Thokku is one form of pickle I relish. Not inclined to pickles, I make do with the vegetable on my menu or the different kuzhambus to go with my curd rice. But thokkus are exceptions. The other pickles I might have are vadu mangai, moar nellikkai and elumichangai.
If that is me, my husband, I wonder has ever tasted pickles. On the contrary, Niki likes pickles and she also loves the thokkus as much as me. So I make very small quantities, that may last just about a week. However, recently I bought the bag of pearl onions and they were so good that I wanted to preserve them in pickle form.
I made with about 200 grams of pearl onions and hoped that I may pass that off as side dish for dosais. But my apprehension was unfounded. My husband liked the thokku and I have some more reserved in the bottle for the next dosai session.
Incidentally Priya is hosting Siri's Healing Foods representing Onions this month. I am sending her this entry.
Pearl onions 200 grams
Tamarind a small lemon size ball (make tiny bits of this)
Dry red chillis 7 pieces (medium spice)
Salt as required
Sesame seeds oil/ gingelly oil 1/3 cup
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
2 tablespoons urad dhal
1 teaspoon Asafoetida powder
Peel the pearl onions and cut them roughly, just to facilitate the grinding in the mixie.
Take one tablespoon oil in a heavy pan. When the oil is hot, saute the pearl onions, tamarind, salt and the red chillis until the onions are soft.
Allow to cool. Transfer the mix to the jar of a mixer-grinder and coarsely grind it.
Heat the rest of the oil in the same heavy pan. Add the tempering. When the mustard seeds crackle and the urad dhal is golden, transfer the onion mix to the pan.
Cook this on medium heat until the blend is well done and the oil surfaces.
It should be well cooked in order to enhance shelf life. This is a preserve that can stay at room temperature for about a fortnight. Can be refridgerated also if desired.
This makes an excellent side dish for dosais and chappatis. You may even mix with hot rice.
We had this with rawa dosais this weekend!