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Chutney/Relish/Dip

Curry Leaves Chutney Pudi/ Powder.. Hebbar Iyengar style..!

Hebbar Iyengar style Curry leaves chutney pudi....

All organic.. home-grown ingredients are awesome to have & to eat.. Don’t you agree?? As a kid I remember my grandmother preparing this very fragrant chutney pudi from the freshest curry leaves available.. yup, plucking them from the 5 curry leaves tree we had in our garden :), using the copra she made from drying the excess coconut coconuts from our garden. There were 6 coconut trees in our garden. Loads of coconuts were always available. The excess ones were turned into copra & then taken to the oil mill by my grandmother to extract oil. Then she would use the oil to cook her yummy food or savouries..! Such memorable days…!

It is very common to see a curry leaves tree in almost every South Indian house. You your passing by a South Indian house if you can smell the tadka/tempering with the heavenly aroma of curry leaves. Along with the awesome fragrance that they impart.. they also have loads of medicinal value. Most of us have a tendency to keep the leaves aside when we eat a meal, this is an awesome way to consume the curry leaves & take in all its benefits.

I do not have my grandmothers recipe. Beginning of this month, K’s granny came over to spend a week with us. I had loads of copra with me. I asked her if she could help me make some Curry leaves chutney pudi. K loves chutney pudi a lot. Whenever he see’s the bottle he almost every time pops a spoon of it into his mouth. So K’s Pati (granny in Tamil) helped me or rather I should say, taught me to make 2 kinds of chutney pudi. A curry leaves one and another coriander leaves kind. The recipe for the coriander leaves chutney pudi is slightly different from this one, so don’t go around swapping the curry leaves with coriander leaves. I will post the curry leaves chutney pudi recipe soon.

I do not have pictures of the making of the chutney pudi, I wanted to click some pics with pati & I was so excited learning this recipe that I completely forgot about the camera. Next time I get down to making this one, I’ll make sure I click pics.

I love curry leaves chutney pudi a lot as it makes me nostalgic. This was the only kind of chutney pudi my gran made for us. I have also received requests to post garlic, peanut, idli chutney pudi recipe’s. All these will take some time as I have lots of chutney pudi in stock now. With just the two of us around I don’t want to stock up loads of varieties & they going bad. So as & when my stock needs to be replenished I shall get down to making these. Until then I have this new recipe which will serve as a small project for you this weekend.. 🙂 Happy Cooking..!

Ingredients: (15-20 servings) Preparation Time: 20-25 mins
Tur dal – 1/2 cup
Copra grated/desiccated coconut – 3/4 -1 cup
Black peppercorns – 10-12
Dried red chilli’s – 15-16 byadgi chilli variety, you can use the other hotter varieties, use according to your taste
Curry leaves – 45-50 medium-sized leaves, washed, drained, wiped dry & leave it to dry on a kitchen towel
Tamarind – 1 marble-sized piece, make sure there are no seeds
Jaggery – 1.5 – 2 tbsp, powdered
Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric – 1/8 tsp
Oil – half a tsp
Salt to taste – preferably use rock salt

Method:
Take a skillet, dry roast the dried red chilli’s & the Tur dal. Keep tossing them around constantly & maintain heat at low. Once the fur dal begin to change colour to a light brownish & the chilli’s too turn paler, turn the heat off. Transfer the ingredients to a plate and let it cool down to room temperature.

Meanwhile while the Tur dal & chilli’s are cooling down, heat the oil in the skillet. Add the asafoetida & let it sizzle. Maintain heat at low. Now throw in the turmeric & the curry leaves. Fry till the curry leaves begin to lose their moisture and begin to turn crispier. Now add the copra and black peppercorns and toss it around for a minute or two. Turn the heat off. Transfer this to another plate. Let it cool down to room temperature.

Add the powdered jaggery, tamarind and salt to the roasted, cooled down dried red chilli’s & dal mixture. You can pulse this mixture in a food processor till the ingredients are broken down. Next add in the roasted curry leaves mixture. Process all the ingredients till you get a coarse powder. In between you can taste & adjust the salt.

Transfer the contents to a plate. Let it dry out for about 15-20 mins (The jaggery & tamarind have some moisture content in them which will get transferred to the roasted ingredients). Transfer the chutney pudi to an airtight glass jar.

You are set for 2-3 months i.e if it lasts for that long.. 🙂 I mean to say you can store this for 2-3 months. After this time frame, it will begin to lose it’s freshness & aroma.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with any South Indian breakfast dishes like – Dosa, Idli, Upma etc as an accompaniment when you’re in a hurry & really cannot get down to preparing a fresh coconut chutney.

Hebbar Iyengar style Curry leaves chutney pudi....
In Mangalore we eat this chutney pudi by adding a tsp of coconut oil to a tbsp of chutney pudi, mixing the pudi/powder in the oil so that its easier to eat & tastier. But Iyengar’s like to eat their chutney pudi with a tsp of ghee instead of oil. Do let me know if you have a new way to eat your chutney pudi.. 🙂

Tip: You can make a butter chutney pudi sandwich.. believe me it’s yum.. 🙂

 


Lemon-Coriander Hummus….

