Ellu pajji by Shalini Nanda

A spiced sesame and coconut chutney, with just a hint of smokiness

  • 1/2 cup  brown (unhulled) sesame – washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 2 – 3 shallots or sambar onions, roasted*
  • 3 – 4 hot green chillis, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp thick tamarind extract
  • 1 tbsp jaggery, or to taste
  • Salt to taste

Dry roast the sesame on medium heat until it sputters.Grind all the ingredients together to a smooth paste.

It’s hard to match the buttery texture achieved by grinding this the traditional way, on a grinding stone. Even the best “Indian mixie” falls short!

If you’re using a food processor, grind the sesame before adding the other ingredients.You may need to add a little water to help grind the mixture.Use as little as possible.

A tempering of mustard, curry leaves and broken red chillis is optional.

*Roasted in embers would be ideal, but over an open flame, under the broiler, or in a hot pan will do too.

Roast the onions with their skins on until they’re blackened outside, then peel.

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