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Thakkali Bajji | Tomato Bajji Recipe

Thakkali Bajji | Tomato Bajji recipe

Thakkali Bajji - a Tamil style salsa type chutney recipe with step-by-step instructions and VIDEO. This Chutney is a classic side dish for dosa, idlis, and chapathis!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South Indian
Keyword chutney, tomatoes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Pressure Cooking Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Niveditha


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil , I like to use sesame oil for this recipe
  • 1 tbsp Bengal Gram Dal / Kadala Paruppu , (skip if unavailable)
  • 2 sprigs Curry Leaves , (skip if unavailable)
  • 2 medium Red Onions , (approx. 200g), Sliced
  • 5 large Garlic Pods , Peeled and Chopped
  • 5 medium Green Chillies
  • 1/8 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 6 medium-large Ripe Tomatoes , (approx. 450g), diced
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • Coriander Leaves , for garnish, , (skip if unavailable)


  • Place the inner pot into the Instant Pot. Set it to SAUTÉ mode for 10 minutes. Pour in the oil and let it get hot.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, bengal gram dal, and curry leaves. Let the mustard seeds splutter.
  • Then add the sliced onions and sauté it until it turns translucent.
  • Next, add the garlic and the green chillies. Sauté for a minute or two.
  • Add the turmeric powder and mix it once. Finally add the tomatoes, salt and water.
  • Give a quick sauté and cover the Instant Pot with its lid. SEAL and set it to PRESSURE COOK for 10 minutes.
  • Once the cooking time is done, Quick Release and open the Instant Pot.
  • Using a potato masher or an Indian Wooden Masher*, mash down the Tomato Bajji untill there aren't any solids that holds it shape.
  • Serve it hot with dosa or idlis or chapathis!


  • I use a 6-quart Instant Pot. Cook time may vary for other models/sizes. Also the Altitude you live in will play a part. 
  • Oil: I like to use Sesame Oil which imparts a mildly bitter flavor to this chutney. But you can use any of your favorite vegetable oils
  • Measurements: This recipe is very lenient, as in, you don't have to follow strict measurements.
  • Chilli: This chutney yields a medium spicy Tomato Bajji, if you like spicier chutney, you can increase the number of chillies if you like. Likewise, decrease it if you aren't a spice level.
  • Turmeric: Do not skip it or reduce the amount. For authentic flavor, use 1/8 tsp, no more or no less. Turmeric gives a major flavor to this Thakkali Bajji.
  • Tomatoes: Make sure to use really ripe tomatoes for maximum flavor and juice. I like to use Heirloom Tomatoes which has this really nice sweet and sour taste. 
  • Mashing it down: If you are not accustomed to the tool "mathu, use an Immersion blender and blend it just a few times. DO NOT completely blend it.
  • To make this without Instant Pot: Basically, in Instant Pot we can skip a step. So when you make it without an Instant Pot, cook the tomatoes for 10 minutes in boiling water. Follow the rest of the steps using a saucepan, add the tomatoes and boil it again for 10 more minutes. Also, this method will need more water than those mentioned in the recipe this is because the water will evaporate when you let it simmer.