Fire Roasted Tomato Chokha

Summer – the time when the monumental amount of yard work done during the spring begins to show results! The story is no different at our home. The spring blossoms are almost gone .The summer blooms are setting in and the backyard is slowly seeing more of us after being abandoned for almost all winter. The guy waits for this season. Bike rides with the setting sun, a long walk by the lake or an afternoon siesta under the Aspen tree – all of these are his cherished things to do. However there is something he would rather not do on a weekend during summer. Guessed it? Oh yes! It IS the lawn mowing thing! And then this girl doesn’t like it any better!

To make things interesting, we treat ourselves to a nice BBQ lunch after the yard work is over. There is something very comfortable and peaceful about the hum of the lawn mover and the sizzle on the grill going side by side. He gets the engine going on the mower, I start putting together Ingredients for the menu of the day. He is manicuring the front yard, I am firing up the grill. He finishes up the trimming of the edges and I am checking the temperature on the grill. The kid gets the lemonade ready and sets up a spot for relaxing and may be throw in a game of scrabble too.

The smoke from the grill mixes in with the scent of fresh cut grass. The summer blooms add in the fragrance and the bees and birds are the beautiful company. The food is ready and so are we!

Here is something wonderful to make on the BBQ Grill for a summer afternoon. If you live in places where summer means more heat than you can handle and you cant even think of looking at a BBQ grill – then  you just do it on an open flame on the stove or in the oven.

This dish of fire roasted tomato chokha is  from the state of Bihar in India and is called a chokha instead of chutney.  The locals usually add raw mustard oil to enhance the flavor. I use cold pressed organic Olive oil. I do love the mustard oil flavor too, but the guy in my life doesn’t.


This is not an exact recipe. So go with your instincts.



  • 3 Vine ripe tomatoes cut into two pieces each
  • 1 tsp olive oil (use the best you can)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Thai green chili chopped
  • ¼ C chopped cilantro
  • ¼ C finely diced onions
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder



  1. Get the grill going. Brush some oil to the cut side of the tomatoes and place on the grill. Hear the sizzle.
  2. Cook for about 5 minutes or until you can get the skin off the tomato with a slight touch.
  3. Peel the skin off, chop the tomatoes and place in a bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix.
  4. Chill before serving.


Serve this as salsa with chips or as a relish with a spicy burger or as a chutney with Indian main dishes.

EDIT 1 :One of the friends of spiceroots has sent in some wonderful suggestions. Please check the comments from Sonal

Edit 2:How to make this in an oven or over open flame stoves

For oven :

  • Set the temperature to about 400*F , pre heat.
  • Put the tomatoes , cut side down an a baking tray that has been greased with a bit of coconut oil (preferable) or any other oil.
  • Cook the tomatoes for about 10 min or until just about done. Now broil for a minute or two on high to get that charred effect. Rest of the recipe is the same.

Open Flame :

  • You may need a vegetable grilling basket to do this .
  • Place tomatoes in the basket after punching in a few pokes with the knife.
  • cook on medium flame until done.
Congratulations Ruchi!

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7 Comments to “Fire Roasted Tomato Chokha”

I have read this post. This post is a nice one that information are useful to me..that am here about exclusive south indian food in chennai and exclusive north indian food in chennai . That I will inform about your post to my friends and all the best for your future posts..


Wonderful and tasty. thx for da recipe.


This was lipsmacking. all the recipes from your blog are wonderful. i never have to wonder if they will come out right.

Thanks Ansh.


Hey Ansh, this tomato chutney is so delicious. Have already made it in my oven.U can try adding roasted red bell pepper coarsely chopped , 1-2 garlic pods, lime juice, cumin powder, oregano, etc. depending upon what u r serving with. The variations r endless. It goes with anything, from dal-chawal, stuffed parathas to pita chips & quesadilla.
What makes it delicious is the smokey flavor with freshness of coriander. Just love this chutney.


    Thank you for the wonderful Tips, Sonal.:)


Wonderful and addictive. We make it with the mustard oil.