Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Tomato Pacchadi (Tomato Pickle)

Tomato Pacchadi (Tomato Pickle)

A new grocery shop has opened in the neighborhood recently and they had a grand opening sale on some items. Good looking tomatoes, still on the vine were advertised for 49 cents a pound. The deal was irresistible and I bought 20 pounds thinking of making tomato pickle.

There are mainly two ways of tomato pickle preparation that I am familiar with. The sun-dried method and the stove-top simmering method. Both produce excellent tasting pickles of different personalities. The first one needs super bright sunshine. It’s hot here in Seattle since last week, but it is no way near Nandyala hot. So, I decided on stove-top simmering method. Mainly, it’s fail-proof and produces tomato pickle of high quality that’s ready to eat as soon as it’s done simmering.

Like in any pickle preparation, the ingredients quality matters a lot for tomato pickle also. Tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes with thin skin and little bit under-ripe are the best. Traditionally, tomato seeds and skin are included in pickle for that special texture and extra something they bring to the end experience. Sesame oil, tamarind, fenugreek, red chilli powder, iodine-free salt, asafetida, garlic, and fresh curry leaves – total eight ingredients are needed, which can be purchased at Indian grocery shops for low prices.

Surrounded by all natural ingredients, simmered tomatoes in tomato pickle sure make a bold, declamatory statement on taste buds. Sweet, sour, salty and spicy, the rich taste of tomato pickle is an addictive one. We particularly like it with upma, pongal, and yogurt rice. Also as a spread on chapatis and on toasted bread.

Tomatoes for Pickle


Tomatoes: 25 tomatoes rinsed and wiped dry with a clean towel. Coarsely chopped – about 15 cups.
Tamarind: 3 index finger-length tamarind pods soaked in half cup hot water and juice extracted. Or about ¼ cup thick tamarind pulp (added to enhance the tomato’s sweet-sourness quality).
Sesame oil (non-toasted variety from India, not the Chinese type) – ¼ cup
Red chilli powder – ¼ cup
Iodine-free salt – ½ cup
Fenugreek powder – 1 tablespoon

For Popu or Tadka:
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 sprigs curry leaves, about 15 fresh curry leaves
10 garlic cloves – thinly sliced lengthwise, (like sliced almonds)
¼ teaspoon asafetida (inguva)

Sliced to Chunks

In a big, non-reactive pan, add and heat sesame oil (¼ cup). Add the tomatoes to hot oil. Also the red chilli powder, salt and tamarind pulp. Mix and cover the pot. Cook on high heat, stirring in-between for about 30 minutes. Tomatoes will be mushed down and you will be seeing lot of tomato juice trying to lift the pot lid and splash the counter-tops.

At this stage, add the fenugreek powder. Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover the pot and simmer until the tomatoes become thick but spreadable like jam. It takes easily an hour. Fine-tune the balance and adjust salt and chilli levels to your liking. The next step will be adding the toasted popu or tadka ingredients.

In a skillet, heat the sesame oil (2 tbs) until a garlic piece tossed in it sizzles. Lower the heat to medium. Add the garlic first and then the curry leaves. Toast to pale gold color. Turn off the heat. Stir in asafetida. Mix and immediately add the toasted skillet contents to the tomato pickle.

Stir so that everything gets well combined. Simmer, uncovered for about ten minutes, gently mixing. Turn off the heat and let the pickle cool. (Do not cover the pot.)

Fill the completely cooled tomato pickle in a clean glass jar with a tight lid. It stays fresh for a month, and stores very well even without refrigeration.


After one hour of simmering

Tomato Pickle ready to be placed in a jar

Tomato Pickle
Rosematta and Yuba Vegetable Congee with Tomato Pacchadi

Recipe Source: Amma, Nandyala
If you are planning to make it with regular salt, reduce the quantity by couple of teaspoons, also adjust the salt level to your taste.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Tomato (Monday July 16, 2007 at 9:10 pm- permalink)
Comments (47)

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47 comments for Tomato Pacchadi (Tomato Pickle) »

  1. Spectacular Indira. I have been checking your website quite frequently to see if you have posted a recipe for the pacchadi. Thanks a lot!

    Comment by Madhavi — July 16, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

  2. hey,

    thanks.. a lot for the reciepe….
    for past two days i have been collecting the tomatoes from my bacyyard.. for the tomato pickle… and also checking ur site.. for the recipe…

    got…it at last.. will try it and let u know what happened……

    Comment by Riya — July 16, 2007 @ 9:58 pm

  3. thats a delicious tangy pickle….