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

Hummus is a very popular dip in the Middle Eastern countries made from cooked chickpeas. This essentially needs a sesame seed paste known as Tahini. There are loads of flavoured hummus available in the market. It is a super healthy dip, made of fresh/boiled ingredients with loads of olive oil.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus......

Those of you who saw the recipe I posted yesterday would know that the Hummus recipe was coming up next. I made some homemade Tahini, as ready-made Tahini paste is hard to come by easily in India. You may find it is some exclusive stores in certain cities. Such exclusive stores which stock up of world foods is not close to the place I live, in Bangalore. Anyways it is a pretty simple recipe. One does not really need to go hunting for store-bought Tahini. It is ready in a jiffy. Check here for the – Tahini Recipe.

Ingredients for the hummus....

Now once you have Tahini ready, all you need is a can of chickpeas or you can soak a cup of chickpeas overnight & cook it till tender. The rest of the ingredients are pretty easy to find too. A small bunch of fresh coriander, juice of lemons, a few cloves of garlic, some coriander powder, extra virgin olive oil and some salt to taste… that is it.. blend them all together & your done..

Hummus is traditionally served with flatbread such as Pita or as a part of meze. It is also served as an accompaniment to falafel. You can also eat hummus with some tortilla chips & salsa, instead of the guacamole/sour cream on the side.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

I always used to pick flavoured hummus tubs like – Jalapeño hummus, Thai sweet chilli hummus, Red pepper hummus etc. from stores when living in the UK & eat them with crudités or with tortilla chips. You can even eat it as it is.. Both K &I love hummus as it is, it’s really really tasty & does not actually need an accompaniment with it, just dig in & I guarantee that you will lick your fingers clean..! 

Ingredients: (Serves 3)         Preparation Time: 10 mins

Ingredients for the hummus....
Chickpea’s – 1.5 cups
Note: You can pre-cooked canned chickpeas, washed & drained. Else you can also soak 3/4 cup of chickpea’s overnight, throw away the water used to soak the chickpea & cook it in fresh water till tender, drain away the water and use it for this recipe.
Coriander – 1 small bunch washed & roughly chopped, reserve some chopped leaves to garnish
Note: Let the stalks be, they add a lovely flavour
Garlic cloves – 3, peeled & roughly chopped
Tahini – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed juice
Extra virgin Olive oil – 3-4 tbsp or use as per required
Salt to taste

Method:
Throw in all the ingredients into a blender jar. Blend until smooth. If the hummus is dry, add some more olive oil. This is a pretty thick, shiny/glossy dip, very flavourful too. The Tahini adds a nutty feel & the lemon-coriander add its tangy bit & freshness…!

Garnishing:
Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with some olive oil & some chopped cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve it as a dip with some falafel & pita bread or with some tortilla chips or with crudités.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

 

 


Tahini… the nutty Middle Eastern dip/condiment.. !

Tahini/Tahina...

Tahini..

As most of you would know Tahini is widely used in Turkish, Greek and Middle eastern cuisines. Tahini is paste made of ground sesame seeds, which is served on its own as it as or it can used to make loads of other yummy dishes like – Hummus, Baba Ghanoush etc. Tahini is also known as Tahina is some regions.

Hummus always keeps playing on my mind.. but to make a good bowl of Hummus I can’t do without some Tahini. I finally got down to making some Tahini. As you know from my previous post I’m trying to eat healthy, exercise & get back into shape & lose those extra kilo’s from my vacation in Mumbai. Mumbai is truly a foodies paradise for sure..! Been filling myself up with Salads, boiled veggies, sprouts etc. A perfect dish at this time would be none other than a bowl of hummus with some crudités’. I will post the a yummy & fresh flavoured – lemon & coriander hummus soon, so as you have a recipe at hand once you make the Tahini. 🙂

Tahini..

Tahini has an awesome nutty flavour… While I made tahini, K got to work & added some powdered sugar to the food processor jar & licked the rest of the paste sticking to the jar. That made me think that tahini with some sugar would surely taste good with some bread just like peanut butter :D.

Tahini..

This is a no jazz recipe. You need to lightly toast the white sesame seeds so that the heavenly aroma of these seeds come out. Toasting can be done in an oven or simply on a skillet on the stove, grind the seeds with some extra virgin olive oil & salt to a paste. Consistency is totally up to you. Some like it thick & some like it a little runny. Add more olive oil if you want it a little more runny. Our goal is to make a thick yet pourable paste.

Ingredients: Makes about 4-5 tbsp of Tahini             Preparation Time: 15/25 mins
White sesame seeds – 1/2 cup
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Ingredients..

