Tomato Chokha

Recipe 5 minPreparation Time 25 minCooking Time
Tomato Chokha

Tomato Chokha

5 minPreparation Time 25 min Cooking Time

About this Recipe

Colleen Taylor Sen, author of "Feasts and Fasts: A History of Food in India", shares this recipe from Bihar, India. Her book maps out not only India’s culinary history, but also its influence all over the world. Indians who left Bihar for the sugar plantations of Trinidad and Guyana in 1834 took with them this simple recipe for chokha, a relish of grilled pulpy tomatoes served as a breakfast dish with the plain flour flatbread sada roti.

The Benefits

This combination of tomatoes with alliums such as onions and garlic, and spices provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. The star ingredient – tomatoes – is full of vitamin C and a great source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that promotes heart health. Onions and garlic provide extra bioactives in the form of quercetin, which helps lower inflammation and combat oxidative stress. 


Makes 2 cups
  • 1 lb (450 g) ripe tomatoes (about 3 tomatoes)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 green chile (such as serrano), finely chopped
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) neutral vegetable oil (such as avocado or grapeseed)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Step 1
    Grill the tomatoes: Wrap them in foil and cook them directly over a flame at medium-high heat until they are charred, about 15 minutes. Leave to cool, and then remove the skins. Put them in a mixing bowl and mash the tomatoes with a fork until pulpy.
  2. Step 2
    Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat, add the garlic cloves, and fry for 1 minute. Add this to the tomato mixture and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve warm with a sada roti (plain flour flatbread), or alternatively, warm pita. The chokha will keep, in a covered container, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

About the author

Colleen Taylor Sen

Colleen Taylor Sen

The Chicago-based author and translator is a Canadian–American specializing in Indian cuisine with over five books to her credit on the subject. Her books "Fasts and Feasts" and "The Bloomsbury Handbook of Indian Cuisine" are bestsellers. 

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