Beetroot Chutney

We both also like chutneys a lot like most south Indians, so I am keen about trying out varieties of chutney to go with idly/dosa. Yesterday I tried beetroot chutney; I did not pick up the recipe from anywhere in specific. I simply worked on the chutney protocol with the 2 weeks old beetroots I had. Kundan liked it to my surprise; though it is slightly sweetish, it only balances the sourness, salt and heat of chilies.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2


1.     Beetroot – 2
2.     Green chilies – 2
3.     Tamarind – 2” strip
4.     Salt as per taste
5.     Oil – 1+2 tsp
6.     Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
7.     Urad dal – ½ tbsp
8.     Asafoetida – 1 pinch
9.     Curry leaves – 1 sprig


Step 1: Peel and roughly chop the beetroot.
Step 2: Heat a teaspoon of oil in a kadai and sauté green chilies and beet in it till soft and done. Let it cool. Soak tamarind in some water.

Step 3: Grind the beetroot, chilies, soaked tamarind, and required salt with some water into a grainy paste. Add more water if required.
Step 4: Prepare tempering by heating 2 tsp of oil, spluttering mustard seeds, roasting urad dal & curry leaves in it and sprinkling asafoetida.
Step 5: Mix the prepared tempering to the ground chutney and serve with idly/ dosa or even steamed rice.

*You can combine carrot and beetroot in this recipe.
*Sauté a couple of shallots along with beetroot to enhance the chutney flavour.

Mint-Coriander-Curry leaves Thokku

Whenever the women of a family is planned to absent for some days from cooking, we have a habit of preparing thokku (pasty pickles) so that people at home can have it with idli or dosa or plain rice or even rotis. As a descendent of this custom, I had made this mixed thokku before my fil’s surgery. I had all three greens and for convenience I had used all of them in this recipe, it did taste well with all flavours felt; generally it is made with one of the three greens in the same procedure.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


1.     Mint leaves cleaned – 1 cup
2.     Coriander leaves cleaned with stem – 1 cup
3.     Curry leaves cleaned – 1 cup
4.     Green chilies – 2
5.     Ginger – 1” piece
6.     Red chili powder – 1 tsp
7.     Salt as per taste
8.     Tamarind pulp as required
9.     Gingelly oil – 3 tbsp
10.   Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
11.   Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
12.   Fenugreek powder – ¼ tsp


Step 1: Grind all leaves, green clilies and ginger into a smoot paste with minimum water possible.

Step 2: Heat oil in a kadai, splutter mustard seeds, sprinkle asafoetida and pour in the ground green paste.

Step 3: Add tamarind pulp, salt and chili powder and adjust these three by tasting.

Step 4: Simmer the stove and stir occasionally to avoid burning at the bottom.

Step 5: The thokku is done when moisture in it evaporates and oil separates. Turn off heat when done.

Step 6: Once cool store in a clean and dry air-tight container.


Mint Chutney

As Kundan is very fond of pudina I make pudina thovials frequently but I prepare pudina chutneys only for chaats. Yesterday, I had prepared a hybrid of thovial and chutney to accompany dosa. To be honest he didn’t like it as much as his favourite thovial but what I liked was the bright green colour & taste. It was very fresh and you can feel the taste of mint while in thokku or thovial though the flavour is stunning, the taste is dominated by tamarind, dry chilies and salt.
Serves: 2
Preparation Time 20 minutes (for cleaning mint)
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
1.      Mint – 1 bunch
2.    Coconut grated – 2 tbsp
3.    Ginger – 1” piece
4.    Green Chilies – 3
5.     Tamarind – 1” piece or 1 tbsp pulp (Alternatively you can add juice of half a lemon)
6.    Salt as per taste
7.     Oil – 1 tbsp
8.    Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
9.    Urad dal – ½ tbsp.
10.Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Step 1: Clean and wash the mint leaves thoroughly. Sauté it in a tsp of oil only until it softens and colour changes. Let it cool down.
Step 2: Prepare tempering by sprinkling asafoetida & spluttering mustard seeds in oil and then roasting urad dal in it till brown. Keep this aside.
Step 3: Sauté green chilies in the same kadai with grease left in it.
Step 4: Now in a mixer jar take mint, coconut, peeled & sliced ginger, green chilies, tamarind, salt and grind it well. Add water as required and adjust salt.
Step 5: Take it into a serving bowl and pour the prepared tempering over it.
Step 6: Serve with idli or dosa.


5 Condiment Chutney

This chutney was an instant idea that I got for dinner today; however, this combination of the ingredients is a familiar one to us as gravy-base. The proportion is what I have tweaked to give a chutney form; I basically tried to prepare ginger chutney and eventually added other ingredients. Ginger is the base and I added onion and garlic for flavour, tomato for tanginess and coconut for texture; it worked perfectly well. It is not only easy and tasty but also healthy because the ingredients are raw ground and sautéed minimally to keep nutrients intact. I cannot call it an invention but it definitely is an innovation.  Kundan just loved it.

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes

1.      Ginger – 4” piece
2.    Garlic – 6 cloves
3.    Shallots – 5
4.    Tomato – 1
5.     Coconut – 2 tbsp grated
6.    Gingelly Oil – 1 tbsp
7.     Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
8.    Asafoetida – 1 pinch
9.    Chili powder – 1 tsp
10. Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
11. Salt to taste
Step 1: Clean and roughly chop peeled ginger, garlic, shallots and tomato.
Step 2: Grind into a coarse paste the chopped condiments along with grated coconut.

Step 3: Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, sprinkle a pinch of asafoetida and add the ground paste.

Step 4: Add enough salt, chili powder and turmeric and stir for few minutes.
Step 5: Serve with idli or dosa.


Tomato Kosthu

Some people call it kosthu/ gosthu and some call it kotsu/ gotsu; I’m used to kosthu but I’ve no idea of the etymology. Tomato kosthu is a tangy saucy side  dish that goes well with idly/ dosa or with pongal. I had eaten this first prepared by one of my roomies and it is pretty quick and simple. I had prepared this for dinner as an accompaniment with thattu-idly (idly steamed in dhokla moulds). 

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

1.      Ripe Tomato – 4
2.    Onion – 2
3.    Green chilies – 2
4.    Curry leaves – 1 sprig
5.     Oil – 1 tbsp
6.    Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
7.     Asafoetida – 1 pinch
8.    Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
9.    Salt as per taste

Step 1: Chop onion, tomato, chili and curry leaves finely.

Step 2: Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, sprinkle asafoetida, add curry leaves and green chilies.
Step 3: Sauté onion in it till translucent.

Step 4: Add in tomatoes and sauté until mushy.

Step 5: Add a cup of water, salt, turmeric and cook in simmer for 5 more minutes.

Step 6: Serve hot or warm with idly/ dosa or pongal.