Method:
Oven Method:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degree C. Spread the sesame seeds evenly on a baking tray. Toast the seeds for 5 minutes & then take the tray out & re spread them so that they toast even. Return to the oven for another 4-5 minutes. Take out the tray, cool the seeds & blend in a food processor along with olive oil & some salt to taste.

Skillet method:
Heat a skillet on low heat. Add the sesame seeds & toast the seeds by constantly tossing them around so that they don’t burn for 5 – 6 minutes. I wanted a rich nutty flavour. So I toasted them for about 8 minutes. Hence my tahini looks a darker brown in colour compared to the usual light coloured tahini.
Yes, that is it.. your done. 🙂

Serving Suggestions:

Tahini/Tahina...
Now, go ahead spread it on a slice of bread with some honey, sugar or use it as a savoury dip by mixing some lemon juice, crushed garlic & some herbs. Or make some Hummus just like I did & dug some crudités into it.. 😀

If you like this recipe, then you may also like –


My take on the famous Lahsun/Garlic Chutney – Maharashtrian style

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney...

Being married to a Bangalorean, rather an Iyengar from Karnataka implies that your pantry will never run short of coconuts. You may wonder what the possible connection is. No, Iyengar’s don’t own coconut farms :P, they keep distributing coconuts for every Puja/Wedding/function they conduct. When you are just two in the house & you have surplus supply of coconuts, you most certainly end up with Copra or dried coconut (When the water content inside the coconut dries away leaving behind a dry shrunk coconut called Copra).Extract oil out of it like my grandmother did or use it up in making chutney pudi or rather the chutney powder as it is popularly known. The ingredients are mostly similar to a normal wet chutney that we prepare as an accompaniment to most South Indian breakfast dishes, just that instead of freshly grated coconut, we use dry coconut. The use of dried coconut helps in preserving this chutney for a longer time when compared to the staple wet chutney prepared.

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney...

My grandmother made yummy curry leaf chutney pudi, once my stash of this chutney powder gets done with I’ll make some of that too :). As many who follow my blog already know that I’m a sucker for garlic, I couldn’t think further than my all time favourite Lahsun (Garlic in Hindi) or Garlic Chutney. This is a staple in most Maharashtrian houses. If you are a street food lover & you have had a chance to eat the all time favourite Maharashtrian Vada Pav then you would have definitely tasted this chutney with it. Yes, this is the very famous Lahsun ki chutney that is served with Vada Pav. Who does not love a couple of Vada Pav as a snack. Friends from Bombay a.k.a Mumbai tell me that even at 3 am you will be able to pick up some Vada pav for a snack. A super loved street food from the streets of Mumbai is Vada Pav, followed by Pav Bhaji. If you were looking for that very chutney recipe which is served with Vada Pav then look no further :), you have found the right recipe.

This chutney has a shelf life of about 15 days if stored as is but, you can make it last longer by drying the chutney in the sun so that any moisture from some of the ingredients used dries away. But its a simple recipe. So I suggest you follow the measures I have mentioned below & prepare more when you have used up this batch :). If you prepare in large batches the peanuts used in this chutney may turn rancid & you may have to throw it all away ..

My take on the famous Lahsun/Garlic Chutney - Maharashtrian style

Eat this chutney with – Chapati’s, add it in butter sandwiches, with Vada Pav of course, spread it on the dosa while preparing Masala dosa, add s spoon of ghee/clarified butter to a tbsp of the chutney powder & eat it with some hot idli’s. Well I can snack on this chutney.. don’t need anything to go with it.

Ingredients: (Serves 12 – 15)             Preparation Time: 30 mins
Garlic – 12-14 medium-sized cloves, peeled
Dried red chilli’s – 5 whole medium spicy variety, stalk off
Sesame Seeds – 1 tbsp
Raw groundnuts – 1.5 tbsp
Coriander seeds – 1-1.5 tbsp,use 1.5 if you like your chutney with extra coriander flavour
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp (For the colour, use more if you want the chutney to be hot)
Grated Copra/ Dried coconut – 1 cup
Tamarind – 1/2 of a marble shaped ball, Throw away any seeds present
Odourless Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp, I used rice bran oil
Salt to taste

Method:
All you need is a deep bottom fry pan & a mixer apart from the ingredients mentioned of course. You may use a non-stick fry pan if you have else an aluminium kadai is just fine.

Heat the cooking oil in the fry pan. Set heat to low once the oil heats up. Throw in 10 of the garlic cloves & reserve the rest. Fry the garlic till it begins to turn a slightly golden. Take them off heat & transfer to a plate or the mixer jar. Let it cool. My twist to the chutney is not to oil roast all the garlic cloves & add a few raw ones to enhance the flavour & make the chutney powder more fragrant.

Note: If you do not like the chutney to have a strong garlic flavour then oil roast all the cloves.
Now return the fry pan to heat. Maintain heat at low & fry the dried red chilli’s till they turn plump. Do not let them turn black. Keep tossing them continuously. Take them off heat & transfer to the plate or the mixer jar & allow it to cool.

