Chintakaya Thokku Recipe ~ Basic Raw Tamarind Pickle Preserve
Food which is associated with a memory has more luscious flavour and we always recollect those memories while eating, especially the memories of childhood days we spent in maternal and paternal villages. When I was a kid, I was very fond of sour tastes like tender tamarind, tamarind flowers, raw mango, jujubi fruit (regi pandlu) etc. We used to climb trees, pluck those fruits and have them there itself with salt…writing this itself is making my mouth watering 🙂
We have around 40 tamarind trees(5 acre land) in our in-laws village with a temple in between them (few trees are nearing 100 years and have seen 4 generations of our ancestors, such a bliss to view those huge trees :)).
This pic is not doing justice to what I have described you. But hope you are able to see the temple in between the trees.
During tamarind season, raw tamarind is widely used in many dishes especially in villages. It is cooked in some water, mashed and filtered – that water is used in dals, rasams etc as replacement of tamarind. Taste of the dish will be enhanced as the raw tamarind is fresh produce.
This Chintakaya Thokku is treated very sacred in villages.
- Newly married bride carries small quantity chintakaya thokku along with curd rice to her in-laws house.
- During festivals, Chintakaya thokku Jaadi or Clay Pot is worshipped along with God. This is treated much like Kali Kunda (fermented rice water, which is added to rice in small quantities while cooking) Fermented foods are treated sacredly since ages. Maybe the main fact behind that was to maintain cleanliness around those jars so that they don’t get spoiled.
- As new stock of thokku is made during tamarind season, the old stock is distributed to the needy and poor.
While other pickles need oil to preserve it for long time, this pickle is oil-free. Lets learn how to make this preserve. In villages as this thokku is made in large quantities, they use mortar and pestle (rolu-rokali) to grind it. If you are doing that in small quantity and you don’t have the facility of mortar-pestle, you can grind it in mixer.
The below mentioned ingredients measurement is not accurate, you can adjust it as per your taste. My MIL told me her measurements which I have translated based on my understanding 🙂
Chintakaya Thokku Recipe:
- 1 kg Raw Tamarind
- Rock Salt as per your taste
- 6 tsp Turmeric
- 5 tsp Fenugreek Seeds (dry roast and grind them to powder)
Note: You can buy Organic & Bestselling ingredients on Amazon through the links provided above.
- Wash raw tamarind thoroughly under water, remove the stalks.
- Spread them on a dry cloth and allow them to dry completely.
- Cut them into 2-3 pieces with hand/knife.
- Grind them coarsely adding turmeric.
- At last, add rock salt, fenugreek powder and grind for few more minutes.
- Now, take this mixture and store it in dry clay pot or ceramic jar.
- Tie the mouth tightly with dry cloth and close it with lid.
- If used carefully, this fermented tamarind lasts for few years.
- Now, the basic version is ready. You can make different versions of chutneys with this thokku.
- Select fresh and raw tamarind.
- After washing, allow them to dry completely before grinding.
- If using mortar-pestle, add rock salt at the ending, as it spits into eyes while grinding.
- Try to do all this process with dry utensils and dry hands.