Food + Recipes – Tomato Thokku

Tomato Thokku is one of the quintessential South Indian side dishes. You can quickly whip it up and leave it on the stove to develop delicious flavors. I have had it for breakfast and dinner with Idli or Dosa, and for lunch with some rice and eggs on the side. It is very tangy, and an extremely verstaile dish!

Thokku is a bit different from Chutney, because the ingredients are never blended. They are simmered for a long time to breakdown the acids in the tomatoes that draws out its innate sweetness, while letting it incorporate the flavor from other ingredients. Thokku has a fairly intense flavor profile. Heat and time are amazing entities when it comes to developing flavor, huh? šŸ˜Š


Time and tide
Shall wait for none,
Nature adapts at ever turn –
Like the wishful magic
That gives you unbridled joy.

Recipe for 2-4 servings

  • 32 Oz – Canned tomatoes or Fresh tomatoes (I prefer Heirloom)
  • 80 grams – Yellow Onion, minced
  • 10 grams – Garlic, minced
  • 10 grams – Mustard seeds
  • 5 grams – Fenugreek seeds
  • 5 grams – Tumeric Powder
  • A pinch of Asafoetida powder
  • 1 Tbsp – Oil (I prefer olive oil)
  • 5 grams – Chili Powder (optional)
  • 2 – Dried Chili (optional)
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Salt to taste


You can roast about 8 Oz of the tomatoes in the oven for 10 minutes at 450Ā°F for more flavor before adding it to the mix.


  1. Add the oil to the pan. As it starts to warm up, add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and chilis, and start tempering it
  2. As soon as it starts getting some color, add the onions and the garlic
  3. When it starts browning, add the rest of the ingredients
  4. Let it boil, then cover and let it simmer for atleast 30 minutes or until the oil starts rising to the top
  5. Garnish with cilantro and serve!

I usually leave mine in the fridge overnight, so that it can develop additional flavors overnight. I hope you enjoy šŸ˜Š


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