Lasun-Paticha Thecha (Maharashtrian style spicy garlic-chives relish)
Sides like chutneys, pickles,murabbas, relishes and raitas are such an inseparable part of the every-day Indian meal. Always served on the left side of the plate, meant to be consumed in small quantities, these sweet or spicy or tangy sides can spruce up even the most boring everyday meal. One such traditional preparation made in Maharashtra is the very spicy thecha or kharda typically made of green or red chillies, salt and sometimes garlic. The names are derived from the actions of pounding ( thechane) or scraping with spatula while stir-frying in a wok or griddle (kharadne) which are involved in the prepation. This variation involves the use of fresh garlic-chives (garlic greens) along with green chilies and I love it because unlike garlic cloves, the garlic chives have relatively less pungency and some delicate heat. Goes perfectly with a simple dal-chawal meal or with the traditional ‘jhunka-bhakri’.
1 bunch of fresh garlic greens (about 50g) with the garlic clove still attached to it (lasun-paat),
All the ingredients being stir-fried..
Green chillies being stir fried..
A handful of fresh coriander leaves (kothimbir/hara dhaniya),
2-3 green chillies,
Salt to taste.
For the tempering: ½ tbsp oil, ¼ tsp mustard seeds, ¼ tsp cumin seeds.
- Wash and drain the garlic chives, coriander and chillies separately and drain them. Break the green chillies into halves and also remove the stalk. Coursely chop the coriander leaves. Chop the roots on the tender garlic cloves, if any; then chop the garlic greens roughly.
- Heat a wok (preferably the traditional iron wok or lohe ki kadhai) on a high flame.
- Heat a couple of drops of oil in the wok and then flash toss the green chillies at a high temperature.
- Lower the temperature and then add the garlic chives and coriander leaves to the wok. Stir fry for a minute of two with constant strokes using a spatula.
- Remove the mixture to another plate and allow it to cook. Doing so ensures that the greens do not overcook with the residual heat in the wok.
- Transfer the mixture to a mortar, add salt to taste and pound the mixture coarsely with a pestle.
- For the tempering, heat remaining oil in another small wok until it starts smoking, then add mustard seeds and cumin seeds (in that order) and allow them both to crackle. Pour this hot tempering over the pounded thecha.