Green Tomato Pachadi!

You give people from Andhra – a southern state in India – any vegetable and they will make a pachadi (pickle) out of it.  Traditional pickles – called ooragaya – have longer shelf life and do not need to be refrigerated but roti pachadi made from fresh vegetables do not.  Traditional pickles are also made from chicken, mutton and shrimp…so I guess give us any vegetable and some meats and we make pickles out of it. Pickles – both kinds – are usually used as a condiment…a palate enhancer!  Green tomatoes are most suited for roti pachadi given its sour taste.

This is my mom’s standard recipe…she basically prepares most vegetable pachadis this way.  This is not, however, an authentic roti pachadi recipe.  These green tomatoes came from my sister-in-law’s garden so it was special 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • Green tomatoes – 2 chopped into big pieces
  • Onion – 1 small chopped into big pieces (optional)
  • Green chillies – 12 small (adjust to your spice level)
  • Coriander leaves – 1/4 bunch
  • Peanuts – 1 tbsp
  • Fresh grated coconut – 1 tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tsp + 1 tbsp
  • Garlic cloves – 3
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/4 + 1/8 tsp
  • Chana dal – 1/4 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1/4 tsp
  • Red chillies – 1
  • Tamarind – 1/2 tbsp soaked in a tbsp of water

Method:

  1. Combine tomatoes, onions, green chillies, peanuts, coconut, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds and about 2 tbsp water in a sauce pan
  2. Cook the mixture on medium-low heat…tomatoes should have enough water in them but keep stirring so not to burn the vegetables and add a tbsp of water if it seems very dry
  3. When the tomatoes soften and the water is almost gone add a tsp of oil and coriander leaves; increase the heat and saute until the coriander wilts and the raw smell of tomatoes goes away; turn off the heat
  4. Let it cool down.  Add soaked tamarind to the mix and grind to a coarse paste*
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan and when the oil is hot add mustard seeds; when mustard seeds splatter add cumin seeds, chana dal and urad dal; when they brown add 1 garlic clove, red chilli and curry leaves
  6. Pour over the pachadi to season it and serve with hot rice

*Pachadis are traditionally made with a mortar and pestle…so they have a very coarse texture.  With the use of blenders pachadis do lose some of the flavor that comes from grinding on the stone especially the texture.  So pulse the mix or blend it carefully so it is not too smooth in texture

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