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Thogayals are a variety of chutney . Close sisters, I guess . Thogayals have lentils and condiments roasted in oil  Also It is quite traditional to Tamil cuisine and is usually eaten mixed with rice. It’s also a big thicker and coarser in consistency ?  I’m no expert on the differences between the two, but my palate prefers thogayal whereas my lazy mind  prefers chutney, so chutney it is most of the time. One of these days when I feel like it I’m going to research the differences, I’m sure my Mom or MIL will be glad to hold forth a lecture series on this with additional comments on my cooking abilities and laziness thrown in 🙂  some day.

Recipes for Thogayals of different kind. they may or may not be the authentic version but these are ones me and R grew up with. so authentic enough for us I guess.

Kothamalli ( Coriander )  Thogayal

Urud Dal – 4 tsp
Channa Dal – 3 tsp
Red Chillies – 3
Coconut – 1 tbsp ( optional)
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Coriander Leaves/Cilantro 1.5 cups
Oil – 1spn
Tamarind – a small piece

Method : Saute in oil everything except Coriander leaves. turn off stove, add coriander leaves, let it wilt. grind it all into a paste . Done !!!

Karivepalai ( Curry leaves )  Thogayal

Urud Dal – 4 tsp
Red Chillies – 2
peppercorns  – 1/2 spoon
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Curry leaves  –  1 cup
Oil – 1spn
Tamarind – a small piece

Method : Saute in oil everything except Curry leaves. Set aside, add a bit of oil and saute curry leaves till crispy ( for a few min) .
Blend everything  into a paste .

Paruppu ( lentil) Thogayal

Toor Dal – 1/2 cup
Red Chillies – 1
pepper – 1/2 spoon
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
garlic – few ( optional)
oil – 1 tsp

Method : Saute everything in Oil in low heat till it smells nice , Grind into coarse paste.

Thengai ( Coconut ) Thogayal

Grated coconut – 1.5 cups
Red chilli – 2
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Toor Dhal – 1/4 cup
Urad Dhal – 1/4 cup
Oil – 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Tamarind  – small lime size or tamarind paste
Water – 1/4 cup ( or less)

Method : Saute in oil everything except Coconut scrapings . turn off stove, add coconut let it cook in the residual heat.  grind it all into a paste .

Vengaya ( onion) Thogayal

Onions – 2 large  ( or a cup of small ones)
Urad Dal – 1/2 cup
Red Chillies – 2/3
Oil – 2 Tbsp
Salt – to taste
Tamarind paste – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp or a small piece of tamarind
Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Method : Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan on low heat and saute all ingredients except onion till light brown, Add in the onions and cook until the onions are tender and light brown in color. grind into coarse paste. Heat a spoon of oil, add mustard and when it pops add the ground mixture and saute for 2-3 min . done.

  • These are pretty much simple dishes, which tastes great with Rice, idli , dosa etc., I even eat them with roti.
  • Tamarind can sour things up pretty quickly. especially if paste is used.
  • I up the sour spice level a bit since I love to eat this with rice
    Gingelly Oil is the oil of choice for all the thogayals. the over 65 crowd insists on ‘Idhayam nalla Ennai’.
  • Apparently these taste best ground in an ‘ammikall’ ( by hand and hard labor). I’m sure I’d prefer that too as long as someone else is doing the grinding .
  • the Coconut one is my least favorite , for some reason I find it a humongous waste of calories plus it showed up with amazing regularity when I was growing up.
  • Paruppu Thogayal is my favorite.