One of my most fond memories of childhood is watching my Daddi ( paternal grandmother) peeling and slicing mangoes, mixing them with spices and golden glistening mustard oil to prepare mango pickle and then filling it in big ceramic jars.
It was very difficult to wait till the pickle was done and even more to refrain from stealing some while Daddi wasn’t watching.
This particular Tomato Pickle Recipe is made with roasted tomatoes and then cooked with delicious and aromatic spices to a chunky chutney like consistency. It’s commonly served with many Nepali dishes on the side. Unlike many other Achar preparations, the best thing is that this one gets done quickly and is very easy to make on the side while your main course is cooking.
If you are a condiment person like me, you will fall in love with it immediately because the rich sauce with deep spicy flavour is quite versatile. It can be used as a spread in sandwiches and wraps, as a dip with finger food and makes excellent pizza sauce with Asian flavours. My favourite way to eat it is with some creamy red lentils and paratha.
Mustard oil is very frequently used in Nepali recipes and the prominent flavour in the pickle is also of mustard. You can replace mustard oil with olive oil in the recipe because in many countries mustard oil is not considered fit for edible use, whereas in South Asia it is considered a very healthy oil and has been used in cooking and deep frying for centuries.
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
2 tablespoons mustard or olive oil
Fresh coriander or mint leaves for garnishing
This Is What You Do:
Or you can cut them in halves and arrange them on a baking cut side down. Place under the oven broiler for about 15-20 minutes or till the skins are charred.
Or lightly grease a nonstick pan and heat over medium high. Add whole tomatoes to hot pan and cook till blistered all over.
Personally I prefer the first method which is the quickest.
When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin and roughly chop the pulp. Set aside.
Heat the mustard oil in a medium saucepan. Slice garlic cloves and fry till crisp and golden. Remove from oil and set aside for garnishing.
Add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and red chilli flakes into the same oil. Sauté for 5-6 seconds or till the spices are fragrant.
Add ginger, garlic paste and cook another 5 seconds.
Add tomatoes, salt, cumin powder and coriander powder.
Cook stirring from time to time till all the liquid evaporates and mixture thickens.
Remove from heat. Garnish with fresh coriander or mint leaves and crisp fried garlic.
Serve as a condiment with rice, roti, lentils and vegetables.