Raw tamarind chutney or hunasekayi thokku is an easy recipe followed in many parts of south India.
This thokku is sour, spicy and sweet condiment and great companion of plain rice, dosa, idly.
This is a great way to store the fresh tamarind pods as they are seasonal produce.
Sour and slightly sweet green tamarind pods with immature seeds are available during the onset of winter. The simple method of using them is by breaking open the pods, gently remove the flesh held with strings or fibers and consumed.
Raw tamarind pods are rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. These raw tamarinds are usually sour and slightly sweetish to taste. The fresh raw tamarind I have used in this recipe has very tender seeds and still green in colour.
Every family has its own way of preparing thokku from this seasonal delight. This is the recipe I have learnt from my aunt who is from a sankete Brahmin community. This is a vegan recipe.
Few important steps in preparing hunasekayi thokku or raw tamarind chutney
Clean and check the raw tamarind pods for any infestation of pests. While cooking them add little water (make sure the pods are just immersing)
The water used in cooking the raw tamarind can be used in grinding. Add very little water while grinding. If you add more water while grinding, cook the thokku for few more minutes to ensure water free thokku and to increase the shelf life of thokku.
Carefully remove the skin of raw tamarind otherwise you tend to lose the flesh pulp attached to string or fibre.
If the seeds are hard, remove them along with skin. The fresh tamarinds I have used had immature green seeds, and were edible. So I have used them in thokku.
Few of the families use green chilies and those in favor of mustard seeds use more while grinding. We are family who love asafoetida flavor, so I have added at the end and making it a prominent flavor.
Firstly I have coarsely ground mustard seeds, red chilies and jaggery. Then added the pulp, this makes sure mustard seeds are ground well.
Raw tamarind can be ground into coarse paste as compared to fine paste. My family loves to have a fine paste thokku. So I have ground it into fine paste
Adjust the quantity of salt and red chilies as per taste. I have used spicy red chllies. As the fresh raw tamarinds are very tangy, it requires lot more of salt and spiciness to balance the flavor.
I have used coconut oil, which gives a nice aroma to thokku. Any refined oil can be used instead of coconut oil. Tamarind thokku has to be stored in glass jars, as tamarind reacts with any other metal containers.
Detailed recipe of hunasekayi thokku or raw tamarind chutney
Heat little water in a vessel, add the raw tamarind (make sure the pods are just immersing) and heat for 2 to 3 minutes. The pod colour changes from green to brown. At this point, strain water (keep this water aside) and cool the tamarind.
Now gently, carefully remove the outer skin and fibre from soft tamarind. Fresh tamarind pulp with soft immature seeds is ready to prepare thokku.
Take a blender; add mustard seeds, red chilies and jaggery powder. Blend these into coarse powder. Next add the deskinned fresh tamarind pulp. Make a fine paste of the mixture. The mixture can fine or coarse depending on ones preference.
In pan, heat oil, add the ground paste, salt and asafoetida. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Cool the thokku before storing in airtight glass container.
This can be stored at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. When this fresh tamarind thokku is refrigerated, it stays good for 15 days.
Few other easy condiment recipes on blog
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Hunasekayi thokku or raw tamarind chutney
- Raw tamarind pods – 250 gms
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Red chili – 5-6 nos
- Jaggery powder – 1 tbsp
- Coconut oil – 1 ½ tbsp
- Asafoetida – ½ tsp
- Salt as per taste
- Water as required
- Take raw tamarind in little water and heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain water (keep this water aside) and cool the tamarind.
- Remove the outer skin and fibre from soft tamarind. Fresh tamarind pulp with soft immature seeds is ready to prepare thokku.
- Take a blender, add mustard seeds, red chilies and jaggery powder. Blend these into powder, add the deskinned fresh tamarind. Make a fine paste of the mixture.
- Heat oil on medium heat, add the ground paste, salt and asafoetida. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Cool the thokku and serve.
- Fresh tamarind thokku is ready to be served. Store it in airtight glass jar. This can be stored at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. When refrigerated it stays good for 15 days.
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Pavithra M Adiga
I am a passionate foodie and food photographer with love to document easy, simple to follow, healthy vegetarian recipes in Dice n Cook.