    Comment by roopa — July 16, 2007 @ 10:13 pm

  4. I followed almost the same recipe, but I added some desi lemon juice after taking the thokku out of the heat, instead of the tamarind.

    Once again, thanks for making me nostalgic enough to get up and make this !

    Comment by sg — July 16, 2007 @ 10:35 pm

  5. I love this with hot and soft idlis. I am already drooling over. At Chennai due to rains tomato price is soaring up. Have to wait till it comes down 😉

    Comment by Nirmala — July 16, 2007 @ 11:04 pm

  6. Indira I have tasted garlic too in the pachadi in a vijayawada version. Incase I want to use it how do I include it in your recipe?

    Comment by Anjali — July 16, 2007 @ 11:58 pm

  7. Oh I went back to check and you do have garlic! I missed it the first time.

    Comment by Anjali — July 17, 2007 @ 12:01 am

  8. Wow Indira, that looks absolutely stunning, I have added it to my must try list!

    Comment by Saju — July 17, 2007 @ 2:35 am

  9. Hi Indira,

    I’m excited to try this! It’s very different from my mum’s version but I think the tamarind and fenugreek will add great flavour.

    Comment by Preeta — July 17, 2007 @ 8:29 am

  10. Wow! I love tomato pickle…

    The pictures are so beautiful…

    Your blog is a really a feast to my eyes and soul…

    Comment by Kumudha — July 17, 2007 @ 8:35 am

  11. Thanks Indira for that perfect looking tomato pachadi recipe. Have been waiting for it. Both my husband and I love this and I’m definitely going to make it as soon as I lay hands to some beautiful plum tomatoes. Thanks again.

    Comment by Pavani — July 17, 2007 @ 8:42 am

  12. LOVE YOUR WEBSITE!! Makes me miss india so much more =(

    How can i subsribe to it.

    Comment by ek_one — July 17, 2007 @ 12:37 pm

  13. Indira, wow very nice recipe… i have a similar one where i add saunf and jaggery for sweetness… thank u for the recipe

    Comment by Dumela = Rachna — July 17, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

  14. naaku tineyali ani undi Indira photo lonchi teesukuni! Chala bavundi

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — July 17, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

  15. Yum! My mother makes this, and my grandmother used to!! I’ve tried it a couple times, and also made it w/ methi mixed into it.

    We also eat a garlic pickle that is delicious.

    It’s funny – you’ve never posted a picture of yourself, leaving us to wonder what this amazing cook looks like. I was wondering this the other day!

    Comment by devika — July 17, 2007 @ 3:59 pm

  16. Hi Indira,

    Nice and very vibranant recipe…

    I tried your strawberry scone recipe and it just came out wonderful….thanks a lot for the recipe….

    Comment by Rashmi — July 17, 2007 @ 4:03 pm

  17. Wow, that first picture is great, I can almost taste it! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll definitely be giving it a go.

    Comment by Caty — July 17, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

  18. Madhavi and Riya: Thanks for your interest and sorry to keep you waiting. Last few days have been extremely hectic. It took some time to put the recipe into words.
    Hope you will try and enjoy it.

    Sg: Your version sounds delicious.
    Glad to hear that you’ve prepared and enjoyed the tomato pickle.

    Nirmala: I totally like this pickle with idlies.
    My mother also told me the same thing about high tomato prices. I hope they come down soon. Nandyala and Kurnool areas are also devastated because of severe rains.

    Anjali: Along with pickles, Vijayawada is famous for pesarattu-upma breakfast combination. Hope you had a chance to try it there.

    Thank you Kumudha.

    Hi Pavani: Vijay and I loved this pickle taste. It really came out super good. I totally recommend.

    Hi EK: Thanks and here is link to Mahanandi’s feed.

    Hi Rachna: We make a sweet tomato pickle with jaggery but without saunf. Different taste but a good one.

    Deepika: Ikkada undunte meeku oka jar ninda pacchadi pampiche daanini kada. Meeru tappakunda Seattle ki raavali.:)

    Rashmi: I am glad to hear that you tried and liked the scones recipe. Thanks for letting me know.

    Caty: Thanks. Hope you get a chance to try this pickle.

    Comment by Indira — July 17, 2007 @ 8:45 pm

  19. Nice recipe..I love Tomato pickle..the Priya Pickle and mother’s recipe one too. But glad to have the recipe!!

    One doubt…why “Iodine free salt?”

