Whenever I visit @gandhigram.khadi I make sure to meet Mariammal Paati. She is an ambar charkha spinner and I often find her on her verandah spinning away. During my last visit, I spotted her araicha-fying (grounding) on the traditional stone ammi. My interest piqued and I started taking photos while asking her what she was making and the ingredients. She was amused by my interest in her mundane everyday activity. She excitedly tells me she’s making thogayal (a local dish similar to a chutney) and she will call for me once its ready.
The texture and flavour of the thogayal was quite different than what I’ve had so far. Because she grounds it little by hand, she has better control over the texture. As with any hand process, she can’t make a lot at a time. The quantity is usually enough for one meal as a side dish. Although this time there was none left for her and her husband that day as we sat under the tree and licked away the thogayal.
Maariammal paati was so proud of what she made while laughing at me swooning over her simple dish.
She also says the mixie cannot compare to the ammi, it’s useless. And I quite agree! I have been instructed to let her know before my next visit so she can make the thogayal along with a proper lunch. It is in these moments that I feel blessed and truly grateful!
(I don’t have the quantities and as usually eyeballs them)
Kotmalli chedi (fresh coriander)
Molaga vathal (dried whole red chili)
Puli (soaked tamarind)
Vellum (jaggery) or cheeni (sugar)
Poondu (raw garlic cloves)
Nella ennai (Gingelly / sesame oil)
In gingelly oil roast the coriander and dried red chili.
Start grinding it on the ammi until it’s a coarse paste. Then add the salt, tamarind, jaggery, and raw garlic until it’s done.