What? Kovakka (Gherkin) Chutney?

“What? Kovakka (Gherkin) Chutney?”

That was my reaction when my neighbor was telling me about this recipe. Soon she gave me some to taste and since then, I have become a huge fan of this chutney! Its simple, yummy and easy to make.

Back home, with mom working and the general time crunch in the mornings, we were brought up more on idli podi than on chutneys. Even now, I don’t feel the need for a chutney to go with dosa or idli. Harry dear, however loves to have a dip for his morning tiffin – one of the many reasons why I switched to cornflakes and bread in the mornings :D (not to mention getting up late).

I had made paneer masala dosa and this chutney tasted really good with it. So Harry got his wish and had a lovely meal that day. His support for this blog has become even more huge and he is encouraging (or threatening) his friends and colleagues to visit this site.  I guess he figures out that if no one visits this place, he will be back to his sambar and curry diet ;-)


Kovakka : 250 gms

Onion : 1 big, chopped fine

Tomato : 1, chopped fine (can be substituted with a small gooseberry sized tamarind)

Saunf (fennel seed) powder : 1 – 2 tsp

Red Chillies : 2-3

Salt to taste

Oil – 2 to 3 tsp


  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions and cook till transparent.
  2. Add the tomato and let it cook for 2-3 minutes
  3. Add the gherkins/kovakka. Add about 1/4 cup water and cover and cook, stirring occasionally.
  4. Let it cool.
  5. Grind in a mixie, with salt, chillies and perum jeera(saunf) powder.
  6. Serve with dosa or idli.

Easier Method:

  1. Microwave the onion and tomato with a teaspoon of oil for 3-4 minutes till cooked.
  2. Cover and microwave the kovakka separately for 4-5 minutes or till cooked.
  3. Once cool, grind everything together with salt, chillies and saunf powder.

The fennel seed powder (saunf powder) gives an amazing smell and flavor to this chutney. You can substitute kovakka with brinjal or lady’s finger too (I haven’t tried this yet, though).

Paneer Filling for Dosa


Dosa Batter

Onion : 1 big, chopped fine

Tomato : 1 or 2, chopped fine

Paneer : 200 gms, crumbled/grated

Green Chillies : 2 or 3, chopped

Ginger-garlic paste : 1 tsp

Salt : to taste

Oil : 2 tsp


  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add onions, green chillies and ginger garlic paste and saute till the onions turn transparent.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute till it gets cooked and pulpy.
  3. Add salt and crumbled paneer and mix thoroughly once. Remove from fire.
  4. Make a dosa and keep  1-2 tablespoon of filling inside.  Fold and serve with the kovakka chutney.

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