Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Onion Chutney (Thogayal)

One funny episode that occurred soon after my marriage. My brother in law's  marriage occurred within six months of mine and my sister in law and I, both new brides were quite new to traditional cooking, we were more interested in fun stuff like samosas and bajji's/ fritters,  I guess :-).  R's grandparents had come out to visit us and we all had gone out shopping together. While shopping as we became aware of the time, we realized that dinner would be delayed if we all hung out till the shopping got done entirely. So my mother in law suggested that the two of us  head home and get a start on the dinner. The plan was to have dosai (savory crepes) and chutney as a light dinner. So both of us came home ahead of the rest of the family and started out making the chutney.

Once we started on the chutney,both of us realized that we were not sure about the correct recipe. Both of us knew that there was coconut and chillies but not sure which chillies, is it red? is it green? does anything else go into it?....basically we were clueless.  Now this was before cell phones were common, so we could not call up our mother in law to ask her and we were too nervous to wait until everyone was home.  So we decided to wing it and hope it worked out well.. The two of us created a chutney with red chillies and coconut and I cannot even remember what else :-)   As you know, the traditional coconut chutney uses fresh green chillies not dried red ones, it also need a whole lot of other ingredients that we missed :-(  

Anyway we got everything " ready"  and the family arrived and my mother in law came to the kitchen to see how things were going. We fessed up to her as soon as she walked into the kitchen and asked her if what we made was okay. She was quite surprised to see the "chutney" we made and a little surprised that we would know how to make this  basic chutney. We were so embarrassed that we did not know something this basic and we were having guests too. My mother in law is such a sweet heart, she did not make a big deal out of it and just fixed the chutney the best she could to make it as tasty as possible.

Now I look back at that episode and laugh about it, but at that time it seemed like such a disaster to me and I felt so mortified and determined to learn things the right way. I have since spent a lot of time writing down traditional recipes from my mother in law  and learning as much as possible from her. Thogayal is one such traditional south Indian recipe that is a chutney with hummus like consistency. Thogayal is made either out of herbs like cilantro, veggies like onions or lentils too.It can either be mixed with rice or served to pair with dosais (crepes) or idlis (steamed cakes) or any other snack/ breakfast item. This one  is versatile enough to be used in a  sandwich or used as a dip for veggies or chips.




Ingredients and Method to make Onion chutney (Thogayal)
Onion 2 medium (cut fine)
lime sized tamarind soaked in enough water to cover it fully 
Dry red chillies 5 (or according to taste) 
2 1/2 tsp split or whole black gram lentil (udad dhal) 
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing) 
2 tsp oil 
salt to taste

Place the tamarind along with the water in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for about 10 to 15 seconds until the water is warm.

Extract tamarind juice by pressing the tamarind and pour into another container or bowl and keep aside, discard the pulp and seeds of the tamarind.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and when hot lower heat to medium and  add black gram lentil to it. 

When the black gram lentil turns reddish add the dry red chillies and asafoetida and saute once or twice

Immediately add the onions and saute until onions are almost transparent. Add the tamarind juice to this and let it boil until the juice is boiled down to a thick consistency.

Cool this mixture and grind in food processor or blender until it is a smooth puree.Add salt to this and mix well. Serve as required

This thogayal can be refrigerated and used within 3-4 days.

50 comments :

Asha said...

Hahaha!! We all go thru' that stage and it's nice to look back when we are older!

Look at you now, expert at making chutney and looks so good too. Bet you can feed a army now! :)

Mangala Bhat said...

hey nice recipe ..i will try this one ..Thanks for recipe:)

Laavanya said...

That was a fun story.. :) and your MIL is a sweetheart. I love onion thogayal/chutney and make it the same way... My periamma makes a version in which she fries the ground paste till very dark & thick.. that's yummy too.

Nandini Vishwanath said...

LOL what a funny story :) I love this chutney, will try it out this weekend.

Superchef said...

LOL that was a funny story...i bet all of us go through that sometime or the other! the thogayal looks absolutely delicious!

Madhu said...

Thats funny..We all have so many episodes like this..it all fun later..:)
Love onion chutney with idlies, looks, nice recipe good too.

Trupti said...

LOL ..nice story. Chutney looks very delicious..goes well with anything.

indosungod said...

That is funny.
I make it pretty much the same way except for a tiny addition of turmeric powder. I also use small onions but of the frozen kind.

Varsha Vipins said...

That was a lovely story Usha..ur mil is so sweet..:)..I love chutney's of this type..will definitely giv it a try..:)

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

simple, yet delicious.. that's the specialty of thogayals.

read the incident...very funny indeed.

Deepa Hari said...

Nice write up Usha....enjoyed reading it...we all have our own share of experience i guess...Your MIL is a sweetheart....Like the chutney too.

Cynthia said...

:) Gosh I could just imagine how you felt then.