Next add 1 tbsp of coriander seeds & return the pan to low heat & fry the seeds till you can begin to change colour & the aroma of the seeds fills the air. Again toss them around continuously because you don’t want them to burn. Transfer to the plate or the mixer jar & let it cool.

Similarly fry the sesame seeds till they begin to change colour & start popping. Transfer to the plate or the mixer jar & let it cool.

Lastly fry the grated Copra/dry coconut till it starts to change in colour. Do not let it burn. Toss it around continuously. Take off the kadai from heat and let the roasted Copra cool down to room temperature.

Once all the roasted ingredients have cooled down to room temperature, transfer them to the mixer jar & add the tamarind piece along with red chilli powder, the leftover garlic cloves & some salt to taste. Blend all the ingredients into a coarse powder, or finer if you like it that way.

Check for salt & adjust if required.

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney - Maharashtrian style

Note: Since we add some tamarind & a few raw garlic cloves while we blend, the chutney powder will have some small lumps, I transfer the chutney powder to a tray and dry it under the sun for a good hour or so. This helps to remove the moisture & helps preserve the chutney powder longer. If you plan to do the same then, keep mixing the chutney powder so that it helps in even drying.

Once ready, transfer the chutney powder to an air-tight container & enjoy while it lasts.

Serving Suggestions:
Get your bread, alu bonda ready & serve this chutney with this famous Indian burger – Vada Pav.

Lahsun/Garlic Chutney...

Else, serve with just about anything that you like. I have mentioned a few accompaniments in the beginning of this post.

 


Soy-Chilli dip… A perfect dip for Momo’s/Dimsums/Dumplings or most Chinese starters….


People loved the Momo’s post so much that they also wanted me to post the dip to go with it. I do relish the tomato dip that the dimsums or the momo’s are usually served wit but like I said in my previous post, a friend introduced me to eating them with some soy sauce & it just took these momo’s to a completely new level altogether..  The saltiness  from the soy sauce perfectly balanced the kinda bland momo to result in a perfect wedding of the two. But then again I had to innovate, why use a just some plain boring soy sauce out of a bottle.. ???? Why not make it a wee bit more flavourful & interesting…. 

If you missed the momo’s post, scroll down to the recipe right after this post on my homepage, else here is the link – Momo’s recipe.

This dip is very aromatic, once you mix it up & keep aside for the flavours to blend, your nose won’t let you concentrate on anything else. It is so magnetic that it draws you towards it.  Don’t blame me if you get addicted to this dip.. !!!!

So here you go.. my soy-chilli dip… Pictures will be uploaded when I get down to preparing the dip & the momo’s to go with them.. that should be really soon.. :D.

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3) Preparation Time: 5 mins
Dark Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
White Vinegar – 1 tsp
Green Chilli – 1 small, finely chopped
Ginger – 1/4 inch piece, finely minced
Garlic – 1 small clove, finely minced
Sugar – 1/8 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/8-1/4 tsp, as you please
Honey – 1/4 tsp, 
Coriander leaves – 1 sprig, finely chopped

Tip: Add more honey or sugar if your dip is too hot for your taste

Method:
Take a small mixing bowl & add all the ingredients together & mix well. Cover & set aside for 15 minutes, so that the flavours blend in well.

Note: Taste & check seasoning. I did not need to add any salt. Depends on the brand of soy sauce you use, most soy sauces are salty. If it is too hot for you, add some more honey or sugar. If you want it hot then add some more red chilli powder or more chopped green chilli’s.

Garnishing: (Optional)
You can garnish with  1/2 tsp sesame oil if you have some.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with your favourite Chinese starters like – spring rolls, wanton’s, steamed or deep-fried dumplings etc.


Coriander-Pepper Chutney with hints of Garlic… !

Corainder-Pepper Chutney with hints of Garlic..!

Staying on the top floor has its advantages & flaws doesn’t it?? You get a good view yes but then you also have to put up with the intolerable heat during summers. Oh what am I talking about? South India has only 2 seasons, Summer & rainy. It’s summer for almost 8 months of the year. It’s been super hot here in Bangalore. Man! how K & I miss Glasgow now..! Been trying to keep ourselves hydrated by eating loads of watermelon, salads, drinking loads of water & juices.

South Indian’s never have enough chutney recipe’s. We can hog on chutney everyday for breakfast can’t we?? But then you can’t make the same chutney everyday can you?? Having a variety of chutney recipe’s handy is always a blessing. The same Dosa/Idli/Upma etc. can be made to taste different if you can manage to prepare a new dip/accompaniment :). If I do happen to ask K what kind of chutney he would like, the answer is “A green coloured chutney” or “White or Orange” now that is not an answer one would expect, that’s like asking a kid which coloured candy he would like.. 😀

Some of the ingredients that go into the chutney...

