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.
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.
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
- Brandy Slush Cocktail – Creative Culinary
- Cheesy Bruschetta Garlic Bread – The Redhead Baker
- Fire Roasted Tomato Chokha – [This Recipe]
- Santa Fe Green Chile Bacon Burger – The Heritage Cook
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Asparagus Salad with Lentils and Potatoes – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Grilled Rainbow Potato Salad – Shockingly Delicious
- Potato and Green Bean Salad – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Homemade Cole Slaw – Mother Would Know
- Zucchini Salad – Healthy Delicious
Fire Roasted Tomato Chokha
- 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
Grill Method :
Heat up the grill to 450* F
Cut tomatoes into twos and place cut side down on the hot grill
Cook until tender
Place tomatoes under the broiler in your oven and cook until smoky and tender.
Place tomatoes on wire mesh directly on the grill of the stove
Cook on medium flame under tomatoes are tender
Make the Chokha
Once you have roasted the tomatoes, peel the skin off and finely chop the tomatoes
Mix onions, cilantro, cumin, chili and salt into the tomatoes and then drizzle the oil on top
Chill for an hour before serving