    There is a significant taste difference between iodized salt and iodine free sea salt. That’s why I prefer iodine free sea salt for traditional old classics like pickles.
    – Indira

    Comment by Varsha — July 17, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

  20. I love the tomato pickle…And yours looks so yummy…I have to now immediately prepare this.
    Thanks for the recipe…

    Comment by Meena — July 18, 2007 @ 6:44 am

  21. Hi Indira:
    I visit your site frequently but rarely post.
    Your pictures are poetic, and I love your recipes and find myself making them often.
    Question: interesting that this tomato
    pickle/chutney is called “pachadi”. In Tamil,
    pachadi = raita (more or less) i.e. made with yogurt and eaten fresh. Is pachadi a common word for pickle in Telugu, and what’s the difference from thokku?

    Hi Sudha,
    In Telugu – pacchadi applies to both yogurt and chilli based chutneys.
    Thokku = Grind or pound in Telugu. The Sun-dried method, where the tomatoes placed under Sun and then ground with spices is traditionally called Tomato Thokku. Laxmiammal blogged about this traditional Tomato thokku recipe, I have linked it in my post. Check it out to know the difference between these two methods. I didn’t call my recipe thokku because there was no grinding of tomatoes in this simmering method.
    Hope this helps.
    – Indira

    Comment by Sudha — July 18, 2007 @ 8:43 am

  22. I am looking at this for the umpteenth time. Such a delightful array of pics

    Comment by sandeepa — July 19, 2007 @ 10:22 am

  23. Namaste Indra Garu,

    You are doing really great. Your website is equivalent to another hand in my kitchen.

    Fabulous shots! Rich red tomatoes…mouthwatering tomato pickle and ratatouille recipe is pretty cool!

    And happy to see less oil peeping on the condensed tomato pickle.

    Indira, I need a favour! I need recipe for whole wheat grain! I did simple and fat free recipe. I soaked wheat grain in salt water for 20 minutes, I drained water and roasted in pan till it becomes crisp!

    I need something differnt! Can you help me?

    Hi Shreya,
    There is a salad recipe with wheat grains. Usually served in restaurants. Tastes great. For recipe do a Google or Yahoo search on “Wheatberry salad”.
    Hope this helps.

    Comment by shreya — July 19, 2007 @ 10:50 am

  24. how long can you store this pickle. Is it for a month or a couple of month’s?

    Comment by rak — July 22, 2007 @ 2:51 pm

  25. Hi Indira, I made this recipe today by skipping sesame oil(used olive oil instead….my mom is very particular about which oil she eats and I wanted her to eat this pickle badly….sorry!) and using regular salt(but only 6 tbsp…might use even less next time….I think the “saltness” of salt increases when using regular salt)……and I’ve got to say…AMAZING recipe. Thanks a lot!

    Comment by Nabeela — July 23, 2007 @ 11:51 pm

  26. This recipe is a definite try…
    You inspire me not only to cook , but also to buy as i said earlier my sis sent me a set of steel measuring spoons just like yours as i used to love them when i browsed through your site. Now tell me about this vessel you are using for the tomato pachadi what brand is it.

    Comment by mahek — July 24, 2007 @ 10:11 pm

  27. Hii
    i tried tomato pachadi….it was superb thanks a lot…this time i want to tryt minugulu chinthapandu pachadi…pls help me out


    Comment by aparna — July 25, 2007 @ 8:21 pm

  28. Dear indira,
    my name is asifa i am basically from Anantapur presently i live in saudi arabia along with my husband and two sons age 11 and 7.i recently came across ur website its really very superb.when i gone thru ur reeceipes i became very nostalgic because my mom and motherinlaw cooks the same like ur receipes.Though we urdu speaking muslims have recipes of north also my husband and my self likes vegetarian andhra style food very much . ur site is very eye appealing especially the photographs of the ingredients. i love ur receipes .thanks for the wonderful receipes bye

    Comment by asifa tanveer — July 31, 2007 @ 3:42 am

  29. Hi Indira,
    Tried this tomato pickle recently.came out so good.Thanks for sharing the recipe.Do I have to refrigerate this pickle.Thank you.

