Thengai Thogayal [Spicy Coconut Chutney]

 

Nutritionist and dietician speak a lot about the health benefits of adding coconut to our daily diet as it is rich in “Medium chain Fatty Acids” or as they call it as “Good Fats” which is one of the most important nutrient for our body. We South Indians can proudly say that we have been following a tradition of including coconut in our diet on a daily basis even before these researches had started. It is the easiest form of seasoning we add to enhance the flavor of a dish.

So here I have written down an easy chutney which goes well with rice, roti, idli, dosa …… almost everything. This is my husband’s favorite chutney to go with rice so I make this every week and he finishes the bowl before I could click picture so today I decided to make this chutney just to take a picture and update it on my blog So do not mind the amateur clicks as I could not charge my camera and had to take pictures using my phone 🙂

Ingredients:

Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup

Tadka/Seasoning:

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Urad Dhal – 3 tsp

Red chillies – 3

Hing – 1/2 tsp

A small Piece of Tamarind

Salt – To taste

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in a small pan, once the oil is hot, add urad dhal, broken red chillies.
  2. Fry for few mins until the dhal and chillies are roasted well and turns brown
  3. Switch off the flame, add hing and tamarind to it [The heat of the oil is enough to soften the tamarind]
  4. Add scraped fresh coconut or dry grated coconut in a mixer jar and add the seasoning/Tadka to it
  5. Add salt to taste and grind it into a coarse mixture[ Add as little water as possible]
  6. Serve this on the side with steaming hot rice with a drizzle of ghee.
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Ready to Serve

Notes:

  • Both fresh and dry coconut works for this recipe and I have used dry grated coconut from local Indian grocery store
  • Do not grind the coconut for a long time, just pulse it few times, if not the oil oozes from the coconut and makes the chutney goey
  • Red chillies can be replaced with Green Chillies as well but do not use chill powder, trust me I have tried, it doesn’t taste good
  • The seasoning I have mentioned can be adjusted as per your taste, this is just my personal preference
  • Since coconut is used, the shelf life of this dish is less do not store for more than a day
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A Closer Image

 

Enjoy!!!

Onion Thogayal/Chutney

On lazy sunday mornings, when I dont feel like cooking anything or whenever I feel like having rice at night, I will make this thogayal with hot rice and have it with a few drops of ghee, its the best comfort food that we can make in a jiffy. This can be made as spicy as we like and can be stored for 2 weeks in refrigerator. Lets get started with this simple recipe:

photo 1

Ingredients:

Red onion – 2 (Peeled and chopped coarsely)

Tamarind – a small piece

Salt – As per taste

Seasoning:

Oil – 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Urad Dhal – 1 tsp

Red chillies – 2(broken into pieces as per taste)

Method:

  1. Heat a kadai over medium flame, add 2 tbsp of oil to it.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the items mentioned under seasoning one after the other.
  3. When the dhal turns brwon slightly, add in the onion and saute it until it turns pink.
  4. Allow it to cool then add it to a blender along with a piece of tamarind  and salt, grind it into a paste.
  5. Serve it with hot rice or dosa or idli.

photo 3

Notes:

  • Any variety of onion can be used for this recipe but I personally prefer red onion.
  • Red chillies and tamarind can be adjusted as per taste.

Enjoy!!

Chutneys for Panipuri/Chaats

Pani Puri, Bhel puri, Vada pav nothing is complete without chutneys, the colourful green and red chutney makes the chaat too delightful and tasty to try again and again. These chutneys can also be served with samosa and kachori as well so its good to make them in advance and use as and when it is required. They have a long shelf life and can also be frozen as well.

Green Chutney:

Ingredients:

Coriander Leaves – 1 bunch(Remove the leaves,discard the stem & wash them thoroughly)

Green chillies – 2 or 3 (As per taste)

Ginger – ½ inch piece(Peeled and chopped)

Salt – As needed

Sugar – ½ tsp

Lime Juice – 1 tbsp

Water – few tsp

Method:

  1. Add everything mentioned above except the lime juice into a blender and grind it into a paste, you can adjust the consistency by adding few tsp of water if needed.

  2. Finally add the lime juice to the chutney and mix it well.

  3. Serve this chutney with samosa, bhel puri, roti or even idli and dosa.

photo 2

Notes:

  • We can even use mint and coriander instead of just coriander in the green chutney.

  • Spice level can be adjusted as per your taste.

  • Adding sugar actually balances the spicy and the sourness of the green chillies and the lime juice.

Tamarind Chutney:

Ingredients:

Dates – 8

Tamarind – 1 tbsp(Packed)- I used the dry one not the paste

Powdered Jaggery – 2 tbsp

Red chilly powder – 1 tsp

Cumin Powder – 1 tsp

Garam Masala – A pinch (Optional)

Method:

  1. Take a pressure cooker with little water and pressure cook the tamarind and date for 3 whistles in separate vessels.

  2. Once it is done, extract the juice from tamarind and filter it out.

  3. Grind the cooked dates into a smooth paste.

  4. Take a bowl and mix the tamarind and dates together.

  5. Place this mixture over medium flame and bring it to a boil.

  6. Add in jaggery, red chilly powder, a pinch of garam masala and boil it until it reaches the right consistency.

  7. Finally add the cumin powder and switch off the flame.

photo 4

Notes:

  • Jaggery can be replaced by brown sugar.

  • If you are using the tamarind concentrate, you can mix it directly with the dates paste.
  • If you like the chutney watery, you do not have to boil it as well.

