Category Archives: Sauces|Chutney|dip|spread


Prep time: 10 mins; Makes: about Âľ cup
 Ingredients :
  • 10 Whole dry red chilies
  • 1/2 cup hot boiling water
  • 11/2 inch minced fresh ginger
  • 6-9 garlic pods minces
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • 11/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 11/2 tsp Sesame oil
  • Salt to taste
Method :
1.       Soak red chillies in hot boiling water (switched off) for 10-15 minutes.
2.       Grind the soaked red chilies to a coarse paste. Remove to a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk well to combine.
Serve as a dip with momos, spring rolls or anything else.
Steamed Chewy Veggie Momos with the zesty red chilly dip


Master chef calls for challenge

Domestic looks for balance

Testing recipes, call for a duel

To which, day-to-day fire may not fuel

Thuvaiyal‘ – minced spiced veggies with lentil

Stock on table, is fundamental

Back in times, it was hand ground

On an Indian stone mortar pestle, all around

Old school chefs, still vouch by the flavour

Of the energetic, manual labour

However, modern world surrender

To the electric blender

Pothina thuvaiyal

Prep time : 5 mins ; Cooking time : 10 mins ; Serves : 4

Ingredients  :

  • 1 bunch of Pudina or Mint leaves
  • 3 whole red chilies (small round variety)
  • 1/4 tsp whole pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp udad dal | Black gram lentil
  • 1 tsp thuvar dal | Red gram lentil
  • a marble size piece of tamarind
  • salt to taste
  • 11/2 tsp sesame oil / cooking oil of choice

For tempering (optional) :

  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp udad dal | Black gram lentil
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • a red chilly (small round variety)
  • few curry leaves
  • a tsp of sesame oil / cooking oil of choice

Method :

  1. Pinch out the mint leaves, discarding the stems. Wash, drain and scald them on a pan, with half a tsp of oil.
  2. Fry in a tsp of oil mustard seeds, red chilies, pepper, black gram lentil, red gram lentil and tamarind, till the lentils are golden brown.
  3. Grind them coarsely in a mixer jar with salt and scalded mint leaves. If required sprinkle little water to ease the grinding process.
  4. Fry ingredients given under tempering, in a tsp of oil and temper the ground thuvaiyal. This step is optional.
  5. Serve mint thuvaiyal as an accompaniment, along with steamed ghee rice. It can also be used as pesto or spread, on different types of bread.

Variation :

The list of thuvaiyal / thogayal, among many more, which one can prepare in a similar fashion are with coriander leaves, curry leaves,  finely chopped coconut, Kamala orange peels, onions, garlic, brinjal, ridge gourd (peerkangai), chayote (chow-chow), ginger, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and red gram lentils .



Tomato Onion Chutney always come to my rescue when I am at a loss on deciding the side dish. Tomatoes and onions are a sure find in the pantry, also quick and easy to make, no wonder it gets its nick name ‘Bachelor’s Chutney’ in many households. Spread on bread or as a dip for chips or just attack it with a snack. Works great either ways!

Tomato Onion Chutney Post

Prep time: 5 mins; Cooking time: 10 mins; Serves: 4


  • Tomatoes – 4 big
  • Onions – 4 medium
  • Green Chilies – 2
  • Whole red chilly – 1
  • Udad dal – 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/6 tsp
  • Asafoetida / Hing powder – a pinch
  • Sesame seed Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Rock Salt – to taste
  • Coriander / Cilantro leaves – 1 tbsp
Blending time


1. Chop the onions, tomatoes and the green chilly roughly into big pieces.

2. Heat oil in a wok, add mustard seeds, once they crackle, add fenugreek seeds, udad dal, whole red chilly, finely chopped green chilies, turmeric powder, hing powder and fry till light brown.Now in go the onions, sauteed till translucent and then the tomatoes. Cover the wok with a lid and cook till tomatoes are well done. Let it cool down completely.

3. Pulse this mixture coarsely in a blender. Garnish with chopped Coriander / Cilantro leaves.


1. I use the local country variety tomatoes which give a lovely red colour and tang to the chutney. Wine ripe tomatoes are a good choice too.

2. Take care not to over brown the fenugreek seeds as they may turn bitter.

3. Coarsely grinding the chutney gives a nice texture.


Simplicity is the essence of beauty and so is this green chutney / dip / spread. A fresh, palette cleanser, plays the role of an accompaniment sauce for most Indian snacks / tiffin items, as a dip for starters / chips, as well as, a spread for breads. Made with simple ingredients in a jiffy and simply polished off in a jiffy. Just go right ahead and simply make it in a jiffy!

Go Green

Prep time: 10 mins; Making time: 5 mins; Serves: 4-6


  • Coriander / Cilantro leaves – 1 bunch
  • Mint leaves – 1 bunch
  • Green Chilly – 1
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Rock Salt – 1 tsp or as per taste
  • Lemon – 1


1. Soak the coriander and mint leaves in water for 5 mins and then lift them up gently so that dirt, if any from the leaves settles down at the bottom of the vessel. Wash and rinse the leaves well till clean.

2. Dry roast cumin seeds till you get a good aroma and they are slightly light brown. Set aside to cool.

3. Blend the cleaned coriander and mint leaves, roasted cumin seeds, green chilly, rock salt and juice of a lemon in a blender.

Tip: Optional additions that work well here are 1 tbsp grated coconut, 1 tbsp yogurt, 1/4 tsp garam masala powder and 1/4 tsp chat masala powder. You can try these options individually or in combination and get a version of the chutney that tickle your taste buds. image


T has been promoted to class 10! Yipee!
This calls for coconut chutney, yeah you read right, as a reward, she gets to do what she loves to do the most, munch on the coconut pieces as I chop them for making the chutney. The older one too loves coconut chutney, but then again, she tells me, she loves just about anything I make and just for that, she gets an extra share, of whatever I make.
Coconut chutney is a very popular side dish for most South Indian tiffen dishes.This is my quick and easy-to-do version.

Finger licking yum

Prep time: 10 min; Cooking time: 5 min; Serves: 4

Ingredients ( organic | unrefined) :

â—Ź Grated coconut / Diced coconut – 4 tbsp or 1/2 a shell
â—Ź Green chilly – 1
â—Ź Fried gram dal or Chutney dal – 3 tsp
â—Ź Water – 5 tbsp or as required
â—Ź Gingelly oil / Sesame oil – 1 tsp
â—Ź Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
â—Ź Udad dal – 1 tsp
â—Ź Red chilly  –  1
â—Ź Curry leaves – a few leaves
â—Ź Salt – to taste


1. Grate the coconut or dice the coconut into fine pieces. Grating the coconut will give the chutney a pure white colour.
2. Grind the grated coconut, green chilly, chutney dal and salt in a blender adding  water in installments to get the desired chutney consistency.
3. Heat the oil then throw in the mustard seeds, udad dal, red chilly and curry leaves. Temper the coconut chutney with this tempering and lick the pure creamy white dip!