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Cilantro has been used a lot in Indian and Mexican cuisines. Its one of my favorite herbs and a lot of different recipes are always create...

Kothamalli Thokku/Cilantro Pesto South Indian Style

Cilantro has been used a lot in Indian and Mexican cuisines. Its one of my favorite herbs and a lot of different recipes are always created using cilantro. A very popular cilantro based recipe that belong to a pickle/chutney family is the famous kothamalli urandai ( cilantro mixed spicy balls). It is usually served with yogurt rice. Usually cilantro and lentils along with red chillies and tamarind are pounded in the stone mortar, made into balls and stored for many days. Without the addition of water the mixture stays good for a long time. These days some supermarkets or speciality stores carry them. I just finished the last store bought one and I wanted to have more of it. It can also be spread on a toast and enjoyed for breakfast.


Blender ( Mixie)
Food Processor
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Cloth/ Tray 


Organic Fresh Cilantro - 1 bag ( cleaned and washed)
Udad Dhal - 3/4 cup
Channa Dhal - 3/4 cup
Red Dry Chilies - 8
Asafoetida -  dime or 25 pi size piece
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 3 tbsp for frying  plus  3/4 cup for blending.
Dessicated Coconut - 1/2 cup ( optional)
Tamarind - 1 lime size


1. Spread the cilantro that is cleaned onto a towel or tray and allow it dry up and be water free.

2. In a wok add oil. Allow it to warm and add asafoetida and allow that to fry well. Then add the dhals and chilies and roast this mixture to golden brown.

3. Add tamarind to the mixture and grind into a coarse powder in the blender. 

4. Add cilantro to the food processor along with the ground powder and blend adding the oil to get it into a pesto like consistency.

5. Store the cilantro pesto in a bottle in the fridge. Spread it on toast  for breakfast or tortilla along with sauteed veggies for lunch. 


  1. Love this south Indian style pesto, would love to have in sandwich..

  2. Love the idea and wow great south indian style :)

  3. The spread looks yummy and I'm reminded of the South Indian sambarapuli which is made the similar way! You have a nice space with interesting recipes!

  4. Delicious lookng spread...south Indian style pesto...would go so well with sandwiches. An award awaits you at my blog.

  5. Wow... tasty spread with an Indian touch... looks yum:) First time here and Kudos to you on having such a lovely space... enjoyed browsing:) Glad to follow u... keep posting some more unique innovative recipes... love to read more

  6. Love your chutney! I have an almost identical version, yet to be blogged!

  7. Love the idea of the S.Indian pesto.

  8. I love south indian dishes.This is too good.


  9. I like south indian dishes.This dish is very well explained.i will try it .I like the name of this dish.

  10. Hi Srimathi, I was just looking at your blog and found that you haven't been blogging for a while. hope you are doing good. Looking forward to see your recipes soon :-)

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  12. this looks wonderful lovely green

  13. Tried this recipe. tastes awesome. i went easy on the tamarind thinking lemon size was too much but i was wrong. Also instead of mentioning costco Coriander can u specific the pounds since I dont Coriander in my Costco

    Thanks for the recipe