Pickles & Thokku.

Delicious Onion Thokku (Onions sauteed with spices and made in to a quick delectable pickle)

Delicious Onion Thokku
Delicious Onion Thokku:

Onion Thokku used to be my favorite side for chapattis as a student. Amma would always make Onion Thokku and she would pack delicious soft rotis for lunch, along with a side of this delectable thokku. On some days, it would be smeared on the rotis and made in to a roll. It has the most amazing flavor and aroma and is a favorite among my cousins during travel. I remember, when I was about twelve, we had gone to this trip to my cousin`s place in Delhi. The Grand Trunk Express would take it`s own sweet time to cover the 2000 odd kilometres. A standard breakfast that amma would pack would be idlis neatly parceled in green banana leaves smothered in gun powder and gingely oil. Lunch would always mostly be soft puris and this yummy Onion Thokku.


2  big Onion cut in to big pieces.

1/2 cup of Broken Urad Dhal.

6-7  Red Chillies.

2 Inch  Tamarind soaked in 2 tbsp water.

Salt to taste.


Curry Leaves.



Spices roasted for the Onion Thokku.

  • In a kadai, add 2 spoons of oil, and when ready, add mustard and curry leaves and then the chopped onions. Add a little turmeric, saute well and set aside to cool.
  • In the same kadai, add a spoon of oil and fry the Urad dhal, red chillies and curry leaves. Set aside to cool a little.
  • Add the roasted spices to a mixer, add salt, tamarind and give it a pulse to allow the spices to powder coarsely.
  • Now add the sauteed onions also to the ground powder and pulse well to get a near smooth paste.
  • Use the kadai and a couple spoons of oil and add the ground onion paste and saute it well. The more this thokku is sauteed in oil, it stays and does not spoil. Allow for oil to leave the sides – This should take about 7-8 mins of stirring.
  • This not only compounds the flavor but also helps in preserving the thokku for a long time.
  • Serve with Chappathis, Puris, Curd Rice , Idlis or Dosa.
Pickles & Thokku.

Tomato Thokku (Pickled Tomatoes)

Tomato Thokku is a form of pickle (read delicacy) that`s so often made in my home…but then one never gets enough of it. Its such a versatile side, you can have it with idli, dosa, upma,curd rice, parathas, bread, tortillas and virtually anything else you can think of. Whenever tomatoes are down to 99c a pound, or If I have a few getting ripe, tomato thokku it is…

Here it goes, for the benefit of the others…


15 Medium Sized Tomatoes.

2 Tsp Fenugreek

2 Tsp Salt

3 Tsp Red Chilli Powder


1/2 cup of Concentrated Tamarind Extract.

Pinch of Turmeric.

1 Tbsp of Jaggery.


Mustard seeds, Curry Leaves.


  • Wash the tomatoes, dry them by wiping them  and chop them in to tiny pieces.
  • Dry roast the fenugreek/venthayam on a slow flame until you get the aroma. Its very important that its roasted on a medium low flame as this slow release of flavour adds to the taste. cool it and powder it well in the mixer.
  • Take a heavy bottomed pan and pour in 8-9 spoons of oil, add mustard and when it starts to splutter, add curry leaves and hing.
  • Quickly add the tomatoes, hing, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and the tamarind extract.
  • Stir in the ground venthayam/fenugreek and jaggery  also in to the pan.
  • Allow the tomatoes to cook and simmer on a medium-low flame with constant stirring so that it does not stick to the bottom.
  • Keep on stirring until the oil seperates from the “thokku”…this should approximately take about 40-45 minutes.
  • Switch off the stove and allow to cool for 2-3 hours and store in an airtight glass jar.
  • Enjoy with Rotis, Parathas, Idlis, Doasas, Venn Pongal or yummy curd rice.