Today I’m sharing my recipe for Green Tomato Pickle. This is a recipe I came up with as a way to use up the basket of green tomatoes I came back with from the market. We love green tomatoes. We get tomatoes the year round in India but green tomatoes seem seasonal at the market. I usually find them in plenty in the winter months.
The grocers at my local market get huge boxes of tomatoes which are usually green or half ripe. These store well as they keep longer while they ripen. So when other shoppers pick out the red, ripe tomatoes, my grocer recognizes me as “the woman” who specially asks for the green ones! He has been selling me vegetables and fruits for so many years now that he keeps the green tomatoes for me when he gets them. No one I know seems to buy or cook with green tomatoes here.
I have seen that Americans, Southerners especially, love Fried Green Tomatoes. Those are basically slices of green tomatoes that are battered and fried till crisp. Most green tomatoes are nothing but unripened tomatoes. There are a couple of varieties of tomatoes though, that stay green. The nice thing about green tomatoes is that unlike ripe ones, they mostly keep their shape after cooking. They’re a bit sour/ astringent but this disappears when they’re cooked.
I understand that the worst place to put unripe tomatoes is in the fridge. This is because tomatoes stored below 10C (50F) do not develop flavour as the cold stops the chemical process required for it. That means it is best to use one’s green tomatoes stash as quickly as possible. Otherwise they will start ripening and turning yellow. It’s a good thing that I have a good collection of green tomato recipes to use them up. I even have a recipe for a delicious Spiced Green Tomato Bundt Cake!
I have previously posted a Green Tomato And Onion Curry and a Green Tomato Khorma. Now it’s the turn for my Green Tomato Pickle. You can adjust the amount of chilli powder you add to the pickle. The powdered jaggery is added to balance the tartness of the tomato so you can adjust that too but the pickle shouldn’t taste sweet.
Green Tomato Pickle
- 10 large green tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sesame seed oil
- 5 tsps Kashmiri chilli powder (adjust to taste)
- 2 tsps mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek powder
- 1/4 tsp asafetida powder
- 1/2 to 1 tbsps powdered jaggery (or brown sugar)
- Salt to taste
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- Cut the green tomatoes into quarters, and each quarter into half. You can cut them smaller if you prefer. Add the chilli powder and salt and mix well. Keep aside.
- Now heat the oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds and when they splutter, turn down the heat to medium. Add the asafetida powder and curry leaves and stir once ensuring they don't burn. Immediately add the tomato pieces. Stir well and allow the tomatoes to cook for about 5 minutes. They should soften without losing the skin or becoming mushy.
- Add the fenugreek powder and jaggery and mix well. Allow to cook for another minute or so and take off the heat.
- Allow to cool, bottle and refrigerate when not using. This pickle will keep in the fridge for a week. If kept outside, it will spoil as the water content of the pickle is on the higher side.