Thakkali Thokku. Thakkali Thuvaiyal. Tomato Pachadi. Tamatar Ki Achaar.
Andhiyoor Sridevi Mom's Thakkali Thokku: Before I step into the recipe let me tell you how sri got this andhiyoor as her nick name. She was my PostGrad classmate. We
also shared the same hostel. On the very first day when we asked her...whats her native.....she told its 'Coimbatore'. Later in our conversation...she often mentioned 'Selam'. We really got confused and asked 'is Selam is ur native?'....she said, she did her UnderGrad there thats all. Before leaving on vacation...I took her phone number and said will give her a call. She really panicked! She said...Oh Malar....I got to give you my STD code number. I said...yeah I am sure I know the code number to Coimbatore. Now she really took a while and said...'hmmm really Malar, I am not from Coimbatore or Selam' , my place is 'Erode'...actually'! I was
like...Okay why so ashamed of your place. Then fine....'I will call u using Erode code dear'! Once again she got so nervous and said...'No malar...I better give you my area code...its not Erode too....its a small place near Erode'. I was like 'Oh dear!...whats the heck'! tell me which is ur place'? Then fianlly she decided to say 'its Andhiyoor'!. So later we were pulling her leg for this. Anyways....everyone started calling her as 'Erode Sridevi' later.
Well...after vacation she brought this 'Thakkali Thokku' and said her Mom 'stone ground this and prepared it'! It was truely amazing recipe I ever had. We used to smear this over our bread for break fast. Eat with rice in the afternoon and eat with chppathi...what not! Her mother had ground dry red chilies and toamtoes in 'kal ural'. Which is really impossible for me. But I did the same way(hopefully) the way she did. As I am still not sure how she did it!! I never met her Mom and Sri is so dumb in explaining ingredients and stuff. She just said everything in bits and fragmants...that mother would have used lots of garlic, sesame oil....and so on! However....my mother likes this recipe so much and we call this as Erode Sridevi's recipe!:)
Large juicy Tomatoes – 1 kilo
Garlic 1-2 whole heads
Sea salt or rock salt(as per taste)
Asafoetida ½ spoon
Curry leaves 1 cup
Turmeric powder ½ spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Thick tamarind paste ½ spoon
Mustard seeds ½ spoon
Sesame oil 1 cup.
To be Roasted and Powdered:
Fenugreek seeds ½ cup
Mustard seeds ½ cup
Dry red chilies 20-25.
Wash and clean tomatoes. Then pat dry them with kitchen tissues.
Chop the tomatoes roughly into tiny bits. Maybe care should be taken….while chopping. Avoid buying saggy tomatoes. Just go for something ‘firm ones’.
Now…..in a iron wok, which is heavy bottomed and wide enough. Heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds in it.
Add asafoetida and curry leave too. Fry till crispy.
Now add finely chopped garlic to this and fry till fragrant.
In the same oil, add salt, turmeric and chili powder. As given in the order, one by one. Fry them till fragrant.
Further add tomatoes at this point plus tamarind extract. Cover and cook until soft and tender. Let the tomatoes get really well cooked. May one could stir occasionally.
When oil shows up on side, the tomato gravy leaves the vessel and throws up…..with shiny-glossy appearance. Stir-in the powdered spices. Cook for few more minutes.
Remove them from stove and allow it to cool. Then add lemon juice to this(optional).
Store in ceramic jars. Previously smear the ceramic jar with spirit. It can last for at least 2-3 months with proper care.
One can enjoy this as a dip[ for your Nachos, chips or as salad dressing. Indians prefer this with Steam cooked Idlies, Crispy Dosas and as a spread to chappathis, poori or pulkas. One can even enjoy having with plain steam cooked rice. Taster’s choice!