Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Tomato Pickle

 Published 2009-Sep-18   Updated 2019-Feb-26

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Takkali Urugai, Tamatar ka Achar, Tomato Pachadi)

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In the Indian meal, be it breakfast or lunch or dinner, pickle or achar or oorugai has a vital role to play. For working women pickles act as the most convenient and an easy side dish. In my house, my grandmother makes the yummiest pickles of many varieties. There would be a season for making every kind of pickle. It is just not an occurrence only in my family but I am sure in many households. But in this busy era of life, we are unable to follow the ancient strenuous procedure of pickle making due to time constrains, lack of space and expertise. I found an easy pickle recipe from my grandmothers’ treasure and since then I am regular doer of this pickle - the tomato pickle or thakkali oorugai in Tamil. I usually make it in large quantities when tomatoes become quite inexpensive. My children love its taste very much. Sometimes I mix it with hot plain rice and serve them as tomato rice along with roasted pappads. Check out the ingredients needed and method of preparation of this simple pickle below.

Recipe for Tomato Pickle

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6-8


  • Tomatoes - 8-10
  • Tamarind Pulp - 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder - 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Fenugreek Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 2 tbsp
  • Oil - 2 tbsp

For Seasoning

  • Oil - 3 tbsp (preferably Gingelly Oil)
  • Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
  • Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp


  1. Wash the tomatoes, dry it well with a clean kitchen towel and chop it. It is very important for the tomatoes to be dry. I wold recommend using a combination of Banglore Tomatoes (Roma Tomatoes) and Country Tomatoes (Naatu Thakkali). This will give a perfect balance of sourness and bright red colour.
  2. Heat oil in a big vessel and add the chopped tomatoes, tamarind pulp and salt to it. Adjust the quantity of tamarind based on the sourness of the tomatoes.
  3. Cover the vessel and let it cook for half an hour till the tomatoes get completely mashed up.
  4. Keep stirring to avoid it from getting burnt at the bottom. You have to be careful as there will be lot of splattering.
  5. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, fenugreek powder and mustard powder to this.
  6. Mix well and simmer till most of the liquid evaporates. Keep stirring at regular intervals.
  7. In the meantime, heat the oil for seasoning in another small pan and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  8. Add this to the pickle and mix everything. Cook for another few minutes till the oil separates from the pickle.
  9. Let it cool completely before storing it in bottles or jars. You can refrigerate it or store it outside.

tomato pickle with dosa

Serving Tomato Pickle

  • Use this as a side dish for rice, idli, dosa, upma, pongal, Kuzhipaniyaram, dhokla etc. 
  • Use it as a spread for bread or chapattis.
  • Mix 1 tsp of pickle with 1/4 cup of yogurt to make a dip for chips and bread sticks.


  • If you feel lazy to chop the tomatoes, you can also grind them without adding water and use the pulp to make the pickle.
  • Tamarind can be replaced with local country tomatoes (Nattu thakkali in Tamil).


  • This is a wonderful side dish to take for picnics or during long travels. The pickle gets tastier 2-3 days after making it.
  • Store quantities of pickles in many small glass jars, so that each time you open a new jar you can enjoy the aroma and taste of a freshly prepared pickle.
  • Always use a dry spoon while serving the pickle.

More Pickle Recipes

Roasted Garlic Chutney Roasted Garlic Thokku Banana Stem Pickle Banana Stem Pickle Apple Pickle Apple Pickle Indian Gooseberry Pickle Indian Gooseberry Pickle
See more ⟩⟩

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Comments (17)

Person   ()
This is a wonderful tasting dish that you have listed along with serving tips as well. Thnx :)
Person   ()
Thanks Savitha!!
Person   ()
Hi made it I followed the recpie but is so salti
Person   ()
Hi Baljit, The quantity depends on the size of the tomatoes. Just reduce the salt next time. Also for pickles, it is usually on the saltier side. After a few days, it will be perfect.
Person   ()
i can feel some changes in the site. good.
Person   ()
Yes Raji. Just updated. Good that you noticed it. Thanks for your regular visits and comments.
Person   ()
absolutely love this recipe! it's perfect! thank you!
Person   ()
Thank You.
Person   ()
very tasty superbbbbbbbbb''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Person   ()
Its my favourite too.
Person   ()
Hi, waiting for ur reply.. thanks
Person   ()
If you want to store it for longer, heat about 1/4 cup of oil and cool it. Add the pickle to dry jars and add the oil on top. The oil acts as a preservative. This way you can store the pickle at room temperature for 2-3 weeks and for about 2 months in the refrigerator.
Person   ()
I like this recipe. How long I can store the pickle once prepared?
Person   ()
ok. thanks. i suppose the priya pickle made with various vegetables viz. gongru, bittergourd, etc. etc. are with tamarind pulp i suppose that is why it has got the shelf life for months together.
Person   ()
yes.. i guess so..
Person   ()
i make it without tamarind pulp as we cannot eat tamarind,coconut, coconut oil etc. i make sambar also without tamarind at home.
Person   ()
If the tomatoes are sour enough, you don't need tamarind. The tomatoes that we get here are not as sour as the ones in India.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2019-02-26.