A staple condiment in my home, and most Maharashtrian households, thecha is a delight for those who love hot food. Thecha basically is coarse chutney made with green chilies (Hirvi mirchi in Marathi) and other few ingredients.These ingredients vary from one region to another, hence leading to the creation of several varieties that leave you spoilt for choice. The common factor though is the heat level. Every thecha is mind-numbingly hot, which is why I strictly recommend that the uninitiated folks tread with caution when they taste it for the very first time.
Previously, I had shared a thecha recipe from the Khandesh region of Maharashtra. It has hints of sweet and sour from the tamarind and jaggery. Today’s thecha recipe belongs to the Khandesh too, but it’s hotter. The chilies are not roasted before they are crushed to a coarse paste, which is why they retain most of their heat. Another striking aspect about this thecha recipe is the addition of asafetida. Very few people add asafetida to thecha and I am glad I did because it lends the thecha an unusually lovely aroma. Not to mention asafetida is good for your tummy especially when there are lots of chilies involved. Also, I have used filtered groundnut oil or peanut oil. It’s a light nutty fragrance and very smooth taste. No other oil gives thecha the kind of flavor that groundnut oil brings to the table. If at all you do not have it at hand, just get some. Really, unflavored vegetable oils like sunflower or canola don’t even come close to groundnut oil.
How Much Garlic to Add to the Thecha?
Don’t be shocked when I tell you that I added around 20 cloves of garlic to this recipe of hirvi mirchi cha thecha. The garlic we get here doesn’t have big cloves. They are usually very tiny or medium-sized regular ones. People in the West usually have giant cloves of garlic that are 3 times bigger than what we have here. So you can adjust the number of garlic cloves depending on its size.
Thecha is served in small quantities, say just a teaspoon. If you want more, then you go for a second serving. It pairs really well with dal rice. And with bhakri, it tastes beyond divine.
Let’s see how to make Hirvi Mirchi cha Thecha.
How to Make Hirvi Mirchi cha Thecha
- Green chilies – 18, big and medium-hot variety
- Garlic – 20 cloves, medium-sized
- Cilantro/Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
- Roasted peanuts – ⅓ cup, peeled
- Peanut Oil – 3 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Asafetida – ½ tsp
- Salt – to taste
- First of all, take the roasted and peeled peanuts in the stone mortar and pestle. Crush them very slightly. Take them out in a bowl and set aside.
- Use the larger chilies that are medium spicy. Cut their crown and chop them roughly. Combine the chilies and garlic in the mortar and pestle.Crush them coarsely in batches. Transfer to a bowl.
- Heat peanut oil in a skillet. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Sprinkle the asafetida and let it sizzle too, for a couple of seconds.
- Add the crushed chilies and garlic. Sautéfor 9-10 on medium to low heat while mixing constantly to avoid burning.
- When the chilies and garlic turn fragrant, add the peanuts and salt. Mix well and turn the heat off.
- Add chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and give it a final mix.
- Hirvi mirchi cha thecha is ready. Let it cool before serving. You can store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for 2~4 days.
Hirvi Mirchi cha Thecha Recipe with Step by Step Pictures Below
To begin with the recipe, keep the ingredients of thecha ready at hand.
First of all, take 1/3 cup of roasted and peeled peanuts in the stone mortar and pestle. Crush them very slightly. Take them out in a bowl and set aside.
Use the larger chilies that are medium spicy, 18 of them. Cut their crown and chop them roughly. Combine the chilies and 20 medium-sized cloves of garlic in the mortar and pestle.
Crush them coarsely in batches. Transfer to a bowl.
Heat 3 tbsp peanut oil in a skillet. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Sprinkle ½ tsp asafetida and let it sizzle too, for a couple of seconds.
Add the crushed chilies and garlic. Sauté for 9-10 minutes on medium to low heat while mixing constantly to avoid burning.
When the chilies and garlic turn fragrant, add the peanuts and salt to taste. Mix well and turn the heat off.
Add 2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and give it a final mix.
Hirvi mirchi cha thecha is ready. Let it cool before serving. You can store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for 2~4 days.