Thursday, 8 April 2010
Kothamalli thokku/Flavoured Coriander Paste
Ever since we came back from India, my husband has been finding the mildest of chillies also hot. The devoted wife that I am then started cutting down on the heat and almost used just two chillies only to be told it is still hot. Cutting down the heat so much is not entirely for me so I was desperate to eat something hot and spicy. Around the same time my brother and his wife were going to visit us for the first time. I tried to make some biscuits and a sweet for my brother as he has a sweet tooth and also wanted to make something for my sister-in-law. I always get annoyed when the in-laws family focuses on what their boy likes and not really bothered to make anything the daughter-in-law may like. I thought it is unfair to discriminate. These were the triggers to make this wonderful recipe. I have already talked enough about the health benefits of coriander like it help fighting salmonella infection, urinary tract infection and lowering bad cholesterol. The freshness of the aromatic coriander just made me even more motivated to try this new recipe. I was a bit impatient and tired so could not be bothered cooking on the stove and used the microwave. You could happily do this on your stovetop too. I was very pleased that my sister-in-law really liked this recipe.
2 bunches coriander
½ teaspoon tamarind paste (adjust based on your taste and kind of tamarind)
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Cooking oil (you will have to be a bit generous), preferably groundnut oil or gingelly oil
10 dry red chillies
Salt to taste
Microwave safe dish
Separate the coriander leaves from the stalk as I prefer to use only the leaves for this dish. Soak chillies in hot water for about half hour. If you are using tamarind block, then you can soak it with the chillies. Grind the red chillies, tamarind and coriander together to make a reasonably smooth paste. In a microwave safe dish add 1 teaspoon oil and heat for a minute. Now add the mustard seeds and heat until it splutters. Add fenugreek seeds powder turmeric powder and asafoetida and heat for 30-60s. Add more oil (about 4-5 table spoons) and heat for less than a minute. Add the ground mixture to it and cook for 10 minutes stirring every 3 minutes. Season with salt towards the end. The longer this cooks, the better. With oil, it is always more the merrier. If you desire, you can even add about half teaspoon of jaggery or brown sugar and cook for a while.
This dish tastes great when mixed with rice or eaten with curd rice. It can also be used like a base spread on wraps and chapattis or even in a sandwich.This tastes as good or even better than the equivalent you get in Grandsweets !