Thursday, March 02, 2006

Too Many Tomatoes!! - Tomato Pickle


Tomato pickles


We have a small vegetable patch in our backyard and every year we plant 4-6 tomato plants. This summer, we had very good growing conditions and got a bumper crop of tomatoes. We had fresh tomatoes all summer long - salads, rasams, pasta sauces, curries, sandwiches, simply sprinkled with salt and pepper - you name it and we tried it! The flavor of garden fresh tomatoes is just unbeatable.

In the summer, the kids go out on tomato gathering expeditions and can often be found sitting in the backyard, sinking their teeth into those juicy tomatoes, seeds and pulp staining their flushed faces until some wandering bees chase them indoors :-)

We are also lucky enough to have an ethnic produce store close by that has vine ripened tomatoes at reasonable prices throughout the year. When you can't get home grown tomatoes, vine ripened tomatoes are perfect.

In an attempt to preserve that fresh, intense, sun-kissed tomato flavor and to tide us over the dreary midwest winter until summer rolls around again, I make batches of tomato pickle; spicy and fiery hot for us and without any chillies for the kids.

My son (check out his blog athttp://planesplanesplanes.blogspot.com, he will be thrilled if you drop him a comment) loves aloo or spinach parathas smeared with zero-chilli tomato pickles packed for his school lunch. It is one lunch that he gobbles up without any leftovers.

As for me, hot freshly steamed rice, a dab of ghee and tomato pickles...yumm....winter doesn't seem so unbearable after all!


Ingredients:

Roughly 2 lbs of fresh tomatoes
1/4 to 1/2 cup of oil
4-5 pods of garlic (optional)
8-10 green chilles (or adjust to taste)
a few curry leaves
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp asafoetida powder, hing
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste



pickle spices
From the spicebox: turmeric, chilli powder, salt, mustard seeds, asafoetida


pickle ingredients
Tomatoes, green chilli, garlic, curry leaves

Method


Wash the tomatoes and deseed. Pulverize tomatoes in the blender along with green chillies and garlic (if using any).

You can also go the additional step of skining the tomatoes by plunging them in hot water to loosen the skin. I believe that a little skin doesn't hurt anyone and leave it be. It gets quite minced in the blender anyway.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add asafoetida and mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the tomato mixture. Add the salt and turmeric powder. Cook on a slow flame, stirring every so often, till the mixture thickens. The oil will start to seperate out from the tomato paste and the mixture will begin to resemble a pickle/jam consistency. Take off the stove at this point.

Add the chilli powder to taste and leave to cool. I find that adding the chilli powder early in the process causes an acrid, burnt smell.

Bottle into sterile jars. Top off with some heated oil if storing for a long time and refrigerate.

There you have it - summer sunshine in a bottle!

Notes:

  • Tomato pickles goes well with rice, chappatis, parathas and bread.
  • If made with generous quantities of oil(!), the pickles can last for more than a year in the fridge.
  • If you don't want to bother with fresh tomatoes, the pickles can be made with canned crushed tomatoes.





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47 Comments:

At Thu Mar 02, 10:58:00 AM 2006, Blogger Santhi said...

Tomato pickel is my favourite.
Beautiful beautiful pics.
My mouth started watering just looking at the jars.

 
At Thu Mar 02, 02:03:00 PM 2006, Blogger paati said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Thu Mar 02, 02:04:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful pictures

 
At Thu Mar 02, 06:27:00 PM 2006, Blogger Santhi said...

I am adding you to my bloggers list. Hope thats OK with you.

 
At Thu Mar 02, 06:55:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Santhi, it will be an honor! thanks.

 
At Thu Mar 02, 08:14:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Priya said...

Hi,
I am in love with ur photos..and I really admire ur patience and can see your love for cooking in your efforts. I enjoy cooking too and hope to start a blog soon.
Best wishes to u and carry on the great work.

 
At Thu Mar 02, 11:28:00 PM 2006, Blogger Sandhya said...

Yummy,yummy,yummy! A-m-a-z-i-n-g pictures.
You must consider selecting a nice blog theme and making it more readable. There's too much space on either side and the boxed column in the middle is not projecting your pics as much as they deserve to be projected. You can find beautiful blog themes(wordpress compatible) everywhere on the net. You've got lovely taste and i'm sure you'll select a great one. My 2c.
Anyways, you go girl!

 
At Fri Mar 03, 12:59:00 AM 2006, Blogger paati said...

The photos are so tempting!
paati

 
At Fri Mar 03, 05:40:00 AM 2006, Blogger KrishnaArjuna said...

Pictures are great SH! If you were living near to our place I would have definitely visited you for a photography class and a cooking class :-)

 
At Fri Mar 03, 06:05:00 AM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Priya, thanks for the kind words. Yes, I do love cooking and of course eating! Good luck with your blog.

