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I often make some kind of thokku/ thogayal during weekends for our usual idli dosa routine. My little veggie garden is flourishing well and mint is one of the first guest to show up in the garden and grows like weeds. I know the pain as how hard it is to get fresh mint during winter season, I have to drive a bit to buy a few stalks from local Indian stores and I hate them to go waste. So put them to maximum use by either making them dry and store or make chutneys or thokku/ pickles. Every India trip I never miss to stop at Adyar Grand sweets to grab goodies like this from where i got the idea to make these. I also follow quite a bit of Mrs. Revathy Shunmugam recipes and her cooking shows and this one is all that compiled together. I made a batch of Mint Thokku this week from all those healthy looking pudina leaves, they have quite a bit of shelf life and can be stored in refrigerator for few months or more. Just a little will go a long way with your idlis/ dosas or curd rice.
|Fresh Mint||2 big bunch or (about 4 cups leaves tightly packed)|
|Fresh Ginger||2 inch piece|
|Tamarind||1 Marble size|
|Dry Red Chilies||8 (long variety) or 6 small|
|Fenugreek seeds||1/2 teaspoon|
|Mustard seeds||1/2 teaspoon|
|Asafoetida powder||3/4 teaspoon|
|Salt||1/2 teaspoon (or as needed)|
|Oil||1/4 cup (approx) (sesame oil preferred)|
Here is a big bunch of healthy mint leaves from my garden, washed it to get all the dirt off. Get the leaves off the stalks and discard the stems. Spread the leaves in a clean kitchen towel to drain any excess water. Let that sit while you work on the spice mix. Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a kadai/ tawa and roast the fenugreek leaves and dry red chilies until golden and slightly browned. Turn off the heat and let them cool completely. In a mixer/ mixie combine the roasted chilies, fenugreek seeds along with salt & asafoetida powder. Grind to coarse powder as shown and keep aside.
Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a kadai and fry the fresh mint leaves until they slightly wilt. Remove from kadai and add that to the powered spice mix and grind along with tamarind and ginger. (Do not add any water) Run the mixer using the pulse setting, we need a coarse texture as shown. In another pan heat about 3 tablespoon oil and splutter mustard seeds first and then add the mint paste. Fry over low medium flame for 5-7 minutes until the mixture rolls up and turns dark with oil oozing out. It will drink up oil -add more if necessary. Once done transfer the content to a clean sterilized glass bottle. You may add extra hot oil over the top of the thokku to extend the shelf life. This will be good at room temperature of few days and few months when refrigerated. Serve as a side for Idli / Kal dosai / Chapati – it will taste heavenly with plain curd rice!
- Yields about 200 grams of thokku (approx) – 2 big bunches for mint leaves will yield about 3/4 of a regular pickle bottle. This thokku has longer shelf life, if kept at room temperature will last for about few days and for about 1 -2 months when refrigerated.
- If you prefer spicy then add more red chilies.
- Use a clean dry spoon to scoop out other wise it may go rancid soon.
- Glass bottles or jars / Ceramic containers will keep the shelf life longer. Steel is fine too.
- You can follow the same recipe of Kothamalli / Corianer leaves.
- You may use combinations like mint and coriander leaves to make this thokku.
- Makes it great for long travel or trips. Spread some over a toast or plain bread or chapati roll it and gobble!
- Check out my KOTHAMALLI THOKKU (click on it to get the recipe)