Bachelor-friendly, Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Ridge Gourd (Thurai) Thogayal

Thogayals are handy chutneys/accompaniments that can be used along with rice, rotis, and even dosas and idlis. They are a good ‘chakhna’ for rice gruel/kanji also. Ridge gourd may sound like a very unusual vegetable for a chutney. But, believe me, this tastes so good and you will love it.

Ingredients:
Ridge gourd deskinned and cut into piece – 3 cups
Urad dal – 3 tsbp
Whole dry red chilies – 5-6
Tamarind – 1 marble size
Asafetida – 1/4 tsp
Salt as needed
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes 1-1/2 cups

Method:
Wash the ridge gourd thoroughly and remove the hard green skin. It is okay if small portions of the green skin remains. Cut it into long strips and then chop roughly into smaller pieces.
Place an iron wok on fire and add a oil. Add urad dal, whole dry red chilies broken into pieces, and asafetida and roast in a medium flame until urad dal changes to golden color. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
Add the chopped ridge gourd pieces into the same iron wok and cook for about 5 mins or so until the ridge gourd pieces turn tender and start oozing water. Turn off the fire and add the tamarind and let it soften in the remaining heat of the wok and lose it’s raw taste. Let it cool.
Use a mixer grinder and pulse the dry ingredients (roasted urad dal, red chilies, asafetida, and grated coconut) first to a smooth powder. Add the sauteed ridge gourd, tamarind, and salt and grind to a smooth paste. You may not need to add water while grinding as the ridge gourd has some water content. Serve along with rice or roti.

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Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Indian, Kerala Recipes, Vegan

Kerala Style Chammanthi Podi (Dry Coconut Chutney)

Spicy, roasted coconut chutney powder that tastes great with rice. Contains no oil. This is different from the chutney powder that is eaten with idli and dosa.

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Ingredients:
Urad dal (without skin) – 300 gm
Raw rice* – 2 tsp
Coconut (greated) – 1 medium-sized coconut
Asafetida (powder/chunks) – 1 tsp
Dry red chilies – 20 (adjust to taste)
Tamarind – a lemon-sized ball
Black peppercorns* – 1 tsp
Salt – As required

* In case any of these ingredients are unavailable, check the alternate ingredients section for other options.

Alternatives:
Peppercorns and rice are optional. Those who do not prefer pepper can use red chilies alone.

Preparation Time: 10min.
Cooking Time: 40min.

Method:

Heat up a pan (preferably iron). Add the urad dal and raw rice. Dry roast these two ingredients until golden brown. Constant stirring is required. Add the red chilies, black peppercorns, and the asafetida powder towards the end. If you are using asafetida chunks, you may need to add it around 5 minutes beforehand. Turn off the fire when the urad dal and rice turn golden brown. Remove the ingredients from the pan and spread on a plate to cool the ingredients.

Place the pan on fire again and roast the grated coconut until golden brown. This is to remove all moisture content and improve the shelf life of the podi. Turn off the fire and empty the roasted coconut on to the plate along with the other ingredients. Put the tamarind into the pan while the pan is still hot. Do not light the fire. This will help to remove the moisture content in the tamarind.

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After the ingredients have cooled, grind the roasted ingredients well along with salt. Empty the ingredients onto a plate and let it cool. Taste and adjust the salt and chilly if required. Make sure that you roast the red chilies before you add it to the podi. Store the podi in a dry bottle.

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List of accompaniments:
Enhances the taste of rice. This is like a dry pickle. Its granular texture adds punch to your lunch. This podi has a shelf life of around a month and is a good gift for those special loved ones.

Trivia:
Constant stirring is required while you are roasting the ingredients. You cannot afford to answer phone calls/doorbells while you are at it 🙂

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