Tomato being a very soft vegetable is very difficult to store in the form of pickle for more than six months. However, I have tried a number of methods and zeroed down one method that has enabled me to store tomato pickle without refrigeration for a long time.
To make tomato pickle you have to choose hard tomatoes and not the soft ripe ones.
- Tomato – 1 kg
- Salt – 2 table spoons
- Fenugreek seeds ? 1 teaspoon
- Mustard – 1 teaspoon
- Chilly powder – 2 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder ? half teaspoon
- Tamarind extract – half cup
Wash these tomatoes and dry them using a clean towel. I have personally tried a number of methods and have finally come to this sun drying method which has brought about a good result in storing tomatoes.
Cut the tomatoes into half, sprinkle half of the said amount of salt throughout and place them on a plate, sun dry them. Take care not to handle the tomatoes too much, it may get contaminated. This season is perfect for such drying practice. You can dry the tomatoes for one day.
Now put these tomatoes in an air tight container, add the remaining salt and store in fridge. The water content that is remaining in the tomatoes will now be seen in the bottom of the tomatoes.
Carefully remove the tomatoes with a clean spatula and sun-dry them again. Boil the juice and let it cool. In the evening, grind the tomatoes with the juice into a fine paste.
- Heat fenugreek seeds and half of the mustard in a dry pan and powder it.
- Add oil to the pan and fry mustard and add the tomato paste, chilly powder, turmeric powder and the tamarind juice.
- Let the contents boil thoroughly till the oil come above and you do not get any sort of raw smell. Add the powdered contents and check for salt, you can add salt if you feel it is less and wait for another five minutes. The paste would come to a dry consistency.
- Cool the pickle and store it in a clean bottle. I feel comfortable to store in refrigerator, however you could keep it in room temperature too.
Preparing pickle in this method may seem a bit tedious, however, if you do not sun dry the tomatoes they tend to easily be affected by fungus, and all your work would go waste. Try it and you would surely love it.