Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis.

Andhra Style Spicy Tomato Till Chutney.

I have always steered clear of spicy fiery Andhra Cuisine, as we generally are used to very normal levels of spice in my home.  In my many trips to the US and with so many friends from this neighbouring state, it is but natural for my cooking to be influenced by friends from here. I became more open to trying out new cuisines here in the US, then why not experiment to cuisines and cultures, closer to home, which has been nourished and perfected with years and  years of cooking with patience and love?

Many of my friends wonder how my spice levels are dismally low??? I tasted their cooking, learnt the secrets of it, by tasting and sometimes by merely watching them at their most perfected art – The art of cooking!!! Now I am pretty comfortable with the idea of tossing a dozen red chillies in to a chutney or a thogayal, or even a Kara Kuzhambu, but only if the recipe demands it, as increased spice levels, are generally not considered healthy..I had tasted this spicy Andhra Chutney at a restaurant and had been wanting to try it for a very long time. Sailu`s post, tweaked here and there,  urged me to put my methods and madness to practise and the results were very delicious spicy, yet tangy chutney, that wanted me clamouring for more!!!


4 Vine Tomatoes.

2 Tbsps Dry Roasted White Sesame seeds.

2 Green Chillies.

4 Red chillies.

1/2 Tsp cumin seeds.

1 Tsp Bengal Gram.

1 1/2 Tsp Urad Dhal.

1 small piece of tamarind softened or 1 Tsp of Tamarind Paste.

1 Tbsp Dry Coconut/ Fresh Coconut.


2 Tsps oil

For Seasoning:

1 tsp oil.

1/2 Tsp mustard seeds.


Fresh curry leaves.


  • Preheat the oven to 400 F and pop the tomatoes inside for around 10 – 15 minutes. In  my opinion, this step is purely optional, but valuable in contributing added flavour to the chutney. Fire roasting for a few minutes can also be done. Set aside to cool.
Roasted Tomatoes
  • Take a dry tawa and dry roast the sesame seeds until you can smell the aroma of the seeds. Take care not to burn them. Set aside to cool.
  • Heat oil in the same tawa and add urad dhal, bengal gram, cumin seeds and the dry red chillies until the dals turn in to a light brown colour. Finally add the dry coconut, pinch of hing  and fry for another couple of seconds and remove from tawa. Set aside.
  • In the same oil, now add the green chillies and roast for a couple of seconds. Remove and set aside.
  • Now add the fire roasted/ oven roasted/ raw tomatoes that has been cut in to pieces and the tamarind piece . Allow for it saute well until all the water  evaporates. Allow to cool.
  • Now grind the roasted cumin, dal mixture along with the dry roasted sesame seeds. Once they are well ground, add the roasted tomatoes+ tamarind, green chillies and salt .
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and season with curry leaves, mustard, urad dhal and hing.
  • Serve Andhra Style Spicy Tomato Sesame Chutney with Cracked Wheat & Oats Idlis or Crisp & Tasty Adai.

Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis.

Spicy Chettinadu Pudina Chutney (Chettinadu Pudina Thogayal)

Chettinadu Pudina Thogayal.
Chettinadu Pudina Thogayal.

Pudina has been an ingredient that was never used in my mom`s family. On the other hand, this was one herb that was one of my favourites. When I started cooking on my own, I sought ways and means to cook with this wonderful herb. Since I had a chance to work with people from multiple cultural backgrounds, I learnt this recipe from my colleague`s wife who was an excellent cook. They had Idlis for breakfast every single day, but the accompaniments in the form of thogayals and chutneys were so many. I guess this would kind of make up for the monotony of idlis every morning!!!


20-25 leaves of Pudina.

1 Medium Onion.

1/4 cup of Grated Coconut .

1 spoon of Urad Dhal.

1 inch tamarind piece.

3-4 Tbsp of Light Coconut Milk.



  • Keep the pudina cleaned and dry.
  • Take a kadai and put 2 spoons of oil. When hot, roast urad dhal and red chillies until the dal browns. Put in the mixer.
  • In the remaining oil,  add the sliced onions and saute well.
  • When the onions turn pinkish brown, add grated coconut and the tamarind and saute for a few more minutes.
  • Add the pudina leaves and switch off the stove. The heat in the vessel is enough to lightly saute the pudina leaves.
Getting roasted.
Getting roasted.
  • After they cool off, add these also to the mixer and blend with a little bit of light coconut milk and the requisite salt . The coconut milk is only for added richness and is completely optional.
  • Grind to a smooth paste and serve with hot Idlis or Masala Dosai.
Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis.

