Friday, September 21, 2012

Koththumalli Thokku

Some herbs I might always want to keep stock are ginger, mint and coriander leaves. There are months through which coriander becomes rare to find in the market and I miss them then. I had a lush growth of mints in my back yard in Bur Said and noticed that my Egyptian neighbours will dry them and store the dried mints to use in many dishes. I have also done so and now I have a small quantity of dry mint in my pantry through the year. It keeps well like the fenugreek leaves and comes handy when you want to use them in tea or marinades. But I am not in luck with coriander leaves that way. however, whenever, they are in season I make sambharapuli, the dry chutney or the thokku and store for a good few months.
The years I lived in Egypt, many Indian groceries were hard to find, that I used to carry bulk quantities from home. Whoever visited would bring groceries for us. My sister brought with regular supplies a few Grand Snacks thokkus and podis also to use when we were out of home for a period. Reading the ingredients labelled therein we attempted to recreate them at home and with much success. I have tried, the karuveppilai thokku, thakkali thokku and the koththumalli thokku and stored them well also for a few months.
Coriander has many nutritional benefits, rich in antioxidants and  is good in cholesterol control. It is a store house of potassium,calcium, iron and more. They are rich in vitamin A, B and K also. They possess anti arthritic and anti rheumatic properties.

Now I find ample supply of fresh coriander leaves and purchase them so much that I have an excess supply of these than I will use in my day to day cooking. I made this thokku and have stored it. It stores well for upto three months. I store this in the fridge as I cook with lesser oil than usual. If a good volume of oil is added to the cooking, this stores well off the fridge also.

2 cups fresh coriander leaves
3 tablespoons/ 30 grams tamarind
15 - 20 dry red chillis (depending on the heat they impart and required)
salt to taste
1/3 cup gingelly oil
1 1/2 teaspoon roasted and powdered mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon roasted and powdered fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Wash the coriander leaves clean. Remove the leaves from stems. It will be better to use the tender of the stems that will enhance the flavour.
Spread the cleaned leaves on a cloth and allow to dry in the air for a few hours.
Tear the tamarind in small pieces and break the dry chillis in small pieces.
Place a fairly heavy bottom pan on the stove and on medium heat dry roast the fenugreek seeds until they turn a tinge of reddish brown. Cool and powder them.
Similarly dry roast the mustard seeds and powder them.
Then dry roast the salt and keep aside.
In the same pan, heat one tablespoon oil and roast the chillis well. Likewise, roast the tamarind pieces.
Allow all of these to cool and blend them along with the coriander leaves to a paste adding as less water as possible.
Remove the paste from the blender and with little water clean the adhering paste also.
In the same pan, heat the rest of the oil. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to crackle. Add the asafoetida and the paste. Cook this on a very low flame for a while. The oil will mix well in the paste initially and cook until the oil separates.

At this point, the thokku will leave the walls of the pan with ease and come off in a mass.
Switch off the stove and allow the thokku to cool.
Store in clean jar and use as required.
I mix this with rice and make coriander rice or mix it in shavige to make koththumalli sevai like the thengai sevai or the elumichcham pazham sevai.
This thokku also makes a good side for arisi upma or aval upma.

Siri is hosting the Haalo's Weekend Herb Blogging event Week 352 this week. This thokku is off to this event.


  1. Very delicious thokku. Kothumalli is my favorite herb :) Love its smell and I try to add it to all possible dishes :) Got to try this thokku soon :)

  2. That looks fabulous... can I use the same recipe for karuvepillai thokku too? Anushka and Nikhil adore the karuvepillai thokku from grand sweets.

    1. You can Laav. Just try to get those light green, not very strong curry leaves. The strong and very green ones do not grind well.

  3. The thokku looks real yum.I am a very big fan of kothamalli thokku and the leaves itself. I always tend to incorporate kothamalli in any and everything since it has a strong flavour and enhances the taste of what ever we prepare. I love this thokku with thair sadam.Lovely pics of the thokku.

  4. Delicious thokku Lataji. I make chutney only never tried tokku with them.

  5. I should make this sometime. I have had one made by Grand Sweets and it is just delicious. Though oily. THis looks just great. I guess it is the season now for some good quality leaves.

  6. U made me drooll... Its been years i tasted this . must try :)


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