Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kothamalli thokku - Coriander leaves pickle

I am not the first one to send a child to college and neither will I be the last. This ritual old though it may be is new for us. I kept postponing thinking about it and then it happened. When I left for college I only cared about the fact that I was leaving home. Didn't spend too much time worrying about how my parents were going to miss me (or in my case they probably were thinking good riddance ;). Now I realize that being on the other side is just as hard or even harder.

Like most mother and daughter pairs we talked a lot, fought a lot, shouted at each other a lot and the most important of all DH and I had come to rely on her for a lot of things. Even though still a teen she had the maturity to understand. Her relationship with DD2 on the other was very different. She regressed by a few years and she behaved like she was the same age as her little sister.

Now all of us miss her and find it hard on weekends. Food wise I miss her even more - when I pass by by the aisles that have the food items she enjoys. I feel a tinge of guilt when I cook something that she likes and she cannot enjoy it.

Care packages have you heard of that? You ship overnight food to your away from home child. Luxury! Have not tried it yet though.

That is what is going on but that is not the reason that posts have been sporadic. That story is for another day.

Now on to some food talk,
Thokkus and pickles the mainstay of the summer months. If I have an abundance of tomatoes I make some tomato thokku which get used morning, noon and night. After tasting home made tomato ketchup store bought ketchup just don't do the trick so I make a batch of that. I had grown coriander leaves this season which gave an opportunity to make some coriander leaves thokku which I have been wanting to for some time.

I am used to buying coriander leaves that look like coriander leaves but does not smell like coriander leaves and I start to doubt if they are really coriander leaves. What if they are parsley? With home grown you will have no such doubt. The aromatic smell of those leaves will leave you mesmerized.

Saute the blackgram and urad dal along with the mustard seeds and red chilies. Get the tamarind pulp ready.
Blend the coriander leaves with the dal and the tamarind pulp and salt and saute in oil till it is shiny.

Unlike other pickles coriander thokku does not require that much oil but you can be liberal with the oil if you want to preserve it for longer.

Coriander Thokku - Coriander leaves pickle
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
  1. 3 cups of packed coriander leaves
  2. 1 tbsp bengal gram (kadalai paruppu)
  3. 7-8 red chilies
  4. 1/2 tbsp urad dal (ulutham paruppu)
  5. 1/4 + 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  6. tiny bit of asfoetida
  7. 1/4 cup of thick tamarind pulp from a small lemon sized ball of tamarind
  8. 1/2 tbsp jaggery
  9. salt to taste
  10. 2-3 tbsp of oil
  1. Wash and dry the coriander leaves completely. You can also sun dry it to make sure.
  2. In a wide mouthed pan, add a tsp of oil when hot saute the bengal gram, followed by the urad dal and remove when it is golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  3. Saute the red chilies and mustard seeds and set aside.
  4. Add the coriander leaves, quickly mix it for a couple of seconds remove to a separate plate.

  5. Now add the tamarind pulp and heat it till it comes to a boil and then for a couple of minutes more and turn of the heat.

  6. Slightly powder the roasted dals first, add the coriander leaves,salt and the boiled tamarind pulp and blend to a thick paste along with the jaggery.

  7. Now heat the rest of the oil(I used 2 tbsp) and when hot add the mustard seeds and asfoetida. When the mustard seeds starts to pop, add the blended paste and saute it for about 5-10 minutes till it becomes shiny.

  8. Cool and store in glass containers. Stays good outside for 5-6 days but for a month or more in the fridge.

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