Tomato Thokku or Tomato pickle is a life saver for me. In this post I share with you Tomato Tips. Necessity is the mother of invention. Often time, I find that I am hard pressed for time. I am the cook at home, cooking all meals for the family, managing kids and tutoring them, managing office work etc. takes away all the time in hand. To make my life easier I rely upon tested methods to save time. For cooking also I use instant podis (like curry powder, instant rasam powder) which can be topped with sambar/rasam powder to cook fresh food fast. At my house, I always prefer to prepare fresh food and my children and husband like to eat only the freshly prepared food.
Given this, I use commonly available things to cook faster. Tomato Thokku is one such wonder. If I prepare thokku, then that week I use it very effectively not just as an accompaniment, but in many different ways. In this post, I explain the different methods in which I use tomato thokku. I am not a makeover specialist, nor I like to use leftovers to make another dish. I rather resort to quasi cooked things to make life easier. You can take these as inspirations and add your own methods and spices to suit your tastebud.
11 ways to use Tomato Thokku-Tomato Tips
Tomato Tips 1: Quick and Easy Tiffin Sambar
At time, when I am hard pressed for time, I use Tomato thokku to make quick tiffin sambar. Here is how I do this. In a pressure cooker, add two spoon of oil. Splutter mustard seeds and add chopped onions and slit green chilies and saute well. Wash and add Toor dal/Moong dal to the cooker and pressure cook till dal is well done. Mash dal and add required quantity of Tomato Thokku paste and bring the whole mixture to boil again. Taste the sambar and add salt as required. Season it with curry leaves and yummy and colorful Tiffin sambar gets ready in no time. Normally I cook additional dal with rice and make this Sambar. Gets done super quick.
Tomato Tips 2: Kuzhambu in a Jiffy
To make Kara Kuzhambu, squeeze a lemon sized tamarind in water as thick paste. In a kadai, make seasoning of mustard, methi seeds, curry leaves and dry chillies. Saute any vegetable of choice. I normally add small onion or ladies finger as they cook quickly. Drizzle a bit of salt on the vegetables to cook fast. In low flame, add sambar powder to the hot vegetables and give it a stir. Now add the squeezed tamarind water and Saute. The whole thing now will be in paste like consistency. When raw smell goes off from tamarind, add required tomato thokku and dilute as required. You can see the kuzhambu getting new flavor and color. Incidentally today morning I did this kuzhambu. Kuzhambu has nice consistency and bright red color. This normally gets done in 10 minutes.
Tomato Tips 3: Tomato Kottu Rasam
In our families, we make an instant rasam called Kottu rasam. It is a rasam made with no tamarind. I will post its recipe soon. But here is how I make the rasam in a jiffy with tomato thokku. In a vessel, add 1 glass of water and add ½ Tsp rasam powder, salt, Asafoetida and bring to boil in low flame. Grind 1 Tablespoon of toor dal, 1 dry red chillies, ½ Tsp of pepper and ½ Tsp of jeera into coarse powder. Add the powder to the boiling water. Add required quantity of thokku and dilute to consistency. Chop 1 tomato and add it to the boiling water. Cook in low flame till rasam forths up. Make a rich tempering with Ghee. Add mustard seeds, jeera, spring of curry leaves, 1 dry chilli and coriander leaves. Adjust salt to taste and serve.
Tomato Tips 4: One pot Tomato rice
To make One pot tomato rice, in a kadai heat oil. Crack mustard, jeera, Urad dal, ground nut and channa dal in required quantity and fry in low to medium flame till dals turn golden in color. Add chopped onion and fry. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar to cook onions faster. Add required quantity of tomato thokku and mix well. Add cooked rice to the mix, you instant tomato rice is ready.
Tomato Tips 5: And a Merry Pachhadi for the one pot meal.
To make instant tomato pachhadi, just mix 4 tablespoon of fresh creamy curd to 1 tablespoon of tomato thokku. Your instant raita is ready.
Tomato Tips 6: Also a side dish for Chapati
Want dal for Chapati? In a pressure cooker, add 1 spoon oil. Crack jeera and add chopped onion, slit green chillies, ginger pieces, curry leaves and saute. Wash and add moong dal with a pinch of turmeric powder. Pressure cook with required quantity of water. When pressure releases, add required quantity of tomato thokku to the mixed dal and give it a quick boil. Colorful, flavourful tomato dal is ready to be served with chapatti or Roti.
Tomato Tips 7: Fusion base for a perfect sandwich
You can spread the tomato thokku as a base in bread and make sandwich. Butter the bread on the sides and spread tomato thokku (like how we spread green chutney). Layer vegetable of choice and grill in sandwich maker or tawa. Yummy vegetable sandwich is ready. Adding a cheese slice making it more delicious. Cheese and tomato are made for each other and this combo never fails in any recipe.
Tomato Tips 8: Many ways with Dosa
Do you prepare Tomato Dosa. It is such an easy thing with this thokku. Mix 1 laddle of dosa batter with 1 Tsp of Thokku and spread it like a dosa. Or even easier is to spread the dosa like how you normally do and spread one layer of Thokku on its top. Your flavored dosa is ready.
Tomato Tips 9: Royal Mysore Masala dosa as a spread
You want to make Mysore masala dosa? Instead of Kara chutney of traditional Mysore masala, spread tomato thokku on thin dosa crepe. Add potato masala to it. This makes new kind of dosa and you are free to give it a name J I do this often as my husband is very fond of Mysore masala dosa.
Tomato Tips 10: And a humble Chutney
To make instant Onion tomato chuney, sauté onion in oil with a sprinkle of salt and grind it to a fine paste. In a kadai, add mustard and urad dal and make a tadka. Add the onion paste and tomato paste again in a kadai and give a whisk. Believe me the resultant chutney would be better than the regular onion tomato chutney.
Tomato Tips 11: Chapati roll inspired by Kissan
Inspired by Kissan ketchup, here is another trick I do, to prepare chapatti roll. I make regular chapatti and regular potato curry (which I will serve with lunch). I take a 4 Tbsp of potato curry and top with 1 Tbsp of tomato thokku. Add a pinch of chat masala and whisk well to ensure potato is evenly coated with tomato. I roll this with chapatti and send it for lunch box.
I use it also as quick paste in many north Indian dishes. But using in north indian side dishes like Paneer butter masala or Chole requires changes in masala to bring in Northy taste to the food. So I leave them to your imagination. What is your hack. Please share with us.
Do read the post on Mango Thokku which is another interesting pickle of Tanjore Cuisine.
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