Tomato Pachadi is a spicy, sour, and tangy chutney from the Andhra cuisine of Southern India. This zesty condiment is made with tomatoes, lentils, tamarind, spices and herbs. The term ‘Pachadi’ here refers to chutney. Hence the name of this condiment and it is one of the easiest and quickest ways of making a delicious chutney at home. It pairs extremely well with Idli, Masala Dosa, Adai, Uttapam or Medu Vada. This Tomato Pachadi can also be used as a delectable spread on your chapathi or breads.
About Andhra Tomato Pachadi
Like this Tomato Pachadi, chutneys made with tomatoes or onions really go great with a lot of South Indian snacks.
So, in addition to this Tomato Pachadi, a special from the cuisine of Andhra Pradesh, there are many chutney variations that I have made with tomatoes, onions or even both. I’m going to be mentioning about them in the later sections below.
Coming back to this Thakkali Pachadi, you can increase the number of red chilies if you want the chutney to be spicier.
I have used byadagi red chilies, but you can use any variety of dried red chili. Just be careful, and add less number of chillies, if using a pungent and hotter type of red chili.
As I already said, there’s nothing much that needs to be done in this Tomato Pachadi. Whatever maximum time you’ll take is to chop the tomatoes, then making the chutney is a breeze!
Table of Contents
The other ingredients too are quite basic for an Indian kitchen – mustard seeds, urad dal (husked split black gram), fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida and tamarind.
I have also not added any onion in this recipe. But if you feel like, you are welcomed to do so. The urad lentils also give a lot of flavor this chutney.
You can also give the asafoetida (hing) a miss, but I would suggest you to add it as it enhances the flavors. Not adding the hing makes the chutney a gluten-free version.
How to make Tomato Pachadi
Make Tomato Mixture
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Keep the heat to a low. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.
You could use a neutral flavored oil like sunflower oil. Sesame oil will also work well.
2. Wait till the mustard seeds begin to crackle.
3. When they begin to crackle, add 1 teaspoon urad dal.
4. Stir and fry the urad dal on low heat.
5. First, the urad dal will turn light golden. Keep on stirring.
6. After some seconds, the urad dal will turn golden and give a nice aroma. This step is important in making this pachadi.
If the urad dal does not turn golden, then the Thakkali Pachadi will lack some flavors.
7. When the urad dal turns golden, quickly add 2 dried byadagi or Kashmiri dried red chilies (broken and seeds removed) and 8 fenugreek seeds.
8. Mix and stir till the red chilies change color. Take care that they should not burn.
9. Then, immediately add 1 cup heaped chopped tomatoes and 10 to 12 curry leaves.
10. Add 1 pinch asafoetida (hing).
11. Mix very well.
12. Add salt as per taste.
13. Mix again.
14. On low to medium-low heat, sauté this mixture till the tomatoes soften.
15. Keep stirring at intervals. In case the tomatoes start sticking to the pan, then sprinkle some water and continue to cook.
16. The tomatoes should soften completely and become mushy. They should be cooked well.
Once the tomatoes have cooked well, switch off the heat. Add ½ teaspoon tamarind. There should be no seeds in the tamarind.
17. Mix again and let this tomato mixture become warm or get cooled.
Make Tomato Pachadi
18. Add tomato mixture in a mixer-grinder jar. Also, add ¼ to ⅓ cup water for grinding or as required.
19. Grind to a smooth and fine consistency.
20. Using a spatula or spoon, transfer the Thakkali Pachadi in a bowl. Serve Tomato Pachadi with any dosa or idli or vada varieties, rava uttapam or punugulu.
You could also pair this fabulous chutney as a side condiment with a South Indian Meal or Andhra Meal.
As I promised earlier, here are some of the other ways (other than the Tomato Pachadi) you can use tomatoes, and may or may not combine with onions, and make flavor-laden homemade chutneys.
All of these are really, really fuss-free and easy ways. I guarantee, that these will be loved by all too!
- Thakkali Chutney – In this post, you will find 2 tasty ways of making a South Indian style tomato chutney. One has only tomatoes in it and the other has both tomatoes and onions. These are tempered or cooked, with the choicest of spices and make for really amazing condiments.