Cynthia said...

:) Gosh I could just imagine how you felt then.

Paru ... said...

Usha, that chutney looks very tempting. Did you use red onions or can we use white/yellow for this?

Cham said...

I make the same way too, God I didn't get any annoying moment in my in Laws place. Lucky huh? Yes I never get any chance to sit more than 3 days....

Sara said...

This looks so good, and so versatile too!

aquadaze said...

I love this chutney but have never made it. Loved reading this post Usha!

Ashwini said...

wow I too have gone thru those days..If we remember now, I think what a fool I used to be and laugh.:-)..Chutney looks yumm

Pam said...

I love chutney but have never had onion chutney before. It looks incredible.

simplyspices said...

After read yours, I was started laughing myself about my story. Hope everyone passed thru' that stage.
Chutney looks great!

Premyscakes said...

Chutney looks yum and your story made me laugh, lol.

Indhu said...

nice story and a very yummy chutney :)
I too make onion chutney in a similar manner except that I add a little bit of coriander powder for extra zing :)

sahil said...

good i am pure veg and i like chuteny very much.

Priya Sriram said...

Onion chutney looks so simple and delicious Usha!

Akal's Saappadu said...

interesting anecdote and good understanding between both of you ( sil and you)!
chutney looks yummy! I love onion chutneys with dosai!

sowmya said...

i remember what a bad cook I was when I was newly married..my hubby used to have everything without complaining..thuvayal with onions sounds yumm,..willl try it sometime..

sriharivatsan said...

Love reading the incident..

Thogaiyal looks yummy and delicious..My favo one!!

Sunshinemom said...

Poor you:) I too have miffed up many things before - not in the kitchen but because I used to sleep heavily and could never hear the doorbell! Looking back don't you feel we were so ignorant? I had told my MIL I could not cook rice in open vessel because my Mum always used a cooker! Any way thogayal looks appetizing:)

Happy cook said...

Yeah we were really dumbos when it came to cooking in the early years of marriage, it is in times like these i wish i had listened to my mom when she tole me to learn cooking and i didn't listen.
Good thing i have never ever lived with my in laws.
Now it looks like you can whipp up super delicous chunteys.

Ann said...

Usha,a cute story to remember..enjoyed..and Thogyal is familiar to me..great click

Priya said...

This is my kind of dish, my fav one..

Dershana said...

can't imagine you as a cooking novice :-) Simple and yum thogayal.

Madhuram said...

That was an interesting recollection of memories. I also prepare onion chutney like this.

PG said...

hehehe! Goodness, I'm lucky that I never came in such a situation. :)
The chutney is lovely. I have made note of it. When I make it I will tell you. Thanks!

DEESHA said...

ha ha .. that was funny indeed .. I also learnt how to make chutney after I got married .. I love onion chutney .. brings out a nice flavour

DEESHA said...

ha ha .. that was funny indeed .. I also learnt how to make chutney after I got married .. I love onion chutney .. brings out a nice flavour

Anu said...

Cute funny story Usha. Well am in almost the same phase now ;-) Thats the reason i started the blog My Scrawls so as to digitalize my ventures and keep learning as well :-)

Onion chutney looks yummy! Your food blog is very well organized. Nice to see lots of vegetarian dishes here... will definitely keep checking. Thanks for visiting my site and leading me to yours.

Archy said...

All pass the same phase when newly married :) !! Nice to knw abt u..
Wow, chutney looks so nice tangy.. need to try this for dosa next time..

srikars kitchen said...

chutneys looks yummy & spicy.. nice entry & cutr story..

AnuSriram said...

:-) Thats a nice story! I have some stories like this too... Onion thogayal looks delicious!

Trupti said...

Hey Usha, check my blog for 2 wonderful awards.

Vishali said...

Hey Usha,

The onion chutney looks good. Thanl you for the lovely comments.

Vishali said...

Hey Usha,

The onion chutney looks good. Thanl you for the lovely comments.

Preety said...

chutney looks good, i myself learned so many things after marriage and my dh was also so supportive during this time..he ate all the bad food made by me without any complaints :)

Shri said...

onion chutney is one of my favorites.This is a different method and it is awesome

Girl Japan said...

What a funny and HILARIOUS story, the onion chutney looks fabulous!

Jaya said...

That was fun to read :)) , and trust me ,these give that extra push up to learn traditional cooking more which I think requires a lot of work and patience ..
thanks for coming by at my place ..
hugs and smiles

jayasri said...

read ur story, funny, i too make onion thogayal i have posted in my recipe this is different i must try this next time....

Soma said...

It was mortifying then, but see now it brings u a smile:-)

Nive cbutney.

ARUNA said...

hey Usha, just wanted to let u know...i tried this chutney yesterday and it turned out so so so good. Thanx for sharing!

Related Posts with Thumbnails