Most of Indian cooking is all about adding a dash of that and a pinch of this. At least that is the way my mom normally describes a recipe for me. So when I came across this pickle recipe a few years ago with exact measurements I had to try it out and I was not disappointed. I have been making it every year and it always tastes the same and is a perfect side for rotis or idlis. You can also mix it with rice.
There was an interesting experience last year when I made this pickle. As usual during the fall I set about making this pickle and I normally halve the recipe. When I did a taste test, I found it to be salty and I could not understand why. Blame it on the fact that I was making the pickle pretty late at night after a long day that my brain refused to cooperate. So I started adding more tomatoes to compensate, but nothing helped. I was at my wits end since I have made this same pickle n times before. It was then that it suddenly dawned that I had added the original amount of salt although the other ingredients were halved. I was dumb struck for few seconds and then set about working in high-speed to double the other ingredients. It was hard work and I had to pull tomatoes from every nook and corner of the house and also transfer the pickle to a bigger vessel. Phew .. and the pickle took few more hours to reduce. Lesson learnt : If halving the recipe, write it down to avoid such accidents.
Since K is not fond of tomatoes, I make this pickle mainly for me every year and it lasts for more than 6 months in the refrigerator. Off to the recipe.
1 oz oil
7.5 cups chopped tomatoes
1 oz of tamarind pulp
1 oz of red chilly powder (1/8 cup)
1/4 cup of salt (If using iodised salt, use a couple of teaspoons less)
1/2 tbsp fenugreek powder
1 tbsp oil
Few curry leaves
5 garlic cloves sliced
1/8 tsp asafoetida
Recipe Source : Mahanandi
For fenugreek powder, I normally dry roast the fenugreek seeds and pound using a mortar and pestle.
Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped tomatoes.
Add the tamarind pulp, salt and chilly powder.
Cover the pot and cook on high heat for about 30 minutes stirring now and then.
After around 30 minutes, see how it is beginning to thicken up.
Now add the fenugreek powder and reduce flame to medium. Cover the pot partially and cook until the tomatoes thicken up to a jam like consistency.
It took around 1 hr for it to thicken up for me due to the large water content in my tomatoes.
Heat a tbsp of oil and add the garlic first.
Then add the curry leaves.
Toast for a minute or so until the garlic turns to a pale gold color. Turn off the heat. Add the asafoetida to this tadka.
Add the tadka to the pickle.
Mix well and leave it uncovered for it to cool.
Tasty and tangy pickle ready. Store in glass bottles in the refrigerator.