Thecha: a rustic Maharashtrian “chutney”; super versatile and can be added to anything from bhel to mutton / chicken curry to bagara baingan for an extra kick of flavour... as an accompaniment to the simple Maharashtrian breakfast Thalipeeth, or just as a condiment with a simple dal chawal.
I eat thecha with potato chips even! *ahem*
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
* The traditional recipe of thecha is a mix of chilli and garlic, though I like to add a little piece of ginger for added flavour.
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.
Do take a look at the other condiments / recipes and simple Indian meal ideas.
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