I first had this fiery crushed green chilly mixture, many many years ago, made by a Maharashtrian lady. It fired up my taste buds, made my eyes water, my nose run, but I craved more. That day I ended up overeating my lunch because I wanted to keep eating more and more of this spirited dish. Over ate lunch because one cannot have this just as it is by the spoonfuls. You have to eat it with some sort of roti or rice.
Non heat eaters – REFRAIN!!
My taste buds start craving this, as soon as December starts fading away. The best spicy green chillies, come around January first week, and these make the best Thecha. I went hunting in the farmers market and came upon a lady selling only chillies. Luster green, shinning chillies. I did not have my camera with me ( a lesson learnt), else it would have made a very evocative and vocal picture.
This is a very quick recipe. Eat it with traditional, dal chawal, roti, khichdi, omelette – just about anything. If you are game to experiment – add to Kachumber, any vinaigrette, in yoghurt for a raita mix — let loose your imagination.
I used a mix of spicy and less spicy green chillies. You can use the entire lot as spicy green chillies, or less spicy ones. The less spicy chillies, will not give it the punch, but hey if you cannot stand too much spice, at least you will get a taste of this amazing chutney.
If you are allergic to the spice of the chillies – oil your hands before chopping, or wear gloves. If I have any sweat on my face, the vapour of the chillies sets my face on fire. I always, always use help for chilly chopping. If I have to do it myself, I use kitchen scissors.
This stays well in the refrigerator for a month or two. Use a clean spoon to take out as much as you need, (each time), and nothing will happen to it.
Enjoy! And do write back and tell me how you liked it.
In the din and pollution of Bangalore, exists a quiet retreat. The garden is lush, and in the centre of it all stands my favourite tree – The Parijat. There is something about the small white flower with the orange stems. It has a hard grip on my list of all time favourites. In the days of the old, my grandmother and her sisters in law, would break the orange stem, and make a dye with it. They used it to colour their sarees and wore them for auspicious occasions.
In that serene atmosphere, lives Rekha with her husband and daughter. When she got married, her very foodie husband was appalled at her cooking skills, so he took her to his mother’s home for some training. Rekha being Rekha, understood that way to her husband’s heart is through his stomach (as it is with mine!) She dedicated her self to traditional cooking training. I say “well done” husband, because otherwise, we would have lost out on eating out of the hands of one of the best cooks I have ever met.
Rekha is clean, neat and extremely efficient. Her recipes have been so well measured, that nothing goes waste.
In the next few weeks, I will be adding a few of her recipes. The food you must have eaten, but her’s are worth trying out once.
Here is a simple Red Chilli Chutney. I asked her the traditional name for it, she just shrugged and said – Red Chilli Chutney. Well then. So be it!!
Since the time I made it, I’ve had it with everything – toast, pooran poli, in a salad. I even layered the base of Lasagna sheets with it, before putting in the fillings. It is not as spicy as it looks.
The taste of the jaggery and imli (tamarind), blend with the chillies, giving it the right tang and a hint of spiciness. For the palate that does not mind experimenting with a little spice, this recipe is a must try. And it’s adorably simple.