Chutneys are a hit in India. The stretch from north to south as well as from east to west will give you a long list of chutneys that they prepare with their everyday food. Just like pickles are a favourite side dish for any meal, chutneys fall under that category too. Don’t we all love the dhaniya ki chutney (freshly ground coriander leaves with spices) with our pakoras, chilas and even with dal chawal? For the uninitiated, chutneys are essentially condiments, which could be spicy or savoury depending on your taste. They are made from a variety of fruits and vegetables available in a particular region. The ingredients are ground or blended to form a thick paste, along with certain spices. This works as a great accompaniment to any meal, adding a hint of flavour and zest to the food. 

North India has its own set of chutney jars filled with tomato chutney, pudina chutney, onion chutney. On the other hand, South India’s coconut chutney is no hidden affair too. One such chutney hailing from the middle belt of the sub-continent is Thecha. This local concoction is a dry mixture of a gamut of spices which generally adds a tinge of spice to your dish. The condiment is commonly eaten by people of the rural and urban areas in the region. 

The preparation is quite basic, a mix of garlic, burnt chillies, lemon juice, coriander and peanuts . These are traditionally pounded in a sil batta (mortar and pestle) to give it a rustic texture. Salt is added as per taste along with a few drops of vegetable oil to hold the ingredients together. Boom! Your thecha is ready. Often served with thalipeeth, it also works well with several seafood dishes too. 

Here’s a quick thecha recipe that you can try at home but beware, the heat-o-meter is high. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!