Thecha Recipe – A spicy, flavorful chutney

By | December 16, 2015

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
Turmeric $0.42/tsp $0.02/tsp $0.08/tsp
Mustard Seeds $0.48/tsp $0.02/tsp $0.08/tsp
Cumin Seeds $0.81/tsp $0.05/tsp $0.08/tsp
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

IMG_20151129_163423 (2)Directions

  1. Break or cut the chilies in half.
  2. 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.
  3. Throw the chilies in a pan without oil.
  4. When the chilies start to blister, grab the lid for the pan.
  5. CAREFULLY drizzle the chilies with olive oil using the lid of the pan to guard yourself from the splatter.
  6. 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!
  7. Let cook until they are fully blistered – about 5 minutes.
  8. Let the chilies cool.
  9. Peel the garlic.
  10. Put the peeled garlic, the blistered chilies, the cumin seeds, the salt and the cilantro in a food processor.
  11. Pulse the food processor a few times.
  12. Enjoy with anything you want to make taste delicious.
  13. Except maybe ice cream. I wouldn’t eat this with ice cream.
  14. Or cookies. Really, anything sweet.
  15. Enjoy with anything you want to make taste spicily-delicious.

Sorry for the rather cruddy picture quality.


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

Acceptable deviations

  • You can use whatever chile type you prefer.

6 thoughts on “Thecha Recipe – A spicy, flavorful chutney

  1. Cathy G

    Oh, now I must make this. John will eat this with everything, Indian cuisine or not (probably even with bananas).

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      Hmm, it’s entirely possible I’m using the word chutney wrong. It’s just what we called the dish in my house growing up. I know that our Marathi was mangled though. As an example, “Thicut = spicy” and “Un-thicut = not spicy”. You won’t hear the word “un-thicut” anywhere else. 🙂

  2. handyWoman

    Thriftygal, in this case you’re Marathi is right. This is definitely a chutney. Most chutneys do not have a sweet component, unless you’re talking what the Brits call chutney.


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