Cranberry Pickle (South Indian Style)

Happy Thanksgiving to all 🙂

Cranberries always remind me of approaching holidays and cold winters:) I love their color  red… pink…pale… whatever they look like they are pretty. These are excellent to make jams, mixed fruit preserves and sauces. The first time I tasted cranberries thinking they would taste like blueberries but I was instantly hit by their sourness 😦 thats when I decided why not make them into a spicy pickle, most of the Indian pickles are sour as they are either made from mango or lime. There are many people out there who are pickle lovers like me, who would love to make their own pickles at home, so this recipe would come in handy to make instant homemade pickle.

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Ingredients:

Cranberry – 1 packet(I used organic which I bought from my local farmers market)

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Red chilli powder – 1 tsp(to taste)

Hing powder – ¼ tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Powdered jaggery – ½ tsp

Salt – to taste

Sesame oil – 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Coarsely chop the cranberry or pulse them in a food processor and keep it aside.

  2. Heat a heavy bottom pan or a wok, add 2 tbsp of sesame oil to it. If you want to store this pickle for a long time add more oil.

  3. Once the oil gets hot, add in the mustard seeds, once it crackles, add the curry leaves, hing powder, turmeric powder and give it a quick stir.

  4. Then add in the cranberry and mix them altogether.

  5. Keep sautéing for 10 mins until the cranberry gets cooked and you will see the oil separating from the pickle.

  6. Now, add salt and chilli powder, cook for another 5 mins.

  7. Finally add some jaggery, mix well and switch off the flame. Cranberry pickle is ready for serving.

  8. You can have this on the side with idli, dosa, rice or roti.

Coarsely chopped Cranberries

Coarsely chopped Cranberries

Cranberry pickle

Cranberry pickle

Notes:

  • Cranberries are really sour so adjust salt,chilli powder and jaggery according to your taste.

  • Just a pinch of fenugreek powder can also be added to this pickle, which gives a nice aromatic twist but ensure not to add too much as it would make the pickle bitter.

  • Jaggery(Palm sugar) can be replaced by brown sugar as well.

  • Sesame oil gives a nice flavor and aroma to the pickle, you can replace it with mustard oil but not with any other cooking oil.
Cranberry pickle

Cranberry pickle

Onion Tomato chutney

Onion tomato chutney is my favourite side dish for idli or dosa. This deep red coloured chutney is easy to make and can be stored in refrigerator for a week. In restaurants, you will find this chutney served along with white and green chutney, when you order idli or dosa 🙂 Lets see how to prepare this chutney:

Ingredients:

Onion – 2 (medium)

Tomato – 2 (medium)

Green or dry red chillies – 2

Garlic pods – 4

Oil – 2 tbsp

Salt – to taste

To Temper:

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Urad dhal – ½ tsp

Curry leaves – few leaves(Torn into pieces)

Method:

  1. Roughly chop the onions and tomatoes and keep them aside.

  2. Peel the garlic and chop them roughly.

  3. Heat a pan or a kadai over medium flame, add 1 tbsp of oil, once the oil turns hot,toss in the garlic and red chillies, fry them until the garlic turns brown. Take them out of the pan and keep it aside.

  4. In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of oil, once the oil turns hot, add in the onion and saute for a min.

  5. Add in the tomatoes and add some salt to it and saute them until the tomatoes turn mushy.

  6. Now, add the garlic, red chillies, salt and onion-tomato mixture into a blender and blend them into a paste. Transfer the chutney to a serving bowl.

  7. Heat a tadka(Seasoning) pan by adding 1 tbsp of oil into it.

  8. Add the ingredients mentioned under “To Temper” and allow the mustard seeds to splutter then add in the urad dhal and curry leaves.

  9. Pour this seasoning over the chutney and mix them well.

  10. Serve this chutney with idli, dosa or Pesarattu.

photo 2

Notes:

  • Add some salt while sautéing onion,this makes the onion to cook faster.

  • I prefer to use ripe plum tomatoes and red onion for this recipe which gives a nice red color.

  • Adding garlic or curry leaves is optional.

  • For making chutneys I always prefer to use sesame oil as it gives a nice aroma and flavor to it, but its purely optional.

Coconut Chutney

Coconut chutney, which is very mild and tasty has always been part of my diet all the time since my childhood. I would always end up eating coconut chutney with everything, I would mix it with all my food and invent my own dishes 🙂 I would say I was smitten by this chutney. My mom who is an excellent cook, would make me this chutney every time with freshly grated coconut and temper it with coconut oil, it smells and tastes divine. But now I do not get fresh coconuts so I end up using frozen grated coconuts which is not bad either! Coconuts contain a good amount of fiber, vitamins and are also rich in anti oxidants. So try to add them to your food where ever possible. This chutney is one simple way of incorporating coconut into your diet:

Ingredients:

Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup(Fresh or Frozen)

Channa Dalia – 2 tbsp

Green Chilly – 2 ( As per taste)

Salt – To taste

To Temper:

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Urad Dhal – 1/2 tsp

Hing – 1/4 tsp

Method:

  1. Add the coconut, channa dalia, green chillies and salt to a blender and by adding little water, make them into a fine paste.
  2. Temper this chutney by heating oil in a small kadai and add mustard seeds, urad dhal and hing powder to it. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add urad dhal and a pinch of hing to it and pour it over the coconut chutney.
  3. Coconut chutney can be served on the side with any variety of Idli, Dosa or Vada.

Coconut Chutney

Notes:

  • Use coconut or sesame oil for tempering as it imparts nice flavor and aroma to the chutney.
  • Curry leaves can also be added in the tempering.
  • Ginger or garlic can also be added while grinding the coconut, this gives a variation to the regular chutney.