Rhubarb Pickle.. We Indians can make thokku /pachadi/pickle out of anything 😂…..no pun intended…..I learnt Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable but found that it is still not very easy to find in stores…. Though it is generally used as a fruit in desserts and jams with generous serving of sugar because of its tart flavor, the same tartness works very well for a spicy pickle.
I love to prep and have at-least 2- 3 types of pickle at all times as that is my fall back when things go crazy. Also it helps satisfy my spice carvings on days when i make somewhat bland meals for kids.
Thanks to my cousin who introduced me to this goodness and now it has become our favorite go to thokku ( whenever it is available). It is super easy to make and can be stored for weeks in the fridge. It pairs very well with all rice, rotis, dosas and idlis, especially with upma 😊.
Here is how I made this.. Heat 1/2 cup of gingelly or veg oil and add 2 tsp mustard, once it starts spluttering add 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp hing/asafetida. Sauté for a quick 30 seconds. Now add in the chopped 2 cups of rhubarb stem and let it cook for 5 minutes. You will see it starts to break down and becomes mushy, also it has a slimy constituency. That is normal. Let it cook and change color. Then add in the salt, Chilli powder and 1/2 tsp tamarind paste and cook the mixture for 25-10 mins in slow flame. Once oil seeps out from the sides cool and store it in a airtight container.
This pickle or thokku process is similar to that of tomato pickle. Quick and easy to make and can be stored in fridge for up-to few weeks. If you want to mainly pair this with rice it would taste good with slightly more salt and spice.
Rhubarb Pickle | Thokku
- 5 Rhubarb stems chopped
- 1/2 cup Sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Roasted Fenugreek powder
- 3-4 tbs Red chilli powder to taste
- 1/2 tsp Tamarind paste
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp asafoetida
- Salt to taste
- Peel the skin off of the Rhubarb and wash it thoroughly.
- Chop the stem into small pieces and set it aside.
- In a pan add the sesame oil and let it heat. Once hot add the mustard seeds and let it splutter.
- Once the mustard seeds splutter, add in the turmeric and asafoetida powder and saute for a sec.
- Now add the chopped rhubarb stem and saute well for around 5-10 minutes in medium flame.
- The stems will start breaking down pretty quickly and will have a slimy texture.
- Do not add any water. make sure the mixture is cooked in low to medium flame.
- Let the mixture cook in its own juices and start changing color.
- Add the red chilli powder, tamarind paste and salt and let the mixture cook together for 5-8 minutes more in medium flame to avoid burning
- At this point any excess water should be evaporated and the pickle should start releasing the oil from the sides.
- Let the mixture boil till the water gets drained and the thokku becomes thick.
- At this point add roasted fenugreek powder and mix well. remove from heat and let it cool down
- Notice more oil will separate from the thokku. This oil will help the pickle last longer. once its completely cool down, store it in the air tight container.