Thakali Thokku – Spicy Tomato dip

This spicy tomato dip with the flavour and aroma of garlic and ginger was a recipe my mom experimented and it turned out to be a great success. During my sisters’ stay for three years in the hostel, mom made this dish repeatedly and packed it for my sister and her friends; it took them through many a meal. One day, I happened to take it as an accompaniment with my meal to office and there it became a high demand, so much so that we started bottling the thokku for sale. The scarlet red, spicy and mouth-watering accompaniment makes any meal just perfect!


  • 12 red firm tomatoes
  • 1 whole garlic
  • 2” piece ginger
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Gingely/Sesame oil for seasoning


  • Blanch tomatoes and peel.  Chop finely and set aside with its juices.
  • Peel and slice garlic. Peel and grate ginger.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. Allow to splutter. Put in fenugreek seeds and sauté. Ensure not to burn, which will result in bitterness.
  • Put in grated ginger and sliced garlic and sauté till the aroma of the spices fill the air.
  • Now add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well. Cover with lid and cook on high flame, for about 10-15 minutes, till the juices evaporate.
  • Remove lid, add sugar and cook on low flame till the thokku leaves the sides of the dish and oil separates.
  • Keep stirring, while cooking.
  • Once done cool and store in a glass jar and refrigerate. This lasts for a week (when serving use only dry spoon).
  • Savour with dosas, idlis, and rotis or even with steamed rice.

Preparation Time: 1 hour

Makes: 500 gm

Chef’s Tip: For a good appeal and taste, ensure to use firm and ripe tomatoes. Also allow the preparation to simmer well and thicken. In case of storage use a little extra oil as in pickles.

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