Thengai Thogayal (Coconut, Nariyal Chutney)

It suddenly seems to be raining thogayals in my cuisine. Having just made the ponnangani keerai thogayal, it was the turn of the very classic coconut thogayal next. When made with the right consistency (thick and very slightly moist), this dish tastes divine. I often forget how much I love it until I taste it next. And resolve to make it often. It is extremely easy to prepare too!

1 1/4 cups coconut, grated
Salt to taste
A generous pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
1/2 tsp tamarind (imli, puli)
2 tbsp split black lentils (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
2 dried red chillies
4 fenugreek seeds (methi dana, venthiyam)
1/8 tsp mustard seeds
Heat a wok and roast black lentils, red chillies, fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds
Roast till the lentils turn golden brown
Remove from flame and cool
In the same wok, roast the coconut for about a minute, on low flame, till it begins to change colour
Set aside
Transfer the roasted spices and lentil to a blender
Grind to a powder
Add coconut, salt, asafoetida and tamarind
Add very little water
Grind to a thick consistency
Transfer to a serving bowl
Serve at room temperature with steamed red/brown rice and a bland kootan/dal
Or serve with dosa, idli…
Or use it as a dip

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