Let me introduce you to one of my favorite food item, I grew up with. In Tamil, it is called ‘Pudhina Thogayal’ that translates to ‘Mint Lentil’ chutney. Consider something like pesto, but instead of nuts, we use lentils. Usually, served as an accompaniment on a a banana leaf meal. Difference between chutney and thogayal is that, thogayal is much more thicker- almost like a dough.
I still remember-Every Sunday, this would be on my plate.Mum would mix this up with some rice and ghee, with some stir-fried vegetables (Do you hear my tummy growling?) that would be divine. I almost had given up eating this amazing chutney, until recently when Sanju asked me for it. I know the chutney itself is vegan. So made it and had it with sesame oil and rice. I kid you not, there was a ‘Hundred foot Journey’ moment. [Spoiler Alert: Skip the rest and scroll down to recipe—-I had tears just like Hassan did, in the movie-when he has a home cooked meal after a long time]. This recipe was passed to my granny from her neighbour ages go. Most of thogayal recipes use coconut unlike this recipe.
- Mint leaves-3 cups tightly packed
- Mustard seeds-1 tsp
- White lentils aka Urad dal-1 Tbsp
- Channa dal- 1 Tbsp
- Dry red chilies- 3
- Palm sugar-1 tsp
- Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
- Hing aka Asafoetida-1 pinch
- Salt-to taste
- Tamarind-1.5 tsp
- Oil-1.5 tsp
- To a pan, add mint leaves and wait for them to wilt. Transfer to a bowl
- In the same pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, white lentils, channa dal and wait until they turn beautiful golden brown, add cumin seeds, they will start to crackle.
- Add red chilies and turn the heat off. Add palm sugar, salt and tamarind and let it sit in the pan, keep aside to cool.
- Add to a food processor, add this lentil mixture and make a fine powder out of this. Once lentils have been broken down, add mint leaves, couple of Tbsp of water and make this thick chutney out of it.
- Serve with rice and some sesame oil.