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Thakkali Kaai (Green Tomato) Pitlai

Thakkali_Kaai_Green_Tomato_Pitlai_1 Green tomato (unripe tomato) is not always available in the market. Whenever I see it, I definitely buy it to make pitlai, a traditional dish of Tamil Nadu. No onion, garlic, ginger is used in this dish.

Here is Thakkali Kaai (Green Tomato) Pitlai. It goes well with rice.

Green or unripe tomato is known as Thakkali kaai in Tamil.


  • Green tomato small – 13 no (500 gram)
  • Toor dal – half cup Thakkali_Kaai_Green_Tomato_Pitlai_2
  • Chana dal (Bengal gram) – quarter cup
  • Tamarind – marble size (adjust as per taste)
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tea spoon
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tea spoon
  • Sugar – 1 table spoon (optional)
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Spices for grinding
    • Grated coconut – half cup
    • Coriander seeds – 1 table spoon
    • Bengal gram – 1 table spoon Thakkali_Kaai_Green_Tomato_Pitlai_3
    • Urad dal – half tea spoon
    • Dried red chilli – 4 no
    • Asafetida – generous pinch
    • Curry leaves – 2 to 3 no
  • For seasoning
    • Mustard – half tea spoon
    • Urad dal – half tea spoon
    • Curry leaves – few


  • Cut each green tomato into four pieces; soak tamarind and extract juice; boil toor dal, Bengal gram together nicely.

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  • With few drops of oil, fry ingredients given for grinding (add grated coconut in the last and fry).

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  • Allow it to cool and grind the fried items to a coarse paste and keep.

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  • In a pan with water add red chilli powder, turmeric powder; add tamarind juice and salt.

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  • Add chopped green tomato and boil.

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  • When green tomato is cooked soft, add boiled toor dal & Bengal gram, ground masala, sugar and boil for few minutes (add water if necessary).

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  • When all items are cooked well, remove.

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  • Do the seasoning separately and mix.


  • Now Thakkali Kaai (Green Tomato) Pitlai is ready. Serve with steamed rice.



  • As green tomato has sour taste, no need to add too much of tamarind juice.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Priya January 31, 2011, 6:48 pm

    Pitlai with green tomato sounds very interesting,thanks for sharing..

  • Kamakshi February 1, 2011, 12:49 pm

    I always make pitlai with other vegetables. I have not tried it with green tomatoes. I have always made kootu with them.Will give it a shot next time.

  • Rama May 3, 2012, 5:43 pm

    The way it is displayed feel like doing it immediately. The reciepe with step by step photograph is superb.

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