning. You can do the same or you use extra oil (around 2 tbsp).

Fry seasoning

Heat oil in a small pan/ skillet on medium heat, add garlic, mustard seeds and fry till garlic turns golden brown toml.jpgand mustard seeds pop. Now add hing and curry leaves and fry of a minute. Add red chilli powder, powdered methi & mustard seeds mixture, stir once and turn of the heat. Make sure not to burn the mixture (if brunt throw the mixture, clean the pan and fry again).

Now mix the seasoning into the tomato mixture, cool down completely and shift into container. Keep refrigerator. Stays fresh for 2-3 months.

You can enjoy this delicious chutney with all different kinds of dishes.

Pic #1: @00.00 minutes
Pic #2: @25-30 minutes
Pic #3: @1-1 1/2 hrs


Notes and Tips.

You can use dried red chilli instead of chilli powder. But first you have to dry roast red chillies along with methi and mustard seeds and grind.

I always grind extra powder and store it in the freezer. It always comes handy for me. You can skip the garlic if you don’t like and also can add lentils (urad dal, channa dal) for the seasoning.


19 Responses to “Tomato Pachadi”

  1. October 29, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Slurp! Looks so good.

    I made some in Summer. Now back to the store bought Tomatoes again!!

  2. October 29, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    wow Shiva….Tomato pachadi adurs……noru ooruthondi…..vedi vedi annam lo ee pachadi thinte……..aaaaaaahahaha :-))

  3. October 29, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    I love this pachadi, ready to grab it anytime, any place 🙂

  4. October 29, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    Hi padmaja
    yummy tomato pachadi.the new look out of your blog looks good.And missed a lot here.the arati puvvu picture is awesome!!

  5. October 29, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    I love your tip about grinding extra chilli and storing in the freezer. I am going to do that. I have some roasted chillis stored in oil in the fridge and use them a lot.

    The pachadi looks wonderful – the photos are a great guide to the cooking. And I was surprised that the chutney would keep so long.

  6. October 29, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks Asha, I remember ur summer garden pictures of tomato plants. They were beautiful and all those delicious dishes you made with tose tomatoes.

    Sirisha, next week malli cheddam annukutnanu, come down.

    Padma, fedex is right on the way:)

    Swapna, ela unnaru. Challa rojulaki. I’m gald u like the new look and pictures.

    VegeYum, my mom & mil always grid extra batch and keep it in the freezer. It comes really handy. For me running around with a toddler and jumping around with him these things rescuse me. :). And Yes, the chutney stays atleast 2 months if you preserve carefully in fridge. But it never lasted more than a week or two:).

  7. October 30, 2007 at 6:25 am

    I made this chutney tonight. It is so yummy. I ate it quite simply – on a bowl of rice with some fenugreek leaves tossed through. I can see why you say that it does not last a week!

    I would love the recipe with sun dried tomatoes sometime.

  8. October 30, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Hey Shiva…Thanks for the invitation dear……and hey….I studied in a lot of schools thanks to our shifting houses from East of hyd to West all along….A few years I studied at ‘Hyderabad Central school’ and then at Maharaja High school,Ramanthapur :-)….What about u …?

  9. October 30, 2007 at 11:36 am

    God!!I want that bottle…Snaaatch!!
    Lovely color!!I love this preserve.absolutely!!

  10. October 30, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Vegeyum, Thankq so much for lovely feedback. I’m really gald you tried and enjoyed the chutney. Even we like to eat it with rice, my husband loves it to dosa’s. You have to wait till next summer for sundried version:).

    Hey Sirisha, I did my schoooling in Madhya Pradesh and then moved to vizag. My husband knows someone with ur last name so he was lil curious to know.:)

    Thanks Bharathy for ur sweet words. Its right on the way.

  11. October 30, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    That red bottle looks gorgeous, I am a big tomato fan too, put in almost everything i cook

  12. November 1, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    have u heard of killing me softly song??? now i have my own version here…killing me softly with this pictorial of my all time fav tomato pacchdi… this is so unfair!!!!

  13. November 1, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Shivapriya, oh-my-gosh! I love, love, love your blog! thanks so much for visiting mine and helping me to make this fantastic discovery. I am so looking forward to browsing through past posts.

    You see the drumstick curry in tomato gravy – I would pay dearly to have some 🙂

  14. 14 jeenaw
    November 1, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    That is one good looking dish Shivapriya! Yummy I just wanted to take that jar home! Great recipe I could almost taste it. 🙂

  15. November 2, 2007 at 10:36 am

    Hello Shivapriya,
    Yummy tomato pachadi.I wish I wd be your guest to eat the pachadi with hot rice.MMMMM…..I am drooling here.Even I use a lot of tomatoes in my cooking.

    Have a nice day!

  16. November 2, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks Sandeepa, hope you guys are feeling better now.

    hehehe…Yes Sia, I know that song. Nice one. Thanks for ur “killing me”;) compliments, I mean Sweet:).

    I’m really glad you loved my recipes. Thanks for dropping by blog , its really sweet of you. If you are around the corner drop in I will make u some:).

    Jeena, its soo sweet of you.

    Madhuri, come home anytime. I will be pleasure to have you dear. Have Weekend.

  17. November 17, 2007 at 3:43 am

    Your Tomato pachadi looks gorgeous, makes me wanna lick it right off the bowl!!

  18. November 26, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Beautiful Color! Love the idea; doesnt it make a perfect gift? Send it over to my Spoonful of Christmas….

  19. 19 suma valluru
    January 31, 2008 at 1:43 am

    thank u very much for given such an easy recipe…i just love tomato pachchadi…its really delicious and ammmmmmmmmmmm…..


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