Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Vengaya Thokku / Ground and Spiced Onion Preserve

Thokku is a version of semi-thickened preserve where the vegetable invoved is ground to a coarse or fine paste, sautéd in oil, spiced up and seasoned accordingly.Vegetables with relatively more water content is considered ideal for making thokku.The vegetable when ground brings out the water, the sautéing part reduces the water content and the oil for seasoning enhances the shelf life of the preserve.

Get ready with:

Shallots/Chinna vengayam/Small red onions-1/4 kg or 2 levelled 250ml cups
Tamarind-a medium lime sized ball
Red chilly powder-1/3 cup
Fenugreek or methi seeds/venthayam-1 tsp
Jaggery-1 tsp(optional)
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Hing/Perungayam-1/4 tsp
Sesame seed oil/nallennai-1/2 +1/4 cup
Salt-A tbsp-more or less

To carry on:

1. Soak tamarind in just enough warm water for half an hour.Extract pulp as thick as possible.Keep this aside.

2. Heat a non-stick wok and dry fry the fenugreek/methi seeds till brown and aroma spreads, without adding oil.Powder and keep aside.

3. Peel the small onions.Grind to a coarse paste without adding water.

4. Heat ½ cup oil in the above non stick wok.Splutter the mustard seeds.Add hing and the onion paste, sauté till the water content is absorbed, the colour changes to darker brown and the oil separates.Add the chilly powder and mix well.Pour in the tamarind pulp, mix in jaggery, turmeric powder and salt.

5. Sauté again till the water content evaporates slowly, the gravy thickens and the oil separates again.Never close the wok or the pan during the preparation so as to facilitate the evaporation of the water content of the thokku as far as possible.

6. Sprinkle the methi powder and mix well.Remove from fire when the semi thick consistency is reached and add the extra ¼ cup if you need more oil to float.

7. Cool and transfer thokku in clean and dry bottles.The oil, should float at least a centimeter length, as the upper layer. Store in a cool and dry place. Refrigerate for a longer shelf life.

This goes to Radhika of Radhis Kitchen who hosts JFI-Onions for the month.

Small onions are highly suggested to make this preserve. Big onions may also be substituted, so as to avoid the hazzles of peeling and poor availability, but the taste does alter, and may have comparitively a lesser shelf life.
This is an excellent dip for Dosas and Idlies.A good accompaniment for plain rice too.


  1. i just love that color there!I can imagine the taste! send it across na!

  2. I make vengaya thogayal. Thokku is new to me, Bharathy.

  3. Beautiful looking Thokku. Thanks B for the recipe!:)

  4. Oh this looks so delicious.
    It will be delicious with dosa etc....
    Bharathy you know you can always send a bottle to me :-))

  5. Asha you were one minute before to me :-)))
    I was busy typing :-))

  6. i know the taste of the thokku...hmmm to have them wid dosa....

  7. wow!! looks great. Wanna try immediately. yummy yummy...

  8. looks gre888t...hope i would grab this throuhg pc and have a bit with hot idilis......vaaa mu mein tho paani aa gayaa....

  9. Bharathy, thokku looks awesome! You're making my mouth water here... :)

  10. Bharathi..nice mom used to make this..Thanks for dropping by

  11. ooooh that looks lovely, like vatti pulusu. if only i cud dip some dosa into it!! :D

  12. this will taste gr8 with steaming hot idlis. Looks yummy, thanks for this recipe. I wish I had help to peel all those shallots

  13. Yummy- We would love to have it with plain papper dosas and a hot coffee!!

  14. Lovely colour...excellent dip indeed...

    and dear Bhrathy..I am not rachel...miscommunication in the comments section on my blog :)

  15. wow..that looks yummy!..and great shot also..

  16. awesome one bharathy ....thks for sharing ...

  17. A favorite thokku for my daughter and son in law! My co sister sends it for them! :) Though my maid peels small onions for me, My eyes are very sensitive and I get head ache while grinding onion!
    Lovely colour Bharathy! :) I just got to know there is an onion event :D!

  18. My MIL is an expert on this. But I can never do it like her. I did watch her closely when she did it ,still no success. I'll try this soon. Hope I beat her this time.

  19. hey , got something for you in my miles to go!check cheyyooooooooo ok!

  20. this is a very new recipe for me barathy , it looks soo good

  21. What a great colour and this so yummy! Thanks for sharing :)

    Rosie x

  22. Hey Bharathy,

    This is a truly lovely dip. I d love to dunk a few idlies in there right now. Looks soooo spicy, I love :-)

  23. love that thokku. curd rice n thokku is my fav combination

  24. A nice preparation and the colour looks very appealing for a dip. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Sure,Nandu :)

    Other than Vengayam,..Kothamalli,Thakkali,Ma inji etc are also good for making thokku, Sugi :)

    Thank you Asha :)

    K!! HC, One for you and Nandu :)
    So asha and you visited the same time huh??:)..You too are a great blogger like her..encouraging every one with your pleasant comments too,right??:)

    I had it with dosa even today!Perfect,remya! :)

    Thank you ..Shriya and Nithu,spicy and tasty girls :)

    HUGS is the word to you, sweet Sia :)

    :D...Suma,Do I need to Squeeze in to your food blog and inaugurate? :)

    Thanks a lot, Kalai :)

    Great going Dhivya!Keep up your good work!Encouraging words mean a real lot,esp to new bloggers! :)

    Hmm..yeah just like vattipulusu, sis ;) can I let down our pulusu still when this tastes even a bit better :)

    Shankari, we do get help to peel 'em.BTW,Do you get shallots there?I never came across these anywhere in US!

    :)..Me too Divya and Chaya! :)

    Messed up Just the Name, Rachel not the communication,for sure!!Forgive! :)

    Thank you, Valli and Deeba :)

    Hope to see you back soon, Lathamma!Miss you!

    Thank you and All the best, Kribha! :)..You are a born winner!!

    Hugs, Nandu!Will pass the prayers soon!!:)

    Rosie,Sagari ,Zlam ~thank you girlsssss! :)

    Grihini and Anamika, thank you! :)

  26. OH MY God. This looks fabulous. I feel like this mixing it up with some hot rice and have it for lunch ! Great tempting pictures. Will try this thokku sometime, when my manga thokku gets over

  27. Nice recipe...nice pictures....

  28. wow all your recipes look good, i will try these onion preserves, the color is so tempting:) the fish curry looks good too, and by the way ur lucky to meet the culinary expert sanjeev!

  29. Hi, I meant the vengaaya thokku. I make thakkali thokku often, following mom's recipe, but have not tried vengaayam till now. BTW - me too Aquarian!

  30. hi ur vengaya thoku is mouthwatering and interesting. I shall definitely try it out.

  31. hi.. bharathy. 'm new to ur blog.. tht looks really yummy. my daughter, sisters & mom r going to love this.. i m going to make it right away.. imagine with the soft idlis tht i make for my ktyma.. thanx a zillion for the SUPERB dish...


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