PEERKANGAI THOGAYAL (RIDGE GOURD CHUTNEY)
Thogyal’s are an integral part of “Tambram”(Tamil Brahmin) cuisine. Life without thogayals would be life without spice for a south indian.
Thogayals add that extra zest to a bland meal, an extra flavor and an extra zing to your palate.
Thogayals are made using different vegetables, but ridge gourd is one of the very popular vegetables added to the conventional thogayal.
Ridge gourd – 1
Skinless split Black gram (Udad dal) - 2 tbsps
Dried red chillies -2-3
Tamarind – small lemon size
Asafetida (Hing) - ½ tsp
Curry Leaves – 8
Salt as per taste
Heat oil in a Wok (kadhai), Add the udad dal, chana dal and the red chillies and roast until the dals turn pink and the chillies turn plump. Keep aside on a plate.
Now add the coconut, salt, curry leaves and asafetida and roast until the coconut is light pink in color and a lovely aroma is emanating, allow this to cool down as well.
Now, run the roasted dal mixture in the dry mill of your blender to a coarse powder consistency. Keep aside.
Then run the coconut mix and keep aside.
De-skin the ridge gourd (you can add the skin as well provided it’s not very sharp and stringy). Chop the peeled ridge gourd. Meanwhile in the same wok, add some oil, once it’s hot, add the chopped ridge gourd pieces and the ridge gourd skin as well incase you are using and a pinch of salt.
You will notice that the ridge gourd mixture becomes watery, sauté until all the water evaporates. Keep aside.
Once it cools down, run in the blender. Then add this paste with the blended coarse dal and coconut powders.
Check for the salt, if required, add at this stage Run once more in the blender with some water (about 4-5 tablespoonful), this time don’t run the blender too much, just one spin would be enough. Just remember, don’t make it a fine powder. The mix should be coarse.
This should be coarse as shown in the picture not too fine.
If you grind all the ingredients together and not separately as directed then you will notice that the dals don’t get powdered and if you run it too much to ensure that the dals get powdered then the mixture will be too fine and not so tasty.
All the ingredients get grounded at different levels hence it has to be done separately.
The best way to grind it is always using a stone manual grinder and if not you can achieve the similar taste if you grind in the wet/dry automated grinder which we use nowadays to grind idly/ dosa batter.