Paruppu Thogayal – (Lentils roasted and ground with coconut and chillies)

Paruppu Thogayal.
Paruppu Thogayal.

Whenever we have an overdose of marriages or functions in the family or if there are a lot of festivals one after the other, sometimes, we all do get tired of eating rich food filled with ghee or oil and spices.  Many times, amma then makes a simple menu like Jeera Pepper Rasam to go with Paruppu Thogayal. Thogayal, is almost like a chutney that we have for dosa and idlis…Only thogayals are made to go with rice too. There are a gazillion varieties of thogayals that are made with all sorts of vegetables.

This is almost like eating the lentils uncooked, as they are simply dry roasted and then ground to a paste with spices and coconut.


1/4 cup of Bengal Gram

1/4 cup of Toor Dhal.

1/3 – 1/2 cup of coconut (The more the coconut, the tastier)

7-8 black peppers.

4-5 Red Chillies.


A pinch of Hing


  • Dry roast the bengal gram , toor dhal, black pepper and the red chillies in a clean kadai on a medium low flame. The secret is to slowly roast it until the aromas  are exuded. Increasing the heat, will only burn the lentils and lead to loss of flavour and time.
  • Set aside to cool for a few minutes and then pop it in to a dry mixer jar.
  • Add the coconut (fresh coconut would be very tasty). dessicated would also do.
  • Add salt and then grind with as little water as possible. The consistency should be as shown.
  • Serve with Jeera Pepper Rasam or Milagu Kuzhambu.
Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis.

Easy Coconut Chutney for Idli or Dosa.

Easy Coconut Chutney.
Easy Coconut Chutney.

I always love the Coconut Chutney served with Chinna Vengaya Oothappam at Murugan Idli Shop at T.Nagar and also the thick coconut chutney at Saravana Bhavan and Balaji Bhavan, both at T.Nagar. I always wonder, whats the secret ingredient that these people add to the chutney, that some times even without the requisite seasoning, it tastes heavenly…The Chinna Vengaya Oothappam at Murugan Idli Shop is an altogether different delicacy that requires a dedicated post, but for those who have no clue, its a thicker form of dosa, which has cut, fried shallots cooked in the dosa laced with ghee, and served with Coconut, Tomato and green chutney. YUM!!!

This weekend, was an experiement to recreate the magic of Murugan Idli Shop. I know I cant even begin to get close…but this is my version of my mom`s home made coconut chutney.


1/2 cup of freshly scraped coconut.

4 Green chillies.


2 Tbsp of Dhaliya or PottuKadalai.

A piece of ginger.

A piece of tamarind.


Mustard, Broken Urad Dhal, Curry Leaves.


  • Grind all the ingredients with a little water to form a smooth chutney like consistency.
  • Take a seasoning kadai, add a spoon of oil and when hot, add urad dhal, mustard, hing and curry leaves and when the mustard splutters, add it on the ground coconut chutney.
  • Serve with Idlis, Dosas, Pongal or Upma.
  • My mom loves to add 1-2 spoons of thick curd to the chutney to further enhance the taste.
  • Alternate the ginger, green chillies according to taste.
  • Goes very well with Dosa, Idlies and Pongal.

Gingerly passing on some chutney to Lets Go Nuts – Coconut event which is the brainchild of Aquadaze and hosted by Padmajha Suresh of Seduce Your Tastebuds.

Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis.

Chettinad Onion Tomato Chutney for Dosa/Idli/Pongal.

Chettinad Tomato Chutney.
Chettinad Tomato Chutney.

This chutney is one of my favourites. Its very simple and easy but one that I often make when I feel I want something tangy and spicy and rich!!! It uses simple everyday ingredients that one that throw in and pulse in a few minutes. I remember the delicious three chutney combination that they serve in Saravana Bhavan in Chennai. Crisp but not too soft, fragrant dosas served with tri colour chutnies – tomato, mint and thick white coconut. I was always partial to the tomato and the white chutney and would ask for seconds and often wonder how always the dosa gets done before the chutney does….It`s also a good side for Venn Pongal, rotis and even curd rice… Try it and you`ll love it.


1 Medium Onion.

4 Roma Tomatoes

4 red chillies.

