Thokku is a South Indian spicy condiment dish halfway between a chutney and an Indian pickle that you usually eat mixed with hot rice or served on the side of idli or dosa. It can last for a few weeks and is very versatile so you can have it with most anything – with cheese & crackers, on a sandwich, mixed into noodles, etc. I’ve seen it made from a variety of different sour or tart fruits like cranberries, tomato and flipping through an old recipe book with my mom, we came across a thokku recipe made from green mango. When I received these red & green gooseberries in my farm share I thought I’d try my hand at my first thokku.
This was the first time I had tried a red gooseberry too. Around July, I usually receive the green variety which taste kind of like sour grapes and are quite juicy. The red variety is a bit sweeter. These gooseberries are really different from the ones in India, which are hard, larger and have one seed in the middle. Thokku is traditionally also made with that type of gooseberry.
These gooseberries have very small seeds in them that you can eat and a lot of juice, unlike the Indian gooseberry variety.
I hope you enjoy!
Red & Green Gooseberry Thokku
1 pound red and green gooseberries, sliced in half
2 tablespoons vegetable, peanut or sesame oil
1 big pinch hing or asafetida
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/3 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons red chili powder
jaggery or brown sugar – optional*
salt to taste
In a pan, heat oil under medium heat. Add in the hing and black mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add in the fenugreek seeds until they just start to turn golden brown but not dark brown – should be 15-30 seconds. Quickly add in turmeric and then gooseberries. Give everything a good stir and let the gooseberries cook until they start to become soft and mushy – 10-15 minutes.
Add in the red chili powder and salt and cook until the gooseberries are completely broken down and thicken into a chutney-like consistency – about 10-15 minutes.
Cool and then transfer to a glass jar. Keep in the refrigerator and use up to a few weeks.
*I felt that my gooseberries were on the sweet side so no sugar was needed but you can add some while cooking if yours are super sour or tart.