My mum has a huge collection of chutney recipe’s. Unfortunately since I’m not a morning person, I never bothered to note down her chutney recipe’s. In Glasgow we loved our Bacon & eggs, sausages with the lovely selection of breads at our disposal. Fermenting the Dosa, Idli batter was always a challenge. So only during the summer’s there was some hope to prepare Dosa batter at home.

It’s just K & me, I don’t make my own Dosa/Idli batter at home here in India too. You must be thinking I’m crazy. The reason is, if I do I will end up with loads of it & the batter will turn sour in a couple of days as it is so hot here, will all go down the drain. Though from sour batter you can make some Utappams (Thick savoury pancakes, topped with raw veggie’s like chopped onions, green chilli’s, coriander leaves, tomatoes etc.) K is not an everyday South Indian breakfast person. Strangely he claims that he feels sleepy if he eats Dosa’s. Oh well, whatever..! I have tried to make some sense from it, but never did understand how & why. Do any of you feel that way?? Ponder over it the next time you have dosa for breakfast. So when I get my Dosa pangs… we buy ready to cook Dosa/Idli batter from the store & it lasts us for 2-3 days :).

Yummy chutney...

I have to eat my Dosa/Idli with some yummy chutney or any other South Indian dip like – thokku/sambhar/kozhumbu. I love to create new chutneys specially when we have dosa’s for breakfast. Whenever I prepare chutney’s I always remember one of my very good friends who is crazy about chutney’s. She eats more chutney than dosa ;). Some garlic in my chutney, me loves :D. If you don’t like garlic in your breakfast then, skip it.

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4 ) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Coconut – Freshly grated, 1 cup
Garlic – 2, medium-sized cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
Ginger – 1/2 an inch piece, roughly chopped
Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Black peppercorns – 15-20, depends on your tolerance
Green Chilli’s – 3 medium-sized, slit
Coriander leaves – 7-8 sprigs along with the stalks, roughly chopped
Note: Add as much of the coriander stalk as you can, this adds additional flavour to the chutney

Some of the ingredients required...

For the tempering:
Split Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
Black Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Asafoetida – a pinch
Oil – 1 tbsp + 1/4 tsp

Salt to taste

Method:
Heat a tempering vessel or a small fry pan. Maintain heat at medium, when it heats up, add the coriander seeds & cumin seeds, black peppercorns & dry roast them till they begin to change colour. Turn the heat off & keep aside.

Throw in all the ingredients mentioned other than the ones for the tempering into a small blender jar. Add the dry roasted ingredients as well. Grind the ingredients to a smooth paste, using water as required. I like this chutney a little runny, but if you don’t then add just as much water as you need. Transfer the ground chutney to a serving bowl. Add salt to taste, mix.

Heat a tempering vessel or a small fry pan & add oil. When the oil heats up, maintain heat at medium. Add asafoetida, let it sizzle. Next throw in the mustard seeds & let it splutter. Next add the split urad dal & let it turn a light golden brown. Turn the heat off, throw in the curry leaves & mix.

Add this hot tempering to the ground chutney. Mix well.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with any South Indian breakfast dishes of your choice like – Dosa, Idli, Akki-Rotti, Ragi-Rotti, Rava-Rotti, Upma etc.

Corainder-Pepper Chutney with hints of Garlic..!

Imagine waking up to such a colourful looking setting on your breakfast table..! Just peps up your day… What a colourful & flavourful start to your day! Do let me know your take on my recipe if you try it :).

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Capsicum Chutney….Alle Chutney/ Ginger ChutneyTakkali/Tomato Thokku…Takkali Kolumbu/Kohzumbu…. a perfect dip for your Dosa/Idli etc.


Takkali/Tomato Thokku…

Takkali/Tomato Thokku

Tomatoes available in abundance in the market???? or have the prices of tomatoes dropped?? or do you have loads of ripe tomatoes, wondering what to do & how to use them?? or are you are a dip/chutney lover???  look no further!!! You will enjoy both the preparation bit & the eating bit of this thokku. What is the best deal out of it all?? This has a shelve life of at least 2 months. 🙂

Again, this is a recipe which really popular in Tamil Nadu. I have been eating this thokku since I was a kid. A very good alternative to pickle, specially for those who are advised to watch out on their salt intake.

Takkali/Tomato Thokku

The colour is very tempting of course…!Also I bet, you will lick your fingers clean for sure if you dig in.. 😉 Well,I am that sort of person who eats more veggies or sides with my roti/rice/dosa; for me the chutney/dip is like the main dish to eat the idli or dosa with.. 😉 Though this was quite the opposite when I was growing up.

All of us at home love this thokku, gets over within a week. Now, since both my bro & I aren’t around, the thokku survives till the 2 month mark.
Days when you are in a hurry; when there are horrid power cuts & you can’t prepare your usual chutney to serve, this is a perfect accompaniment. If guests suddenly spring up & you have a daughter like me who drinks the chutney as rasam or soup, this thokku stocked up in your refrigerator will be a saviour.. 😉 Ahem! a whole lot of bullshit reasons huh?? I sure don’t need such excuses for dipping into this thokku..