    Comment by Durga — August 7, 2007 @ 8:31 am

  30. Ok I tried the Tomato Pachadi and made it very spicy. Because I Loooovvvee Spicy food. My husband can’t eat spicy food. I wonder what he will tell me after eating. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    By the way I tried even the Onion Chutney (I posted a comment on that also). It has come good – except that your chutney looks all red and mine looks whitish. Maybe because I ground the onions too much. But the taste is just great. Now I am going to eat both the pachadis with Chapathi and rice. Would you like to join me?

    Comment by Arathi — August 23, 2007 @ 11:26 am

  31. […] A fantastic-looking Tomato Pickle from Indira from Mahanandi. Sexy Romesco Sauce from Ann at a A Chicken in Every Granny Cart. Ultra-minimal Tomato Ginger Jam from Alanna at A Veggie Venture. […]

    Pingback by vanesscipes > » Baked Eggs in Tomatoes with a Zippy Tomato-Corn Sauce — August 28, 2007 @ 3:46 pm

  32. HiIndira loved your recipe simply because you mentioned non-iodine salt. I have made tomato pickle before with that salt and had to throw away everything due to the high saltiness!!It makes a huge difference in the amount used when you use non-iodine salt. Thanks again.

    Comment by poornima — August 30, 2007 @ 5:52 pm

  33. I was looking for preparation of good Tomoto Pickle. Your receipe was very help.. Thanks for Gr8 & Tasty Pickle..

    Cheers – Sangeetha

    Comment by Sangeetha — October 6, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

  34. Hi Indira, I made this tomato pickle using your recipe and it turned out very tasty.

    Comment by Smriti — November 14, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

  35. Hello indira, this is really great recipe and easy to make. How long can keep fresh in pantry? or store in fridge.Thanks.

    Comment by sravanti — November 25, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

  36. I tried this recipe – turned out good. Some variations :
    a. Along with fenugreek powder, I added a teaspoon of mustard powder
    b. After adding tadka, I added a tea-spoon of kasuri methi and simmered it for 10 min

    Comment by Shantala — March 9, 2008 @ 5:01 am

  37. hi indira, nice! my mom makes the same tomato pachadi in the same way! there is an interesting addition to her recipe. she adds dals- chana dal, urad dal. she toast them in oil and adds them at the end. i know when dals are added they dont last for a long time. but the addition of dals make them crunchy and tastes real good because they are soaked in the tomato paste.forget to tell that she does the grind the tomatoes before adding the dals. u should try!

    Comment by srividya — March 12, 2008 @ 8:59 am

  38. Hi,
    I have surfed your website today and to my surprise the receipe is wow.


    Comment by Munmun — May 5, 2008 @ 9:24 pm

  39. Can you make a chutney with store bought sundried tomatoes?

    Comment by Shivani — May 6, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

  40. Dear Indira,
    I stumbled across your site when searching for a recipe for tomato pickle, and I must say I have gotten access to a gold mine.
    I tried your recipe using the last crop of my organic garden grown tomatoes and it turned out excellent. My husband was visibly impressed since I am not too good at this type of cooking. Thank you for such a good recipe.

    Comment by Rashmi — October 17, 2008 @ 8:21 am

  41. Hello Indira,

    I love your receipes and i follow your blog. I want to try this receipe but i want to know how much time can we store this for..Please reply.

    Comment by RK — December 9, 2009 @ 9:22 pm

  42. Hi indira,

    I made this pickle quite a few times .Its yummy!!!!


    Comment by Minu — February 4, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

  43. thanks a lot for the recipe i saw ur blog yeaterday and i made the pickle today it is awsome!!!!! thank you
    beema fathima

    Comment by beema fathima — February 22, 2010 @ 3:34 am

  44. FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!
    i love your cooking methods……..

    Comment by punni — July 21, 2010 @ 11:35 pm

  45. Dear Indra
    I tried this pickle and it came out very well.It tasted yummy.Thanks a lot for sharing. Should I add the seasoning immediately(when the oil is hot) or after allowing the oil to cool? I have heard that oil when added to the pickle when hot changes the colour of the pickle.Does it?

    Comment by Saradha — February 25, 2011 @ 1:47 am

  46. we have purchased a large amount of tomatoes at a cheap rate a sudden idea occured to me to prepare tomato pickle which is our favourite at that time i happen to know your receipe thanks for your mouthering watering recipe

    Comment by m.sangeetha perumalsamy — October 9, 2011 @ 1:19 am

  47. Tried this awesome tomato pacchadi recently and it truly taste’s great.Thank’s.

    Comment by Prajnya Nayak — December 24, 2011 @ 2:18 am

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