‘Thogaiyal’ is the Tamil word for a condiment that is generally thicker in consistency than a chutney, and made with lentils and coconut as base ingredients. Several other spices are mixed and matched to create varieties of this dish. This is made with fresh greens, coriander, mint leaves, endless varieties of vegetables, even peels of veggies like ridge gourd, bottle gourd, ‘perandai’ (‘adamant creeper’ in English, apparently 😀 )etc. This stays fresh in the refrigerator for upto a week if handled correctly, and is great for days when you do not want to whip up elaborate meals. Grind some thogaiyal, just steam a pot of rice, and you’re good to go. Some appalam/vadam on the side and some ghee, and you have one lip-smacking meal ready to eat 🙂
- Toor dal – 1/3 cup
- Channa dal – 2 tbsp
- Jeera – 1 tsp
- Black pepper whole – 1 tsp
- Tamarind – marble sized ball
- Jaggery – 1 tbsp
- Fresh grated coconut – 1/4 cup (or an equivalent piece of coconut)
- Red chillies – 4 to 5 (stemless)
- Hing – 1/2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Heat oil in a wide bottomed kadai.
- Add the toor dal and channa dal and fry until golden.
- Add the dry red chillies, black pepper and fry for a few seconds.
- Add the coconut, and switch off the stove.
- Take everything in a mixer grinder jar. Add the hing, jaggery and tamarind.
- Add salt to taste.
- Add a little water (about less than 1/4 cup) and grind to a coarse paste.
- Depending on how thick or loose you want your thogaiyal, add more water and pulse for 30 second bursts until you reach a good consistency (smooth paste, but not overly fine).
- Transfer to a bowl. Serve over hot steamed white rice with ghee.
TIPS & TWEAKS
- You could saute garlic until soft in the oil, just before adding the lentils. Do not burn the garlic as this will make your thogaiyal bitter. This transforms this thogaiyal into further lip smackingly delicious territory, if you’re a garlic lover like me 🙂
- You could also add some curry leaves to the oil if you prefer.
- Don’t add too much water, or you’ll end up with a loose chutney. You want this to be much thicker than that.
- Makes a really nice side dish for curd rice !