I’m trying to cross off Life Bucket List Item #3 – Learn to Cook Like Mom. I’m posting my recipes here because these dishes are comically cheap. Comically.
Shop at ethnic grocery stores if you can – they have much much much (much!) cheaper prices and a wider variety. If you don’t have an ethnic grocery store near you, use Amazon for spices. Do not buy spices at the big “American” grocery stores. Here’s an example of some spice prices from a big chain grocery store versus Amazon versus an ethnic grocery store. It’s a bit of a no-brainer.
|Spice||American Grocery||Ethnic Grocery||Amazon|
|Fenugreek Seeds||Not available||$0.03/tsp||$0.08/tsp|
And now for the recipe!
Today’s Indian dish, a spicy chutney called thecha (pronounced “tay-sah”), is a delicious and simple concoction that goes with literally anything you want to make spicy and flavorful. It lasts four days in the fridge, but when it’s on hand, I eat this chutney with literally every single Indian dish I have. I don’t use the word literally very often and I’ve used it three times already this paragraph, so you know I’m serious.
handful of green chilies (5ish)
handful of thai hot chilies (20ish)
5-6 sprigs of cilantro
7 big cloves of garlic
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of salt
a splash of olive oil
- Break or cut the chilies in half.
- If you’re breaking the chilies in half, make sure you snap them away from your face. Maybe that’s obvious for most people not named Thriftygal.
- Throw the chilies in a pan without oil.
- When the chilies start to blister, grab the lid for the pan.
- CAREFULLY drizzle the chilies with olive oil using the lid of the pan to guard yourself from the splatter.
- Seriously, the hot seeds from the chilies could potentially jump from the pan and scald your skin or even go in your eyes and blind you. Be careful!
- Let cook until they are fully blistered – about 5 minutes.
- Let the chilies cool.
- Peel the garlic.
- Put the peeled garlic, the blistered chilies, the cumin seeds, the salt and the cilantro in a food processor.
- Pulse the food processor a few times.
Enjoy with anything you want to make taste delicious. Except maybe ice cream. I wouldn’t eat this with ice cream. Or cookies. Really, anything sweet.
- Enjoy with anything you want to make taste spicily-delicious.
The prices listed below are in U.S. dollars and are from mother’s local ethnic grocery store in the midwestern United States.
Approximate total: $1.48
- handful of green chilies (5ish) – $0.37
- handful of thai hot chilies (20ish) – $0.75
- 5-6 sprigs of cilantro – $0.15
- 7 big cloves of garlic – $0.10
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds – $0.05
- 1 tablespoon of salt – $0.01
- a splash of olive oil – $0.05
- You can use whatever chile type you prefer.