- Tomato Khejur Chutney – This is a favorite from the cuisine of Bengal – a spicy, sweet tomato and dates chutney. Whether you have it in the classic way with a Bengali style Khichuri or as a dessert after a meal, the choice is yours.
- Kara Chutney – Another South Indian tomato-shallots chutney, with other spices and herbs too. Primarily from the state of Tamil Nadu. As sumptuous as any other version.
- Momos Chutney – You must have usually come across a chutney made only with red chilies served with momos. This homely recipe has tomatoes, red chilies as well as garlic and makes for an equally crave worthy condiment with your momos.
- Spicing: For a spicier Thakkali Pachadi, add more red chilies or use hotter or pungent varieties of dry red chillies.
- Balancing Tanginess: If the pachadi tastes very sour or tangy, then add about ½ to 1 teaspoon of jaggery or as required to balance the tangy taste.
- Cooking Tomatoes: You have to cook the tomatoes well in order to get rid of the raw flavor of the tomatoes in the pachadi. Cook them till they get mushy and are softened.
Sprinkle some water if the tomatoes are sticking to the pan while cooking. You don’t want to burn the tomatoes.
- Frying Lentils: When frying the urad dal, make sure you fry these lentils until nicely fragrant and golden. Or else, the pachadi will lack flavors.
- Tamarind: While using tamarind, ensure the seeds are discarded. You could omit adding tamarind if you like.
Tomato Pachadi is a traditional South Indian condiment or side dish made with ripe tomatoes, spices, herbs and tamarind. It has a tangy and slightly spicy flavor.
While ripe red tomatoes are traditionally used, you can experiment with green tomatoes. Green tomatoes will give your pachadi a slightly different flavor and tartness.
Yes, there are regional variations of Tomato Pachadi in different states of South India.
These variations can include differences in spices, ingredients and preparation methods. For instance, the same dish is also known as Thakkali Pachadi and Tomato Nilava Pachadi in some South Indian states.
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Tomato Pachadi Recipe (Zesty Tomato Condiment)
- 1 tablespoon oil – any neutral oil or gingelly oil (sesame oil).
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (husked split black gram)
- 8 fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
- 2 byadagi chillies or kashmiri red chillies
- 10 to 12 curry leaves
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 1 cup heaped chopped tomatoes – 150 grams
- ½ teaspoon tamarind – without seeds
- ¼ to ⅓ cup water – for grinding or add as required
- salt as required
Making tomato mixture
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Keep the heat to a low.
- Add mustard seeds and let them begin to crackle.
- When they begin to crackle, add urad dal.
- Stirring often fry the urad dal on a low heat till they turn golden.
- When the urad dal turns golden, then quickly add the byadagi or kashmiri red chilies (broken and seeds removed) and fenugreek seeds.
- Mix and stir till the red chilies change color. Take care that they should not burn.
- Then immediately add the chopped tomatoes, curry leaves and asafoetida. Mix very well.
- Add salt as per taste and mix again.
- On a low to medium-low heat sauté this mixture till the tomatoes soften.
- Keep on stirring at intervals. In case the tomatoes start sticking to the pan, then sprinkle some water. Stir to mix and continue to cook.
- The tomatoes should soften completely and become mushy. They should be cooked well.
- Once the tomatoes have softened, switch off the heat. Add tamarind. Keep in mind that there should be no seeds in the tamarind.
- Mix again and let this tomato pachadi mixture become warm or get cooled.
Making tomato pachadi
- Add all the sautéed ingredients in a mixer-grinder jar. Also add ¼ to ⅓ cup water for grinding or as required.
- Grind to a fine and smooth consistency.
- Using a spatula or spoon transfer the Tomato Pachadi in a bowl. Serve with any dosa varieties, idli varieties or vada varieties.
- To make Thakkali Pachadi recipe more spicy, you can increase the amount of red chilies.
- You could use any variety of ripe red tomatoes. If the pachadi becomes too tangy, add about ½ to 1 teaspoon of jaggery or as needed to balance the tangy or sour taste.
- This pachadi keeps well for one day in the refrigerator.
- The recipe can be scaled to make more quantities of the Tomato Pachadi.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Tomato Pachadi recipe is from the blog archives first published in November 2017. It has been updated and republished on September 2023.