Among the greens that I use for cooking, fresh Coriander leaves are my favorite. It has an amazing aroma that totally takes the dish to an entirely new level. This post has been lying in my drafts for the past 2 months ever since I returned from DH’s Hometown to celebrate Diwali. I came armed with fresh coriander leaves harvested right from the fields. As this thokku is loved by the whole family I usually keep stock of it making it from 1 or 2 small bunches, but this the first time I made with a quantity of roughly 10 big bunches.
MIL had so lovingly cleaned, washed, air dried and packed it with so much care for the leaves to remain fresh as we were travelling by car. See those leaves there, it stayed fresh even after a week. This is my Grandma’s recipe which I learned from her. She used to pound this thokku by hand in the “Ural” and store it in the big wooden box. This box is so big that it can easily accommodate 2 adults in crouched position. She used to store all her home made pickles, curd, buttermilk, ghee, butter and idli batter in it. She never cared for a refrigerator.
(Print this Recipe)
Trim the roots and keep the stalk of the leaves as shown in the picture. Wash well to remove any sand particles. Spread over a cloth and let it air dry. Chop them roughly and keep aside. Soak tamarind in some hot water.
In a pan heat the oil. Add the urad dal and roast till the aroma arises. Add the red chillies, sauté till it changes color slightly, the add soaked tamarind, asafetida and sauté for another minute.
Add the chopped coriander leaves and sauté till the leaves shrink in size and devoid of any moisture. Let it cool.
Transfer this to the mixer jar and add salt. Grind it together. Do not add water. Mix with a dry spoon often and grind it coarsely as in the picture. Transfer the thokku to a clean and dry bottle. The shelf life is up to 10 to 12 days at room temperature and 1 month when stored in fridge.
This makes a good side dish for idlis, dosas and rice and also you can use this as a ready made rice paste mixing it with rice like Pulikaichal when you are hard pressed for time or for those lazy days when you do not feel like cooking anything.
This is off to Winter Carnival
Labels: Readymade Rice Pastes, Side Dishes - Idli-Dosa, Thokku Varieties