Fire Roasted Tomato Chokha

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Tomato salsa, corn chips and oil

The Fire Roasted Tomato Chokha is a dish from the eastern state of Bihar (India) and is traditionally cooked on coals. There is something very comfortable and ancient about cooking on fire or the grill. The aromas wafting from the food touch evokes emotion and the flame kissed food tastes like something we have always known. While I love grilled lamb chops and tandoori chicken, I mostly gravitate towards cooking more vegetables on the grill. Fresh summer vegetables when grilled are really delicious in salads, salsas and chutneys.

The Fire roasted tomato chokha or the ‘tamatar ka chokha’ as it is called in native language is made from freshly picked ripe tomatoes on open flames on the gas stove. The smoky flavor of the sweet tomatoes, mixed in with cilantro, onions, chilies is earthy. It reminds you of a salsa and can be used as one. It’s an excellent side with dal–chawal (dal and rice). Adding in a papad will take the meal to the next level.

How to Make Fire Roasted Tomato Chokha!

Roasting tomatoes on open flame is the traditional way, to make this dish. But, you can use the BBQ grill to grill the tomatoes until soft; or air fry whole tomatoes ( a little messy) or the time tested method of broiling them in the oven. I keep switching between using my stovetop or my charcoal grill. The stovetop method is convenient and quick. However, cooking these on the grill adds in a different dimension of flavor.

After the tomatoes are roasted, peel some of the burnt skin off. I leave a little bit of the skin on for more smoky flavor. Finely chop the tomatoes, and add to finely chopped cilantro, Thai green chillies and onions. If you are making larger quantities – finely chop onions first, peel the tomatoes and then throw into a food processor with cilantro and chilli and pulse a couple of times. Add salt to taste and finish with extra virgin olive oil or if you really want to be authentic – with cold pressed raw mustard oil.

Roasted tomatoes, cilantro and blue corn chips

This chokha is a delightful summer addition to any BBQ party or summer picnic and it definitely is my all time summer salsa to make and share. Serve with tortilla chips or layer it up on a lamb burger or just add to poached shrimp.

Progressive Eats

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Memorial Day BBQ and Picnic Favorites! Our host is Jane who blogs at The Heritage Cook

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious BBQ and picnic inspired dishes!

Memorial Day BBQ and Picnic Favorites



Main Courses

Side Dishes

5 from 2 votes

Fire Roasted Tomato Chokha

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6


  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/4 c finely diced onions
  • 1/4 c finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 bird's eye green chili
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil ( or olive oil )
  • Salt to taste


Roasting Tomatoes

  1. Grill Method :

  2. Heat up the grill to 450* F

  3. Cut tomatoes into twos and place cut side down on the hot grill

  4. Cook until tender

Broiling Method

  1. Place tomatoes under the broiler in your oven and cook until smoky and tender.

Open Flame

  1. Place tomatoes on wire mesh directly on the grill of the stove

  2. Cook on medium flame under tomatoes are tender

Make the Chokha

  1. Once you have roasted the tomatoes, peel the skin off and finely chop the tomatoes

  2. Mix onions, cilantro, cumin, chili and salt into the tomatoes and then drizzle the oil on top

  3. Chill for an hour before serving

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Comments 17

  1. Hi Ansh, thank you for sharing a very affordable recipe that’s fully enriched in nutritious. Reading your article, really I have become a crazy fan of your ‘Fire Roasted Tomato Chokha’ recipe. So, I gave you a 5star rating.

  2. 5 stars
    This will be a regular at our house this summer. I love that you fire-roasted the tomatoes! And I need to look into the mustard oil. That sounds like a fabulous idea.

  3. The chips may not be traditional, but I’m good with them:) Can’t wait for the next time I have ripe tomatoes and the grill is fired up. This looks amazing and I’m sure it will taste just as good.

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  6. I love the blackened skin on those tomatoes. I like to leave some of it on the tomatoes too for a smokier flavor.

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

    Thanks Ansh.

  10. 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.

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