Thecha (green chilli & garlic chutney)
Updated: Aug 1
Thecha: a rustic Maharashtrian “chutney”; super versatile and can be added to anything from bhel to mutton or chicken curry to bagara baingan to kothimbir vadi dough for an extra kick of flavour... thecha makes a flavourful accompaniment to the simple Maharashtrian breakfast Thalipeeth, or just as a condiment to fire up up a basic dal chawal.
Psst... I eat thecha with potato chips even! *ahem*
A couple of other Indian condiments that easily double up as chip dip:
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Makes: 1 cup of thecha
Time taken: 5 - 7 minutes
Ingredients to make Thecha
1 cup green chillies – halved
4 – 5 cloves of garlic – bruised with a knife or the back of your palm
1 inch piece of ginger – coarsely chopped
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 tsp lemon juice (optional, to reduce the heat from the chillies)
Salt to taste
Note: the traditional recipe of thecha is a mix of fried fresh green chillies and garlic, though I like to add a little piece of ginger for added flavour. You could play with ingredients here, add curry leaves for extra crunch or use a mix of dried red chillies and fresh green chillies. Add a tadka of mustard seeds. You get the drift... experiment with your recipe of thecha!
Method of making Thecha
Lightly heat cooking oil in a pan. Add green chillies and sauté for a couple of minutes till they wilt slightly. Add garlic, ginger and salt - sauté for another minute.
Allow this mix to cool a little and pound to a coarse texture using a mortar & pestle, as has been traditionally done. You could use an electric grinder, though, I always notice a slight difference in the flavours of thecha between the two methods. Also, evidently, the textures are different - hand pounded thecha is chunkier in texture.
You could add a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice to reduce the heat from the green chillies. Pound a handful of roasted peanuts with the above recipe of Thecha to add texture and again, reduce the heat from the chillies.
Even though I prefer to make Thecha in smaller fresh batches for maximum flavour, it can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container for 7 – 10 days. Top with a little cooking oil to maintain freshness.
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