Sandhya, thanks a bunch! I see your point about the template. I just started blogging and am still learning. I will certainly look into and migrate to a better format soon.

paati, thank you

krishnaarjuna, thanks. Drop in anytime! We used to live in NE quite a while back and now are in the midwest. I miss the scenic beauty of the northeast, but having family close by makes up for it!

 
At Fri Mar 03, 11:45:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Gini said...

Blow away pics..must have taken some patience to arrange all that spoons. Did u label the jar yourself...I really liked that.

 
At Fri Mar 03, 12:19:00 PM 2006, Blogger Puspha said...

Superb pix. Are u a professional photographer or what? Hats off to you my lady.

I love tomatoes. The pickle looks delicious.

I´m linking u to my blog.

 
At Fri Mar 03, 12:32:00 PM 2006, Blogger Kitchenmate said...

Wow SH! great pictures and tomato pickles makes me drooling! You are creative and love the look of those beautiful pictures!Thanks!
SH: After you finish up drafting part, select justify column in the aligning menu. All lines gets aligned and looks great in your beautiful blog:)
--Karthi

 
At Fri Mar 03, 02:04:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

gini, thanks! yes, it was a test of patience to arrange those spoons - the mustard seeds kept rolling around :) Yes, I label the jars coz I make a few varieties of pickles.

pushpa, thanks! blush, blush - not a professional photographer by any stretch!

kitchenmate, thanks for the tip! I'll try it. btw, I am not sonali, you have me linked as her on your blogroll.

 
At Fri Mar 03, 09:37:00 PM 2006, Blogger Kitchenmate said...

SH! Apologies:):):)

 
At Sat Mar 04, 08:32:00 PM 2006, Blogger sailu said...

Absolutely wonderful creative shots..
Excellent!

 
At Sat Mar 04, 08:34:00 PM 2006, Blogger Cate said...

Gorgeous pictures. Never had Tomato Pickles before, but it looks like I'm going to soon. ;) This would be a great addition to next week's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesdays round-up. Hope to see you there!

 
At Sun Mar 05, 11:49:00 AM 2006, Blogger Priya said...

WOW ! great pictures !iam so glad to have found ur blog. Good Job

 
At Mon Mar 06, 10:20:00 AM 2006, Blogger Kay said...

Oh dear! A very beautiful blog! You have a talent for these pics! :) And how wonderful to have a garden of your own. I loevd the labels on the bottles too!

 
At Tue Mar 07, 11:57:00 PM 2006, Blogger shammi said...

Oh my... your photos are absolutely fabulous! Some of the best I've ever seen.

 
At Wed Mar 08, 02:32:00 PM 2006, Anonymous SSP said...

Hi

Can you telll me how to grow tomatoes? when to plant them and all. I want to grow them so much.

Thanks
SS

 
At Thu Mar 09, 02:41:00 PM 2006, Blogger Vaishali said...

What a superb picture that one with the spices in spoons. So creative! SH, you click exceptionally good snaps. You deserve an applause for that.

 
At Fri Mar 10, 08:12:00 AM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Vaishali, Thanks!

ssp, growing tomatoes is easy. You just have to figure out the growing season in your region. Buy small plants from the nursery, plant, water, fertilize and watch 'em grow!!

Seriously, if you are really keen, check out various gardening sites on the internet, and you will get a lot of pointers. Good Luck!

 
At Tue Mar 21, 08:57:00 PM 2006, Blogger Mahek said...

hi,
i think you will get my mails and comments regularly i am really very impressed with your photography and your recipes i show your blog to whosoever is around me . i am sure you are a very creative person and do other creative things too, as the way you arrange your dishes the angle from which you take your photos with the colours in the background matching the colour of your food its remarkable i think you look into the very minute details before you click and thats appreciable . I too have a creative mind which gets overwhelmed when i see creativity in others.
best of luck ...
pls send in posts more often i visit your site almost everyday.

 
At Wed Mar 22, 04:02:00 PM 2006, Anonymous SS said...

Hi,

You said you have a vegetable patch in your garden. Can you tell me how to grow a small vegetable garden. I bought a few tomato plants and want to take proper care of them. i live in California. Can you give me some tips?

Thanks
SS

 
At Thu May 25, 11:21:00 AM 2006, Blogger Chris Moonbeams said...

Hi there, I was surfing the internet and I found your blog. I like the way how this all works.

I'll come by again.

Many thanks,

Sell my time share

 
At Tue Jul 25, 04:27:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I was serching for tomato picle and came across ur blog.Picture are awsome.I have a question, so u blend the tomatoes to make a pulp and will that last for long as it will be watery.Please explain....

 
At Mon Jul 31, 07:25:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Tashie said...

