This is the recipe for a typical Andhra-style tomato thokku. It's optional to add onions, one can also use garlic if they prefer the flavour. For the measures given below, around 7-8 cloves should be good.
TOMATO ONION THOKKU (cooked pickle)Ingredients : (Makes about 150 gms)
Tomatoes - 4 large or 6 medium (Best to use country tomatoes than the longish ones)
Onion (optional) - 3 medium, sliced
Fenugreek (Methi) seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin (Jeera) seeds - 1 tsp
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp + 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red Chili powder - 6 tsps
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Tamarind (imli) - 1 large (American) lemon size ball
Salt to taste
1. Dry roast the fenugreek and cumin seeds separately. Take care to not over-roast the fenugreek as it will become bitter. Let cool, then dry grind to a powder consistency.
2. Roughly chop tomatoes into chunks, keep aside. Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a pan and fry the onions till golden brown. Remove and let cool.
3. Heat 1/4 cup sesame oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, tip in the tomato chunks. Let cook for about 7-8 minutes on medium heat.
4. Now add the tamarind chunks, chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and finally the ground fenugreek-cumin powder. Mix well and let cook for 6-7 minutes more. Remove and let cool.
5. Grind the above mixture along with the fried onions to a fine paste without adding any water.
6. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup sesame oil in the same wok and add the ground pickle paste. Let cook on medium heat till oil starts to separate. This should take about 7-8 minutes more. Let cool and store in an air-tight jar.