The Carrot Thogayal is my favourite side dish, which I often relish, with another one of my all time favourite curry dish- ‘vathakozhambu’. The reason I often conveniently switch on to the thogayal for a side dish is, to avoid the intake of oily pickles. The thogayal, savoured in lieu of a pickle, is a typical South Indian delicacy. Though a chutney this, unlike other chutneys like the coconut chutney and groundnut chutney, can be savoured with rice. The term ‘thogayal’ means thick and coarsely ground chutney, which is neither very smooth nor too grainy. This dish is generally savoured in small helpings, as an accompaniment in a main course meal consisting of rice, rasam/sambar/vathakozhambu, a dry subzi and curd.
Sometimes I just relish the thogayal mixed with hot steamed rice and a dollop of home-made ghee. The thogayal can also be a part of your breakfast menu- Use it as a spread for sandwiches or masala dosa. Even while kneading the dough for rotis or paranthas a scoop of thogayal can be added to it, this will enhance the taste too!
There are different varieties and methods of preparing the thogayal. Some people prepare the thogayal with just lentils. While, the same is also combined with vegetables like ridge gourd, pumpkin, shallots/madras onions, coriander leaves etc., to prepare a vegetable thogayal; each has a unique taste and the important part is the consistency of the thogayal, which adds to the satisfaction of relishing a thogayal!
- ¼ cup freshly grated coconut
- ¼ cup grated carrot
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tbsp split black gram (urad dal)
- 2 tbsp Bengal gram (chana dal)
- 3 red chillies
- 2 sprig curry leaves
- A piece of tamarind (size of a grape)
- ¼ tsp hing/asafoetida
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a pan and sauté lentils (urad dal and chana dal), over medium heat, until they turn golden.
- Add red chillies and asafoetida and stir. Ensure that asafoetida does not burn. Take pan off the heat and add curry leaves, allow it to wilt slightly in the heat of the pan.
- Allow this to cool a bit and grind this with all the other ingredients, adding just enough water, into a slightly coarse chutney/paste.
- The carrot thogayal is ready to be savoured with rice.
Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes Serves: 4