Thursday, July 3, 2014

Chinna Vengaya Thokku / Shallot Pickle - South Indian Style

I am travelling to India tomorrow. This time it is going to be a long vacation which is going to last for a few months. My son and I are excited to meet my family and looking forward to spend some quality time with them. I have scheduled some posts to keep this space active. Keep visiting and enjoy the recipes!
There are some foods that grandma makes for us to carry back from India. Goodies from India are always special and are like carrying memories back from the trip. One thing that grandma always does not forget to make for us is this Onion Pickle. The first time she made it was when I was newly married and DH absolutely loved it. Not a surprise, he is a pickle fan and can eat South Indian Pickles with almost any food. Since then she never forgets to make some specially for the greatest pickle fan, DH.
It never occurred to me that I can try and make her pickle recipes at home by myself until now. I frantically called her up and asked for this onion thokku and Tomato Thokku recipes. And yeah again my DH loves this onion thokku more :)
Chinna vengayam / Shallots / Sambar Onions - 1/2 kg (a little more than a lb)
Tamarind - size of a lemon (pick over the fibrous veins and seeds)
Dry Red chillies - 15
Gingelly (sesame) oil - 1/3 cup + 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Salt - 1 tsp or to taste
Peel and halve the onions. If the sambar onions are bit too big, cut into quarters. Heat 3 tbsp of oil and fry the chillies until it take a darker shade. Drain the chillies to a plate. In the same pan fry the tamarind for a minute or so and transfer it to the chillies plate. Add the cut onions and fry until it turns transparent but not too dark. Allow it to cool in the oil. Meanwhile pulse the chillies and tamarind in a small mixie jar into a fine powder. Add the sambar onions with salt and pulse a couple of times to form a not a smooth paste. Heat 1/3 cup of oil in a sauce pan and splutter the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add the ground paste and cook in medium heat for about 20 minutes. Stir often to avoid the thokku sticking to the bottom of the pan and getting burnt. When the thokku comes together as a single mass and the oil starts oozing out. Remove from heat and allow to cool, covering with a mesh plate. When cooled for about a day, transfer to a clean and dry glass bottle. This stays good in room temperature. But I prefer keeping it in the fridge. Always use a dry spoon to serve.

Linking this to Priya's Vegan Thursdays.


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