best apple pie you'll ever eat. Fresh apples from the farm, cooked just right and served while still warm from the oven == absolute bliss. But that is not the what I want to talk about today..the reason I brought up the topic of apples is when I bit into a Granny Smith it got me excited about apples again. The tart, crisp and juicy Granny Smiths reminded me of the raw mangoes that filled my Indian summers. Cut in slivers, dusted with some salt & chilli powder, gobbled up just as soon as I got my hands on them were our snack through the summer. We had a mango tree in our backyard and the sight of the first mangoes of the season was a celebration. Their tartness makes you pucker up and no matter how much you try you cannot stop yourself from having more.
After the best raw mangoes were set aside for the famous batch of Andhra avakaya, the rest promptly got turned into fresh cut mango pickle and my favorite, thokku to satiate our pickle cravings. Finely grated mangoes are cooked to get the moisture out and then seasoned with typical pickle ingredients like mustard fenugreek, salt and red chilli powder. I could have it with rice & curd, dosa's, chapati or just by itself :) The crisp Granny Smiths brought back all those great memories and I instantly set on the task of turning them into a thokku. They work great also in terms of texture since this variety holds up to cooking. The result was fabulous, and I am thrilled that I no longer have to look for raw green mangoes in the store anymore. And even if I do, I am sure they'll be gone before I can think of cooking them.
Granny Smith Apple ThokkuPrep time: 15-20minsCooking time: 15minsIngredients:
- 1 nos - Granny Smith Apple, grated
- 1 nos - dried Red Chilli
- 1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp - Fenugreek powder (lightly toast seeds & powder)
- 1-1.5 tsp - Red Chilli Powder (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
- pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
- 2-3 Tbsp - Gingelly/Sesame Oil (untoasted)
- Salt to taste (~ 1tsp kosher salt)
- Heat sesame oil in a non-reactive saute pan, toss in mustard seeds and once they begin to splutter add dried red chilli, breaking it into pieces.
- Add hing, turmeric and then grated apple to the oil and cook until the moisture in the apple is cooked out, about 6-8 mins. Its done when the grated apple comes together as one mass and oil starts to separate and collect around the corners.
- Turn off the heat, add fenugreek powder, red chili powder and mix well. Once cooled store in a dry, airtight container and refrigerate.Notes: To make fresh fenugreek powder, lightly toast the seeds in a dry pan until fragrant and grind to a fine powder once cooled. I got twice the amount you see in the photographs from one apple. This is still a fresh pickle, so make it in small quantities and refrigerate. When you can find raw green mangoes use the same method to make mango thokku.
I loved it. I had it with curd rice, the absolute best pairing there could be. The next day I had it on crackers and some soft cheese spread as an evening snack. I also spread it on bread while making a burger sandwich for dinner. Its so addictive that once you make it you will come with many more creative ways to sneak it into every single meal you eat. Its been a while since I had the original thokku with raw mangoes to make an exact comparison, but this one surely wasn't lacking in flavor. With apples on almost all grocery stores shelves there is hardly any excuse to not make it.