Raw Tamarind Thokku: A Tantalising Chutney You Must Try
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Most people love a tangy and spicy accompaniment, like pickle and chutney, with their meals. And some find the lingering sour taste of tamarind and tamarind water too dear to forego. Karnataka’s very own Raw Tamarind Thokku is the answer to all those looking for these requirements in their side dish. Raw Tamarind Thokku utilises raw tamarind paste that makes it a thoroughly savoury and tangy chutney with a tempering of mustard seeds. While the roasted fenugreek powder and chillies along with coconut give it the hot spiciness of a typical pickle.

Thokku is a South Indian pickle made with grated and crushed vegetables. It is also known as semi-dry chutney, where the vegetables are pureed, chopped finely or grated and cooked to a thick consistency in oil or just preserved in oil. With those characteristics, thokku could look like an interesting mix between chutney and pickle. For making Thokku, seasonal vegetables and even fruits available abundantly are used. These vegetables include tomatoes, gooseberries, tamarind and raw mangoes. The various kinds of thokku popularly made are Mango Thokku, Onion Tomato Thokku, Prawn Masala Thokku, Thakkali Thokku or Tomato Thokku and Egg Thokku or Muttai Thokku.

The dish requires a little sauteing and can also include herbs like mint, coriander leaves, and curry leaves. The shelf life of thokku is more if more oil and less water have been used in it. Thokku is extremely popular in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Talking of Raw Tamarind Thokku, the health benefits of tamarind are significant and it has good amounts of all the essential amino acids except tryptophan. So much so that it meets the parameters of the World Health Organization (WHO) for an ideal protein for the other amino acids.

Here’s the recipe for Raw Tamarind Thokku.

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Servings: 7-8


  • 15 raw and mature tamarind with no seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1 tbsp crystal salt 
  • 6 green chillies
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

For tempering:

  • 1 tbsp oil 
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds 
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida


  • Take washed and dried raw tamarind. 
  • Break the tamarinds and remove the fibre and keep them aside.
  • Dry roast the fenugreek seeds till they become crisp. 
  • Then transfer them to a blender jar and grind them into a fine powder. Do not remove it from the jar yet.
  • Crush and break the tamarind into smaller pieces.
  • Transfer the crushed tamarind into the blender and grind it into a paste with fenugreek powder. 
  • To this add green chillies, turmeric powder and crystal salt and blend everything into a fine paste. Take it out in a bowl.
  • In a tadka pan, heat oil and add asafoetida and mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add this tempering to the Raw Tamarind Thokku.