You may find loads of many recipe’s for the same over the internet. Many prepare the thokku with puree’d tomatoes too or they may cook till all the tomatoes turn into pulp. I like finding bits of tomato pieces in my thokku, maybe that is how my mum prepared it & I have developed a taste to the thokku being served with bits of tomatoes being visible in the thokku. It’s totally upto you, prepare it the way you wish. 🙂

Since I’m in Mangalore, I’m learning & preparing all my favourite recipe’s under mum’s supervision.. There are some recipe’s better learnt this way than over long distant phone calls or Skype.  I remember those days when I kept calling & asking her about the other recipe’s I wanted to try out when in Glasgow.. with the time difference I was always hesitant to make that phone call..! 

Now that she sees me working on my blog right in front of her.. She is always curious about the photos I click & wonders why I click so many pics to find the perfect one. 🙂

Ingredients:(Serves 20) Preparation Time – 40-45 mins
Tomato – 3/4 – 1 kg, ripe, chopped finely
Garlic – 1 small pod, peeled & finely chopped
Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
Methi/Fenugreek seeds – 1.5 tsp
Urad dal/ Split bengal gram – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – 4-5 sprigs
Red chilli powder – 2 tbsp, reduce as per your taste if you don’t want it hot
Sambhar powder – 1 tbsp
Cooking oil – 7-8 tbsp
Salt to taste
Tip: Make sure you use the ripest of tomatoes available to make this thokku to its fullest flavour.

Method:
Heat oil in a deep bottom fry pan, when the oil heats up, reduce heat to medium & add mustard seeds, let them splutter, add urad dal, when it changes color, add fenugreek seeds, when it changes colour & softens add garlic & curry leaves, do not let the garlic change color. Reduce heat if required.

Now add the chopped tomatoes with any juice if present. Add red chilli & sambhar powder, mix well. Add salt to taste, mix well. Simmer, let the tomatoes cook & allow the flavours to blend into the tomatoes. Let the thokku simmer till the oil separates out from the tomatoes.

Takkali/Tomato Thokku ready.

When you begin to see oil on the sides of the pan & it starts floating over the cooking tomatoes the thokku is done. Let it cool to room temperature before you transfer it to storage glass/ceramic jar.

Note: If you transfer it when the thokku is hot & close the lid, the water vapour formed on the lid will spoil the thokku. This is a chutney/dip which has do’s & don’ts like any pickle. Do not use a wet spoon or let water get into the jar.

This thokku has a shelve life of at least 2 months if refrigerated. If you wish to preserve it for longer, use more oil when you begin preparing it.

Takkali/Tomato Thokku

Serving Suggestions:
Serve this yummy thokku with just about anything South Indian that comes up on your mind… upma, idli, dosa, rice or even chapatis’.. !

 If you liked this recipe, you must check out – Courgette/Zucchini ThokkuCapsicum Chutney…. etc.


Courgette/Zucchini Thokku

Courgette/Zucchini Thokku...

Courgette was something new I had to work with when I landed here in the UK. With the limitations to the veggies available at my disposal here I had to begin exploring my options with it. I had tried them a couple of times at a barbecue restaurant back in India, but had not tasted them in any other form until I got here. I had seen them in markets back in India but, never did find time to experiment with them back in India.

Courgette/Zucchini...

Courgette has a slight bitter taste to it. But its tasty no doubt. I thought of making a stir fry with them, then changed my mind & made the thokku instead.

Courgette/Zucchini Thokku...

Thokku is a speciality from the Southern state of India, Tamil Nadu. I can describe it is a cooked-down relish or reduction made from mainly fruits, vegetables and herbs. It is mainly eaten at the end of a Tamilian meal along with rice which is mixed with yogurt. But that version is almost like a pickle & can be preserved for years together. The version I have prepared lasts maximum for a week or two. It’s a quick version.

The authentic thokku which lasts for years its prepared with lots of caution. The vegetables/fruits & herbs used are wiped after washing to take away any water left. The dals are dry roasted too. Even the salt & red chilli’s used are sun-dried to take away any residual water content present. Preservatives like citric acid is used to make it last long. It uses more oil, since oil also helps in preservation.

Once I’m back in India I will post more thokku recipes made the authentic way, sunlight is one main requirement which is scarce in Glasgow. Also pickling in India is mostly a summer activity. 🙂

Ingredients: (Serves 4)          Preparation Time: 30-40 mins
Courgette/Zucchini – 3, small-sized, roughly about 250 gms, not baby though, finely chopped into tiny squares/grated
Dried Red Chilli’s – 6, medium-spicy variety, roughly torn. Do not throw away the seeds, use more chilli’s if you wish to
Garlic – 4-5 medium-sized cloves, skin on, crushed up well using a mortar & pestle
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Urad dal/Split gram dal – 1/2 tsp
Bengal Gram/Chana Dal – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind – 1 marble-sized ball, without seeds, soaked in about 30 ml of warm water
Jaggery – 2 marble-sized balls, powder it & keep aside.
Tip: Use lesser quantity of jaggery you don’t care to make the thokku on the sweeter side
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Sambar powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves – 2 sprigs, finely chopped
Curry leaves – 7-8, roughly torn
Groundnut oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Some of the ingredients...

