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Easy Tomato Garlic pickle

We love pickles and cannot do without them. My MIL makes the most amazing Avakkai; sadly our stock has run out this year :(. So until I get some more from her, I shall try some pickle recipes! This tomato pickle is also an adaptation of her recipe. I added garlic :). Pretty easy to make with very simple ingredients. This keeps well in the fridge for upto 2 weeks. The best thing about homemade instant pickles is that you don’s have to use a ton of oil and salt. As these pickles usually get over within a week or two, they do not need a lot of salt and oil as preservatives. I use store bought tomato paste(Hunt’s) to make this. You could always substitute this with chopped/pureed fresh tomatoes. When you are using fresh tomatoes you need not add any additional water, as the tomatoes have enough juice already.


Tomato paste(I use Hunts, 6 oz) – 2 no.
Tamarind paste(Tamicorn) – 1 1/2 tbsp
Chilli powder – 4 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 2-3 tbsp(adjust)
Mustard powder – 2 tsp
Fenugreek powder – 2 tsp
Jaggery – 2 tbsp(optional)
Water – 3 cups( 2 cups if you like your pickle thick/semi solid)

For Tempering:

Oil – 4-5 tbsp(preferable sesame oil)
Garlic – 1 head (or more)
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Chana Dal – 1 tbsp
Hing/Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp


  • Chop/Grind the peeled garlic pods in a blender.
  • Heat oil in a kadai/saucepan[use a slightly deep pan] and add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter and add the chana dal, curry leaves and hing. Saute for 30 secs. Add the garlic and fry for a minute.
  • Add all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Bring this mixture to a boil and cover with a lid leaving just enough gap for the steam to escape, on medium high. This is very important as the tomato mixture splutters a LOT. Best thing would be to leave a wooden spatula in the kadai and then close.
  • Stir every 5-10 mins. Reduce the mixture to desired consistency(cook for at least 20-25 mins). We like it a little like chutney and not too thick.
  • Switch off the heat and add mustard and fenugreek seed powder and mix well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This goes very well with dosa, idly and rotis. Our favorite way of eating this pickle is, mixing it up in some hot rice and ghee, absolutely divine!!

Tip: To make mustard powder, just grind up whole mustard seeds in a blender. For fenugreek powder, slightly roast the fenugreek seeds in a pan, without oil. Cool and grind it into a powder.

You can make these powders and store them in an airtight container. They keep well for 2-3 months.

You might also like:

Tomato Pappu (Dal) & Raw Plantain Curry – A south Indian meal

Instant Mixed Vegetable Pickle

Chickpeas & Vegetable Patty Burgers with Roasted Garlic Mayo Sauce

If you haven’t already noticed, I am on a break :)

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