Things you’ll need:
8 oz or 1 cup fresh organic Cranberries
2 tbsp peanut oil
1/8 tsp turmeric
a pinch of hing / asafoetida
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp jaggery, crushed ~ optional
a tbsp size tamarind.
8 green chillies, stems removed
1/4 tsp fenugreek / methi seeds
How it’s done:
Soak tamarind in just enough warm water for 10 to 15 mins.
Grind green chillies, fenugreek / methi seeds and soaked tamarind in a small jar grinder or spice grinder to a smooth paste.
Heat oil in a sauté pan or kadai over medium heat. When the oil is hot enough or shimmering, add mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add asafoetida quickly followed by turmeric and cranberries and sauté until cranberries begin to pop, about 10 mins.
Continue stirring until cranberries soften and begin to lump. Add the chilli-tamarind paste and salt and sauté until the hissing noise subsides and the oil begins to separate.
Add jaggery optionally if you do not like the full on tangy taste.
Let cool completely before storing in an airtight jar.
Frozen cranberries can be used as well.
If you do not have access to a small grinder, substitute red chilli powder and fenugreek powder in place of methi seeds and green chillies and use only tamarind pulp.
Thokku is best stored in glass or porcelain jars. Avoid aluminium, cast iron, brass for cooking and even stainless steel utensils and plastic for storing to avoid the tamarind from reacting with them.
Keep all containers, spoons and ladles dry. Moisture reduces the shelf life greatly.
Do not skimp on the oil unless you plan to consume it within 2-3 days.
Needs to be refrigerated after a week to keep the oil from going rancid.