ALL ABOUT THOKKU
All tamilians know what a thokku is and what is it’s significance in their lives. Thokku is halfway between a thogayal and a pickle. It has a longer shelf life like a pickle and there is no coconut used in the recipe.
Just like in a thogayal/thuvayal, chopped/grated vegetables are blended to a paste with spices, but without adding water. The water content in the vegetables are also reduced by slow cooking. This helps in preserving the thokku and giving it a longer shelf life. The thokku can be kept out of the refrigerator for a week after it is made and after that for over a month in the refrigerator.
Thokku can be used as a dip, spread, or a pickle. You can eat it with Bread, Chappatis, dosa, upma and curd rice or eat it mixed with hot rice and ghee.
Almost all vegetables without too much water content can be turned into Thokkus. Experiment with exotic vegetables as long as you remain true to the spirit of the recipe.
When using sour stuff as the base, you need not add tamarind.
To make your thokku have a longer shelf life:
- Use fresh vegetables.
and completely dry vegetables, bottles and spoons. Wash
- Never use a wet spoon or your bare hands to touch the thokku. Even a tiny bit of water can spoil it.
- Aluminum, plastic or brass vessels react with the acid in thokku and should be avoided. Use glass / stainless steel / porcelain jars.
- Salt always has moisture in it. So dry roast it / dry it in sun for a day before using it.
- Refrigerate thokku to make them last much longer.
- Have a layer of oil over thokku to seal the surface.
- Mix in a pinch of preservatives like sodium benzoate / citric acid to make your thokku last longer.
Here is a tasty and refreshing recipe of The Mint leaves Thokku
PUDINA THOKKU PICKLE/ MINT LEAVES THOKKU
Pudina Leaves – 1 bunch
Tamarind Paste – 1 tsp
Gingelly Oil / Any edible vegetable oil - 5 tbsps
Udad dal – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
Red Chilly - 4
Asafoetida – ½ tsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Dry roast the Udad, Red chillies, Fenugreek seeds and grind into a fine powder. Keep aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and when it begins to crackle, add in the ground powders and fry for half a minute, it shouldn’t become black, then add the tamarind paste and cook for a minute, after this add the coarsely ground mint leaves, and salt as per taste. Mix it all well. Keep stirring continuously till the water evaporates and it becomes one uniform mixture. After a while you will see the oil separates from the mixture and floats on top. This is the indication that it is done. Put off the gas and let it cool and enjoy it as a dip, spread or a pickle.