Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tomato pulikkachchal

My mom's recipe notebook has some randomly written tips. She has actually copied down how each vegetable can be kept fresh longer.... In the 60s and 70s, the fridge was a luxury!
Here is how she kept her tomatoes. wash them and rub gently dry and arrange on a flat plate or on a newspaper looking up. Next day turn them over. Repeat this process the next day and so on, until all the tomatoes are consumed. she kept them even after dad bought her a good capacity fridge :)
Our dear Velamma, our then live-in maid, would purchase firm tomatoes and stock them for her. Velamma used to indulge us with all our favourite vegetables. Whenever she spotted good veggies she would purchase saying that one of us will eat it heartily. She stayed with us until my daughter was about a year and a half. Velamma died of good old age two or three years later. She doubled and trebled her duties whenever the need arose without being asked to. She nursed my grandmother when ill, stayed up with me at night when I was term due and nannied my colic stricken daughter.. and much much more. We miss her and can never replace her.
Guess that is a big dose of nostalgia folks. Now the recipe, that can serve as a side dish, ready mix for rice or just a dip with hot samosas, french fries etc. You get about 200ml of finished dish with the following measures.


Firm, ripe tomatoes - 250 grams
Tamarind paste - 1 tablespoon
Red chillies - 6 pieces
Green chillies - 6 pieces
Sesame oil - 5 tablespoons
Salt - to taste
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - few
Cilantro - few strands chopped
Tumeric - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida - 1/2 teaspoon

Wash tomatoes and drop them in boiling water. Boil until the peel cracks. Drain, but reserve the water for further use. remove the skin and puree the tomatoes. Add salt, tamarind pulp and the reserved water.
Put the oil in a pan and on medium fire and let the mustards crackle. Then add the asafoetida and turmeric. Break red chillies in twos and slit green chillies. Put them in the pan and saute for a while.
Pour the pureed tomato and bring to a boil. Lower the fire to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes until oil separates and floats on top. Garnish with the curry leaves and cilantro.
Store in clean jars. Stays well in the fridge for 4 days.


  1. First time here..u have a very nice blog..Good idea of preserving tomatoes without fridge..tomato pulikachal is very new to me..never heard of this..thanks..i have bookmarked it..will try and tell u soon via my blog:)

  2. Looks yum and nice pic..first time here and u got a lovely blog...ur profile photo is very cute

  3. I've read that the flavour of tomatoes go away when refrigerated so I keep out some and refrigerate the rest when I have a lot and can't use them right away. Will follow your mom's tip next time... :)
    This sounds like a very versatile dip/thokku.

  4. Hey just bumped in your blog...wow, nice tips... Nice blog...Keep blogging dear...

  5. Thank you,Chtra,Priti and sowmya,will try to do justice to all this enthusiasm you show.Gives me more confidence.

  6. Thanks lata for visiting my space and leaving lovely comment..ur profile pic i love it.keep visiting

  7. Hey interesting way to store veggies thats indeed something which we oughta follow even now!!! the pulikkachal is tongue tickling!!!


Welcome and thank you for taking time to drop by.
I appreciate your valuable comments and tips.
I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.