Indian cuisine is as rich as its culture. Look into a traditional thali, you will understand how diversified and extensive it is in terms of ingredients, texture and aroma. The key component that binds it all is the balance of flavours. It is fascinating to see how well balanced the flavours are in every meal across regions. For instance, bland rice is paired with medium-spiced dal; and this simple dal-chawal combination gets a zesty twist with some chutney or achar by the side. Even a simple paratha is always paired with achar and dahi to balance out the flavours. In fact, achar (or pickle) is one such side dish that largely contributes to bringing in that ‘balance’ in the cuisine. This is why we find achar holding a constant spot in every regional food culture. However, recipes and names vary from place to place. Take mirchi thecha for instance.
A popular condiment in Kolhapuri cuisine, thecha is basically green chilli chutney that is often paired with paratha or dal-chawal. What makes it different from regular chutney is its coarse texture. Unlike the smooth and creamy pudina chutney or tomato chutney, thecha remains coarse and rustic that helps enhance its taste and aroma. Traditionally thecha is prepared by pounding a green chilli-garlic mixture in mortar-pestle. But you can always resort to a mixer grinder to get the job done seamlessly.
We found the traditional mirchi thecha recipe that uses mortar pestle for the preparation. The recipe is shared by food vlogger Parul Jain on her YouTube channel ‘Cook With Parul’. And the best part is, you can make it in just 5 minutes and store the thecha for 15 days. Let’s take a look at the recipe:
Step 1. Clean the green chillies and chop them into small pieces.
Step 2. Heat a pan and add mustard oil to it.
Step 3. Add jeera, garlic cloves (do not chop them), and cook on low-medium flame for 30 seconds.
Step 4. Once done, add chopped green chillies to it and fry for a while on low-medium flame, until the chillies turn soft.
Step 5. Add roasted peanuts to it and fry for 1 minute. It helps enhance the flavour of the chutney.
Step 6. Now add salt, as per taste.
Step 7. Switch off the flame and let the mixture cool down.
Step 8. Pound the mixture coarsely in a mortar-pestle. You can also use a mixer grinder to do the job.
Step 9. Transfer it in an airtight jar and store it for 15 days.
Simple, right? Now, get hold of the ingredients and prepare mirch thecha at home to give a spicy makeover to your regular meal.
Watch the complete recipe video here: