Thakkali Thokku ~ Spicy Tomato Relish



If you had seen something red peaking out in my Ari Dosa post, then it was this delicious “Thakkali Thokku”. Thakkali Thokku is basically a tomato chutney prepared in parts of South India – not Kerala though πŸ™‚ – and goes amazingly well with anything – chapathis, as side for rice, with dosas and idlis. You name it, it goes really well with it. I am not a tomato fanatic but somehow blogging tempts you into staring at certain recipes and it keeps replaying in your head till you make it. That’s how the Thakkali Thokku happened and now keeps happening when tomatoes are available at a good price. I don’t need to tell you how expensive these red roundels have become off late!




The best part about this recipe is its adaptability. I have kept it as mildly spicy as possible for my whole family to enjoy. Alhamdulillah, the kids did love it too, though they would pick out the tomatoes in their food! You can increase the level of red chilli powder as much as you can take it. While doing my research, I found that there is a difference between the Tamilian version and the Andhran version. The former uses onions in their thokku and is mildly spiced, while the later does not use onion and is heavily spiced. I chose to keep myself in between though. πŸ˜‰ Even the cooking of the tomatoes is upto you. If you like chunks and a little sweet, then you can stop cooking when the stage is reached, but if you are like me who prefer a pulpy texture, then cook till it is nicely mashed.


Whatever said and done, I have to tell you about the aroma. It IS amazing! The satisfaction simple foods can give you is once again confirmed by this delicious pot of relish. Whether you love your tomatoes or no, try it once. You will definitely not regret! πŸ™‚





5 from 1 vote

Thakkali Thokku ~ Spicy Tomato Relish

Course Dip
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda


  • 4 large tomatoes 600 gm
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • A fat pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste


  • Chop the tomatoes as fine as possible.
  • Heat oil in a big saucepan. Splutter the mustard seeds and briefly fry the fenugreek seeds. Let the hing also fry.
  • Add in tomatoes with some salt and give it a good toss.
  • Get it cooking on low flame, stirring it occasionally. The tomato will start releasing its fluids and then slowly start drying up.
  • Add in the powders and give it a good stir. Continue to cook till the tomatoes are fully mashed and the mixture is almost dry. Adjust the seasoning by adding sugar and salt.
  • Switch off and cool completely before storing it in a sterilized bottle.


If you wish, you can add one onion, minced in the beginning before adding the tomatoes. Rest all process is the same.

Join the Conversation

  1. Lovely Tomato Thokku, would love it have it with yogurt rice…

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Priya…

  2. This would be great with some sourdough bread too!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Angie…

  3. Love this red vibrant colour…just awesome

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Amrita…

  4. Haha I know.. that aroma that fills the kitchen while making a Thakkali thokku is just divine ☺️ And its versatility, just can pair up with anything n everything… nice pics dear ????

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Chitra… πŸ™‚

  5. yummy love this with chapathis too,delicious πŸ™‚

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Julie… πŸ™‚

  6. 5 stars
    Sounds delish! I’ve got tomatoes a’plenty oin my garden right now so I’m going to have to try this right away.

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Ah… you must! I am sure you will enjoy it, Bibi… Thanks a lot dear…

  7. Always a favorite! Simple and yet so tasty!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Beulah…

  8. That chutney sounds so yum!

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thanks a lot Taruna…

  9. Sayantani says:

    totally agree. this recipe is a keeper and could be adapted to suit anyone’s taste preferences. wonderful click

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much Sayantani…

  10. I have only tried with onions. I wonder how the one with tomatoes alone would turn up **thinking**!
    There is another reason why I love this recipe πŸ˜› I make batches of it and keep for dinner. One day I add boiled egg, another day fried paneer or may be sausage!! It serves as a base to many dishes:)

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      I totally love your idea of mixing it up with all those things… very nice! Thank you so much Ria… πŸ™‚

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