Living the Good Life…

My food blog & cookbook in progress


Something you are only likely to find in a South Indian home, a toghayal is a sort of chutney, but not quite since it has a shorter shelf (or fridge) life  and is also eaten in somewhat more substantial quantities than other chutneys are. We eat them mixed with rice or as a dip for chapattis. Spicy, sometimes-tangy, chunky and chockfull of healthy veges and daal, what could be better? My personal favorite toghayal is made with eggplants. Another vege that is used often is a squash or gourd that is called peerukangai in Tamil (best transliteration according to mine ear) and possibly ridge gourd in English. Other members of the squash family, especially zucchini are simply too watery to lend themselves to such recipes. I have even made this type of chutney with plantain peels!

The eggplant variety is best made with a large eggplant that has been smoked or charred and then peeled. Plaintain peels should be boiled in tamarind water briefly. The gourd can simple be de-ridged or de-spined and then sliced and pan fried. Ditto I suppose if you are using any other pumpkin. Anyhow once you have prepped the vege or have begun to prep it dry roast the following in a pan over a low flame, making sure you have at least one (preferably two) different daals:

A fist full of channa daal (or, if you have it, the roasted dried chana that is sold by street-hawkers in India and that you can see mounds of in the nut shops that line the streets in Cairo),

A slightly smaller quantity of urad daal if you have it

1 tsp or a little less of fenugreek seeds

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1-2 tbsp of sesame seed

a pinch of asafoetida

When the grains begin to darken slightly (and give off a nutty smell) add a fist full of dried coconut and several dried red chillies to taste and continue warming until the coconut is toasted.

Put the roasted spice along with the eggplant (or gourd or plantain peels) into a blender and add some tamarind water, salt to taste and a tsp of sugar (preferably brown) and blend. If you wish you might want to add some raisins to the blend, in which case you can reduce the sugar or omit it altogether. You might find it easier to blend everything more smoothly if you let the roasted grains and spices sit in the tamarind water for a bit. The final consistency of this chutney should be a chunky paste. Just before serving, heat some mustard seed in 1-2 tsp of oil and when they begin to sputter add 1-2 more chillies, and a sprig of curry leaves. Serve at room temperature or cold with plenty of plain white rice and some chips or something crunchy on the side.

HOW could I forget?!!? This one is for Salima, who at dinners has done battle with other guests for daring to challenge her right (and she always has the right at my place) to monopolize this dish.

1 Comment»

  salima wrote @


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