I learnt this recipe from my mom. When the tomatoes were very much cheaper in some seasons, she used to buy lots and make this thokku/chutney/pickle. It used to go well with all dishes, that is the advantage of it. My sister and me used to love having it with Bisi bele bath, peas palav, idli, dosas and even with chapathis ... The tangy taste was loved by us and even the smell when cooking and later when stored also used to be great.The main and major ingredient in this recipe is one and only TOMATO ... except with just little spices.
Sending in this recipe to Sanghi's
Tamarind - one small lime size
Garlic - 3 pods( can make a paste, chop fine or crush, I just crushed)
Mustard seeds - 1/8 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/8 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Hing/asafoetida - a pinch
Fenugreek/ methi seeds powder - 1/8 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp( use red kashmiri chilli powder for good colour)
Salt as needed
Oil - 1 tbsp( can use gingelly oil)
Cut tomatoes into thick chunks and transfer to a bowl, also add tamarind( see that it does not have any seeds in it)... add water just enough for soaking and set it aside for couple of hours... when mom wanted to do it in the morning, she used to soak in the night itself... but I just soaked for 3 hours... later add them in a blender/ mixer and grind to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a non stick pan and add mustard seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves... when they pop out add crushed garlic( adding garlic is optional, but it gives a good aroma to the dish and the kitchen), fry till they turn brown, next add hing, chilli powder and methi powder... just mix and add the ground paste... reduce flame and cover it with a lid/plate... cook till it is almost reduced to get a thick consistency... add salt... check the taste, if the dish is too tangy , can add a bit of sugar/ jaggery to reduce the tanginess.