Method:
Squeeze out the juice from the soaked tamarind. You can add the pulp too if you wish. I did.

Heat oil in a deep bottom fry pan. Set heat to medium. Add the asafoetida & let it sizzle.

Note: You can also add mustard seeds after the asafoetida if you wish to.

Add the red chilli’s & crushed garlic. Toss them around for a couple of minutes. We do not wish to burn the red chilli’s & garlic, reduce heat if they begin to turn dark too soon. Add the chana dal & the fenugreek seeds, sauté them for a minute or so. Next add the curry leaves & toss the contents around. Next add the urad dal, fry them till they turn golden brown.

Next throw in the courgette/Zucchini, mix well. Add salt to taste & throw in the turmeric powder & let the courgette sweat… Once the water starts evaporating add the sambar powder & the coriander powder. Mix well. Once the raw flavours fade away add the jaggery & tamarind juice. Simmer & let the courgette cook till they turn very soft & all water evaporates, the oil separates out and you are left with a soft thick mass.

Let the thokku cool down, if you don’t want to serve it hot. Transfer the contents into a dry glass jar & tighten the lid.

Let it stay outside for a day on your kitchen shelf/counter so that the flavours blend in well. Don’t be surprised if the thokku tastes better the next day.. 🙂

Later refrigerate if you have any left 🙂

Garnishing:
If you plan to use it within a couple of days then garnish with coriander leaves. 

Courgette/Zucchini Thokku...

Tip: If you plan to store it for later; this lasts at least a week in the refrigerator, then skip adding coriander or add the coriander leaves with the jaggery & tamarind.

Serving Suggestions:
Turn off the heat & serve hot with chapatis’ or hot steamed rice with a dollop of ghee on top.

Courgette/Zucchini Thokku...

If you like this recipe, you may also like – Capsicum Chutney….Sweet, sour n hot pear relish/chutney.


Taushe Ullel – Spicy & Tangy, tempered Cucumber salad, Konkani style

Taushe Ullel..

This dish brings back memories of food from our family temple. Each Konkana Family has a family temple & their family God/Goddess. Our family temple is in Kerala, it’s a small village in the border of Karnataka & Kerala. An hours drive away from Mangalore. Most of the major festivals are celebrated together by the people who belong to each temple. Most temples serve food during a Puja related to any festival. Of course there is a trust, people donate money, there are members who are part of the temple trust who are in charge of getting the events conducted smoothly etc. If you are still wondering what I’m talking about then, it’s very similar to a group of people belonging to a particular parish among the Christians & you celebrate festivals by attending service/mass together.

My first memories of eating this is at the temple. My dad is very sensitive to cucumbers, & hence anything related to cucumbers was never prepared at home. He catches a cold the very next day if he had cucumbers. I love cucumbers.. guess you always end up liking something that is rarely prepared at home. A chilled cucumber salad on a hot summer day is just awesome, wouldn’t you agree?? I, always looked forward to eating this dish in the temple & I always made sure I never wasted and ate every bit of it.

Taushe Ullel..

Taushe refers to Cucumber in Konkani. I don’t know what’s Ullel :P, maybe its just another name. Whats in a name.. ?? Anyways, this dish is very flavourful, is crunchy from the cucumbers, hot from the green chilli’s, red chilli’s & ginger added. Coconut adds its sweetness. It’s perfect for hot summer afternoons. I usually prepare this with chilled cucumbers. :).

I have used English cucumbers here for the recipe, hence the seeds would not bother you much. Indian cucumbers have larger seeds & they do bother you a bit when you eat this. So I would suggest you to throw away the seeds if you are using Indian cucumbers.

Please be informed that this has to be eaten in about an hour or two after its put together.Else it can go bad very soon. The cucumbers let out lots of water when they come in contact with salt. So always prepare this just before your ready to have your meal. Also just make the amount that you know you will consume, it’s a shame to waste something as tasty as this.. 🙂

Taushe Ullel..

Cucumbers have so many health benefits. They are high in water content & Vitamin B, the skin is high in Vitamin C. They are an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels. Cucumbers are also known to be good for people who are diabetic since it aids insulin production. Also known to reduce cholesterol & helps regulate blood pressure.

Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cucumber – half of a medium-sized cucumber, chopped into small pieces, skin on, It is traditionally prepared this way… & I prefer it that way, you can opt otherwise
Ginger – half an inch piece, finely chopped
Green chilli – 1 or 2, finely chopped, use according to the type/your tolerance level
Coriander leaves (optional) – 1-2 sprigs, finely chopped

finely chopped cucumber....