Hello saffron hut! congrats on the most amazing pictures. your tomato pickle tastes amazing. i was so disappointed that the recipe only made one 14 oz jar. i have to go the farmer's market again next week and make a larger batch of tomato pickle. thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!!

 
At Thu Aug 24, 11:55:00 AM 2006, Blogger Kitchenmate said...

SH, i planted few tomato plants this year and getting tomatoes.. somehow keep getting raw tomatoes in so many numbers, some because of my son(removing it from plants saying "ball) and some from Rat/squirrel movement... i saw you post on tomato rice about the raw tomato pickle.. if possible can you post that recipe or give a rough sketch/brief outline of its making... i dont have any idea/recipe for using those numerous raw tomatoes(as of now, i have about 25 count roughly). I really appreciate of you could help me out. Thanks a lot buddy!

 
At Thu Aug 24, 12:30:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

KM Ha Ha! that's so cute of your son to "help" you in enjoying the fruits of your labor :-)

You can make green tomato thokku in exactly the same way as I have made with ripe tomatoes. Just chop up the green tomatoes really fine and follow the same process as in this recipe. They will soften on cooking and let out their juice and then come together nicely. Green tomatoes being tangy give a lovely tangy flavor to the pickle.

I also make a green tomato avakkai by mixing chopped green tomatoes, powdered mustard seeds, salt and some amchur for a more sour taste. This has to be stored in the refrigerator to keep it from spoiling.

Hope that helps! Good Luck!

 
At Fri Aug 25, 01:48:00 PM 2006, Blogger Kitchenmate said...

SH, Thanks a lot buddy.. i am sure going to try the thokku kind and very little of avakkai (from my son's future ball expedition)... that is choo sweet of you...will let you know how it turned out! Thanks again:)

 
At Sat Jul 14, 01:29:00 PM 2007, Blogger Priyanka said...

Tried your tomato pickle yesterday. Came out great. Thanks for the recipe.

 
At Mon Sep 10, 03:47:00 AM 2007, Anonymous Anonimous said...

Excellent website. Good work. Very useful. I will bookmark!

 
At Wed Sep 19, 11:41:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

one good picture is worth a thousand words. How appropriate, depicting quantities in spoons.

 
At Wed Jan 09, 10:59:00 PM 2008, Blogger misty said...

hi! i'm from the philippines and i love your blog. i wish i could try all your recipes. marvelous pix, very yummy to look at. i'm still a new blogger. thanks for letting me look around. i'll visit again sometime.

be happy!!!

 
At Wed Jan 23, 03:46:00 AM 2008, Blogger rv said...

hi , loved reading your blog , i also liked the tips you give for freezing foods, please do write more articles on that coz I find it very useful and your blog is simple to follow. I also read your son's blog, wow for a 10 year old, his vocabulary is excellent.

 
At Fri Mar 07, 04:49:00 AM 2008, Anonymous Nithya said...

Hi SH,

Yummy pictures. Just a quick question: When do you add the curry leaves ? Should they be be blended along with the tomatoes?

 
At Tue Oct 07, 11:01:00 AM 2008, Anonymous manoj said...

Thanks. this is exactly the recipe my mum sent me except she fries whole garlic cloves instead of grinding with the tomatoes. I will try it tonight.

manoj

 
At Wed Oct 08, 08:39:00 AM 2008, Anonymous Maven said...

I am a fan of Manisha's "Sun" Pickle technique, and made batch after batch this summer.

I am curious to know if I'd be able to do the same with tomato. If not fresh tomatoes, definitely sundried (in oil) might be a good substitute.

I really enjoy learning about all the different pickles and chutneys!

Fantastic pictures!

 
At Wed Nov 12, 11:16:00 AM 2008, Blogger Deepa said...

do we need to deseed the tomatoes ? It seems to be a laborious process ?
Your pickle seems good and glad to known it lasts long.

 
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At Sat Sep 04, 02:33:00 PM 2010, Blogger katty said...

Is very helpful to change our habits, we need to think the obesity is very danger for everybody, is like a pump that can explot any time. So is necesary to take care of ourselves, exercising and taking good and healthy food and stop eating junk food. The life is too short, so we need to take care of us every single day for enjoy the things that the life gave to us. I bought my house through costa rica homes for sale so i want to enjoy it for long time. That is why i eat healthy including tomatoes, lettuce, vegetables and fruits.

 
At Sat Sep 25, 02:27:00 AM 2010, Blogger goodnessofspices said...

hai,the pictures are beautiful,great thinking,i know how difficult it is to take food/still pictures,its not as easy as it looks.u have done a great job.
and coming to this pickle will it really stay fresh for a year as its not with dry tomatoes as traditional method.
i prepare pickles in uk:
look at my site : www.goodnessofspices.com

 

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