3 spoons of light Coconut Milk.


Curry Leaves.

Green Onions to garnish.


Mustard, Broken Urad Dhal, Curry Leaves.


  • Chop the onions and tomatoes in to long slices.
  • In a kadai, add 2 spoons of oil and when hot, add mustard, broken urad dhal, red chillies and curry leaves.
  • Saute for a few seconds and add the chopped onions.
  • Saute again till the onions are pink and then add the tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle sufficient salt and mix till the water is all reduced and the tomatoes are cooked well.
  • Grind all the sauteed ingredients along with 3 spoons of coconut milk to a smooth paste.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and chopped spring onions for a burst of colour and flavour.
  • Is an excellent accompaniment with Dosa, Idlies and Pongal.
Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis.

Tomato Carrot Chutney.

Tomato Carrot Chutney
Tomato Carrot Chutney

This is another versatile chutney that is a great accompaniment to Dosa, Idlis or even Bread Sandwiches. There is a slight twist on the regular tomato chutney as this has its own fresh ground spices that render a unique taste. It`s a tasty spread and I have used it in my Colourful Stuffed Dosa Rolls. I`ve also added a spoon of flax powder for added fiber.


2 Ripe Tomatoes.

1-2 carrots

A small sprig of corriander leaves.

A spoon of sambar powder.

Roast in Oil and Powder:

2 spoons of urad dhal.

2 spoons of bengal gram.

2 red chillies.

4-5 curry leaves.


  • Chop the tomato and carrot in to slices and set aside.
  • Allow the powdered spices in the mixer to cool.
  • In a kadai, add a spoon of oil and when hot, add mustard and curry leaves and immediately the slices tomato and carrot pieces.
  • Add required quantity of salt, turmeric, hing, a spoon of flax powder, and a spoon of sambar powder and allow to cook till mushy. Allow to cool.
  • Grind the tomato carrot mush, along with the spices and a bunch of cilantro leaves to a chutney consistency. There would be no need to add water, as the  tomato already releases water when cooked.
  • For added flavour, grind with a spoon of coconut milk. Another option is to use Onions.
  • Tomato Carrot Chutney can be served with Colourful Stuffed Dosa Rolls.

This is another of my entry for FIC-Orange the brainchild of SunshineMoms and hosted by Aparna of MyDiverseKithchen.

Chutneys / Thogayals & Podis. · Kerala / Palakkad Recipes.

Inji Pulikachal ( Ginger and Green chillis simmered in tamarind gravy)

Inji Pulikachal
Inji Pulikachal

One of the most staple preparations at home, when I was a little, was the Molagootal. It`s the kerala preparation of the “kootu”….only its not a side.It`s our substitute for sambar or kuzhambu. The molagootal is a slightly bland broth and so we have spicy tangy options to go with it. One such side is the Inji Pulikachal. Simply translated it means “ginger simmered in tamarind”. One of the highlights of Pulikachal is the rush of tastes when you lick even a drop of it…There`s the heat from the chillies, the spice from the ginger, the slight sweet lingering in your mouth from the jaggery and the tanginess from the tamarind. What can one say of the result ??? Heavenly!!!

There is really not a specific measurement – It depends on one`s own requirement of spice, heat and tanginess. These are my indicative measurements. Again, there are differences in the tamarind, chillies etc, so you would need to adjust the proportions accordingly.


1 1/2 cups of Tamarind Juice.

3 Tbsp of Chopped Ginger.

3 Tbsp finely chopped green chillis.

2 spoons of jaggery.

1 spoon of rice flour dissolved in 4 spoons of water.

Salt to taste.



Bengal Gram Dhal, Mustard & Curry Leaves.



  • In a kadai, add 4 spoons of gingely oil and when hot, add bengal gram, chopped ginger and chopped green chillis.
  • Allow it to fry in the oil well and then add the mustard and curry leaves.
  • Now add the tamarind juice, hing, salt and the required turmeric.
  • Mix well, add the jaggery and allow the gravy to simmer on medium flame for about 30 minutes or so.
  • At the end, add the rice flour dissolved in water to thicken the pulikachal in a “pachadi” consistency.
  • As an option, you could allow it to simmer for more time, until all the water evaporates and it gets in to a paste form. This will keep for many days in the refreigerator.
  • Serve with Molagootal, Khichdi, Venn Pongal or with tasty curd rice.