Vengaya Thokku


Onion Preserve / Pickle / relish / Chutney is a semi thick spicy jelly like coarse paste usually an accompaniment for south Indian tiffin items. In our family we make this thokku in big batches and store for upto 6 months. Great for picnics, instant side for any tiffin like idli dosa or puri. We even spread this on a plain bread toast and quick snack. Fresh ingredients, more oil and using dry spoon every time.. will make this preserve last for long time. Only disadvantage it takes about 1 1/2 hours approximate to make this thokku, which is worth a try for its uses.

Tamil ~ English, Vengaya ~ Onion /  Thokku ~ Pickle / Chutney / Preserve / Pachadi / Relish / Jelly / Picnic Food / Side / Trip / Packing Food / Preserves

4 nos Onion(big)
20 nos Dry red chili
1 MarbleSz Tamarind
1½ tsp Salt (or to taste)
1 cup Oil


Choosing onions: We can make these with any type of onions, red usually taste good. I have used yellow about the size of a cricket ball.

Heat about 1/2 cup oil (I used peanut oil) and slightly toast the red chilies, then add the roughly chopped onions and saute over medium flame for 10 minutes. Now bring the flame to low and keep sauteing for 15 minutes. Now add tamarind (just to make them soft before grinding) and fry along with the onions for another 10 minutes. You will see the onions becoming brown and tender, at this stage the onions should loose most of its water content and will look very shinny. Switch off and let this mixture cool completely.

Once its completely cooled, grind the mixture to a fine paste without adding any water. It should look like this.

Again heat 1/4 cup oil and add the ground paste. Put the flame to low medium setting and keep sauteing for the next 30 minutes. Keep stirring every 5 minutes to avoid burning at the bottom of the pan. At the end of 30 minutes the gravy will look like this, add salt and keep stirring.

Again, add the remaining 1/4 cup oil with another 30 minutes of sauteing will lead the gravy to this stage, almost dark brown with oil separating from the paste.

Switch off at this stage and let it cool completely. Transfer the content to a dry glass bottle and close it with air-light lid. This thokku will stay good for about 6 months without refrigeration. Make sure you put a clean dry spoon every time when you dig in. Great chutney/ thokku for picnic parcels, trips and a good side for day to day tiffin items.

I like mine with pipping hot idlis or dosa.


Yield: 1 1/2 cup of thokku (About half of a regular glass horlicks bottle)

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