For the fresh coconut paste:
Freshly grated coconut – 1/4 cup, I used desiccated coconut soaked in some water..
Dried red chilli’s – 2, roasted in a wee bit of oil
Tamarind – Half a marble-sized ball, make sure there are no seeds
Mustard seeds – half a tsp

For the tempering:
Oil – half a tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp

Method:
Take a mixing bowl & add cucumber, green chilli’s, ginger & mix well. Keep this aside.

In a mixer/blender jar, add the ingredients mentioned for the fresh coconut paste – oil roasted red chilli’s, tamarind, coconut, the mustard seeds & grind to a nice coarse paste. Add just a bit of water to help you grind the ingredients to a smooth paste. Once the paste is ready, you can begin to smell the lovely ground mustard seeds in the paste…

Freshly ground coconut paste..

Add salt to the paste when ready. Keep aside.

Just before you are ready to serve this dish, heat oil in a tempering vessel. When the oil is heating up, add the coconut paste to the cucumber in the mixing bowl & mix well. Add the mustard seeds when the oil is hot. Let them splutter for a minute, now transfer the tempering over the cucumber. Mix well.

Garnishing: (optional)
Garnish with coriander leaves if required. I did.. 🙂

Taushe Ullel..

Serving Suggestions:
Serve as a side dish with your regular Konkani meal, i.e. with rice, dal & some vegetable.

Taushe Ullel..

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Tempered Cucumber Raita – South Indian Style, Tzatziki, Alle Chutney/ Ginger Chutney, etc.


Chunky Guacamole…

Chunky Guacamole..

Dips are another one of my weaknesses.. if I have a perfect dip, I end up eating the dip more than the starter served with it.. just like how I love our Indian chutneys.. eat more of the chutney than the dosa.. as a kid I used to just take a piece of the dosa or idli & wave it around the chutney, yes I hardly ate dips.. its so strange when I think of it.. I was such a picky eater.. I had a few favourites.. would give such a tough time to mum.. I only wanted fried food..!!!

My friends find it hard to believe that I have turned out to be such a foodie.. I don’t look like one at all..!! That’s a misconception… that people need to be on the plumper side if they love food.. ! I have always known to peck on food.. foodpecker – that was me, I still am though… just that I eat a little more than when I was a kid…!!

Dad would never take us out for lunches/dinners once he realised that all if us are foodpeckers.. we always ended up packing up most of the food on the table if we ever did go out… I end up filling my tummy up with starters… & then there is no place for the actual food.. 😛 this is the case usually when I go out.. So K always chides me & now we share a soup & a starter & then he makes sure I eat the main course.. it’s not that I don’t want to eat.. I just cant.. I have a small tummy & it fills up so quickly.. I am the eat multiple small meals a day person…

Both K & I love trying out new dishes & cuisines.. Mexican is a favourite.. their food has so many wonderful herbs & flavours, just like the Indian & Thai food… Based on history, guacamole was made by the Aztecs. This is traditionally made by mashing up ripe avocado’s using a mortar & pestle along with some salt.. but there are many variations to it commercially. This is how I like my guacamole.. chunky, with bits, something to bite into..

Chunky Guacamole..

Look at these brilliant ingredients… they are so fresh & inviting…! imagine all of them mixed well & imagine all of them imparting their flavours into each other… its a feast for your taste buds..

Some of the ingredients..

Chatterbox that I am… just won’t shut up!! I don’t mean to bore you before you start your weekend.. so here goes… enjoy your weekend with this lovely dip…! 🙂 Adios Amigo’s!

Chunky Guacamole..

Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 5 mins
Avocado – 1, ripe
Onion – 1, small, finely chopped
Tomato – 1 large, ripe, finely chopped
Lemon juice – 1 tsp, freshly squeezed
Dried red chilli’s – 2, de-seeded & finely chopped
Coriander – 4-5 sprigs, finely chopped, throw away the thick stem bits & use the tender bits, reserve some to garnish.
Salt to taste

Some of the ingredients..

Method:
Mash up the onions tomatoes, red chilli’s along with the coriander leaves in a mortar & pestle. Once its turned into 80% pulp. Transfer the contents into a mixing bowl.

Cut open the avocado & spoon out the pulp into the mixing bowl with the onion-tomato-coriander pulp.

Tip: Cut the avocado just before you need to add the pulp, else it begins to turn brown.

Keep the avocado seed for later. Now using your hands, mash the avocado into the pulp. Add salt to taste. When you have achieved the consistency you like squeeze in the lemon juice & mix well.

Chunky Guacamole..

Garnishing:
Garnish with the reserved coriander leaves.

Serving Suggestions:
If you do not plan to serve the guacamole immediately, then throw in the seed, this prevents it from turning brown.

Chunky Guacamole..

Serve with your favourite bowl of tortilla chips.. 🙂 Enjoy..