Saturday, October 17, 2015

Jalapeno Thokku - Spicy Jalapeno Relish/Spread

I am one of those people who need a breakfast every morning but not the kind of breakfast that is normally eaten here in the US by which I mean cereal with milk, muffin, doughnuts, breakfast bars etc., I prefer my breakfast not sweet and fairly filling. Toast with omelet, bagel with omelet or veggie patty, oatmeal with yogurt and pickles etc., are what work for me on busy weekday mornings. The veggie patty or omelet don't work by themselves. I need a spicy spread to go with it. Of course I can buy a spicy spread like Harissa or even some of the Indian pickles.

The only problem with these store bought spreads/pickles is the amount of salt,sugar,oil that is present. While home made condiments on the other hand can be made light without too much salt or sugar and type of oil is the one that you prefer. I usually add sesame oil(nallennai) for most of my condiments. Use any oil that you prefer. The slightly higher the quantity of oil the longer the shelf life.

So what does one do when there are lots of jalapenos? It reminded me of the recipe that I found in one a book that ammayee had. That thokku recipe was made with bell pepper and I figured making the same with jalapeno might be worth a try and I was not disappointed. Don't for a second think this is only good as a spread for sandwiches. This is perfect to be mixed with rice or as a side for idli/dosai/chapathi.

I used tamarind paste for the recipe and realize that it works best than fresh tamarind. I used both red and green jalapenos. Its your preference reallt, use both or just one kind. The biggest time taker in this whole pickle making expedition is de-seeding and removing the ribs. The rest of the process hardly takes any time. I did not use any dried chilies or red chili powder for heat, used some of my ripe spicy chilies. You do not need too many of those chilies either.

As for sterilized jars which are called for storing any preserves I use a very simple method of sterilizing which is included below.

Recipe in pictures
Cut the jalapeno in two and clean the seeds and ribs. In a wide mouthed thick bottomed pan heat a bit of the oil and add the slit jalapenos and red chilies and let them sweat till they change color.
Roast the ingredients for the spice powder one and by one and make a smooth powder.
Once the jalapenos and chilies are cooked add them to the blender along with the tamarind extract and blend to a paste.
In a wide mouthed thick bottomed add half of the oil and when hot add the blended jalapeno paste, cook for about 8-10 minutes. Add in the powdered spice powder and salt and let cook for another 10-15 minutes adding more oil when the mixture starts to look dry.
The pickle is done when the mixture starts moving away from the sides of the vessel. Let cool and pack in sterilized jars.

Jalapeno Thokku - Spicy Jalapeno Relish / Spread
Preparation Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:30-40 minutes
  1. 4-5 lbs of jalapeno (i used both green and red) 6 cups after desseding
  2. about 10-12 spicy green/red chilies (increase or decrease as per heat requirement)
  3. 1 1/2 cups of sesame oil
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp of tamarind paste (if not using a small lime sized ball of tamarind)
  5. salt to taste
  6. For the Powder
  7. 1 tbsp of split urad dal (ulundham paruppu)
  8. 2 tsp of bengal gram (kadalai paruppu)
  9. 1 tsp of coriander leaves
  10. 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  11. 1/4 tsp or a small piece of asfoetida
  12. 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds

  1. Dry roast the ingredients in the 'For the Powder' section one by one till they are browned a bit. Cool and make a smooth powder.
  2. In a thick bottomed pan, add oil and saute the jalapenos and the green chilies till they start to sweat and turn color a little bit (about 8-10 minutes). Let cool and come to room temperature.
  3. Add the tamarind to the jalapenos in batches to a blender and blend to a paste.
  4. Clean and dry the thick bottomed pan and add about half of the oil and add the paste. Let it come to a boil for about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add the powdered spice powder and salt and in a medium heat continue to cook while adding more of the other half of the oil when the mixture starts to look dry and cook till the oil separates and the jalapeno paste is moving away from the sides of the pan. (this might take anywhere between 10-15 minutes).
  6. Let cool and pack them in glass jars.
  7. Sterilizing the glass jars
  8. In a big pot, boil water enough to hold all your jars and let them boil for about 3-4 minutes. Remove them from the hot bath and let dry completely.
  9. Just before putting the preserve in the glass jar put int the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute.
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1 comment:

  1. Same here when it comes to b'fast no sweet & sugary stuff.....usually we take homemade bread with eggs or sometime i make some extra rotis while making dinner so next day those can be used instead of & hubs like those with some home made chutney/spreads & some form of personally like leftover dal/subzi also for b'fast :) love the spicy spread u have made......would love it with any meal.


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