Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Jihva for Garlic

Garlic, Vellulli
Garlic (Vellulli, Lasoon) ~ for Mathy’s Jihva

For me, the taste of garlic changes with the way it is cut. I usually finely chop the garlic to tiny pieces and toast them in oil or ghee, as a part of the popu preparation for dals and curries. My latest thing is slivering. The garlic cloves here are so big that they can be easily sliced into thin layers like decorative almonds. The large size also makes it easy to hold and grate garlic like we do ginger and coconut. Whenever I find teensy-weensy garlic, which is a rare event in this size-obsessed land, then I simply follow my mother’s method and whack it with either the pappu gutti or the pestle. This simultaneously flattens the clove, releases precious juices, and facilitates removal of the skin. It is my preferred method of garlic preparation. To peel large quantities of garlic, following an old-time tip, I simply add the garlic cloves to warm water for about one to two minutes. Skins will then slip off easily.

So, which method you prefer and how do you prepare garlic for cooking?

Chopped Garlic ~ Four Ways
Finely Chopped, Slivered, Grated and Whacked
Garlic Preparation, Four Ways ~ for this Week’s Indian Kitchen

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Garlic (Vellulli),Indian Ingredients,Indian Kitchen (Sunday March 30, 2008 at 9:29 pm- permalink)
Comments (25)

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25 comments for Jihva for Garlic »

  1. Usually, I whack the clove by keeping the knife flat. Easy to peel and chop. Looking forward to your beautiful creations with this stinky rose 🙂

    Comment by Suganya — March 30, 2008 @ 11:06 pm

  2. actually, i prefer the garlic grated coz i feel that its khushbu and power are better this way for the preparation of meal … beautiful creations though 🙂

    Comment by lena — March 30, 2008 @ 11:57 pm

  3. one more method of peeling garlic in large amounts is mix unpeedled garlic with salt and little oil and rub them vigorously using the palms of your hands. Then the peels come off very easily. I have seen my mother and aunts do this way when preparing garlic pastes for large functions etc.


    Comment by sangeetha — March 31, 2008 @ 3:46 am

  4. Lovely pic!(angle). Ya! My preferred way is to give the clove one ‘tenka jella’- one hard punch with something heavy. Easy to peel and tastes much better I feel. Small ‘vellulli’ has more punch is my take. What say you?

    Comment by Sarat jyotsna — March 31, 2008 @ 4:10 am

  5. It really depends on the dish I am preparing. For most north indian dishes, I grate, for italian and chinese, I slice and chop fine and for south indian dishes and briyanis I give them a good whack so I get the sweet flavour out of it. Although I must say the garlic we get back home are much tastier especially when you cook them whole like in Poondu (Garlic) Kozhumbu.

    Comment by KS — March 31, 2008 @ 6:17 am

  6. I always whack my garlic with the side of the knife blade to peel it (place the blade flat over the clove, and bang the blade with the heel of my hand). Sometimes I use my mortar & pestle, but usually just the knife. If I want the garlic whole I “tap” it lightly to just loosen the skin, and if it’s getting pulverized anyhow it gets a good strong whack to flatten it. I generally mince garlic finely, although if I don’t want quite so prominent a taste of garlic I slice it thinly or leave it whole, depending on degree of assertiveness needed. It’s a matter of seconds to grind it to pulp using a mortar & pestle, so when I need a paste, that’s what I do. But generally it’s the mince I go for.

    Comment by Diane — March 31, 2008 @ 8:20 am

  7. I usually place the whole garlic (head down) and give it a hit from top. This loosens the cloves.
    To peel off the skin easily I soak it in water for a short while. However, if I’m planning to pickle the garlic then I rub some oil on the cloves and let it rest for an hour. Once this is done a gentle rub will relieve the garlic cloves of their skin.

    For tempering, I like to fine-chop garlic. In rasams, biryanis and pickles I leave the cloves as they are.

    Comment by Roma — March 31, 2008 @ 8:31 am

  8. A soak in water works well for both garlic and onions

    Comment by Chools — March 31, 2008 @ 9:38 am

  9. I slice them for South Indian Kulambu/Gravies and chop fine for Non Veg. I make a paste for North Indian dishes and Briyanis. I give a good whack for Rasam.It actually depends on the dish. Nothing to beat the taste and flavor of the Garlic we get back home.

    Comment by Sarada — March 31, 2008 @ 9:39 am

  10. I usually give a whack and slice for garlic rasam and grate garlic when making north indian curries. For Bruschetta I make a fine paste with the back of the knife adding little salt and put it in hot olive oil and rub it on the bread with a brush before putting in the oven.

    Comment by shanthi — March 31, 2008 @ 9:57 am

  11. boy, am I LAZY. I just get the peeled ones from Costco. But, but, hang on…..I do give it a good whack to let out whatever flavors are left before using it!



    Comment by Trupti — March 31, 2008 @ 11:25 am

  12. It’s good to read your notes on garlic cooking and thank you for sharing.

    Whacking it with a knife or heavy object, tenka jella as Sarat Jyotsna says, sure brings out the goodness in garlic, doesn’t it?:)

    I agree about Indian garlic being different both smell and tastewise from the supermarket variety we get here. The size is small, the flavor is more concentrated and water or moisture in the flesh is very less. The skin also looks more purplish than pink.

    Trupti::) For big batch of masala paste for parties and pulaos, the Costco type, peeled garlic sure saves lot of time.

    Comment by Indira — March 31, 2008 @ 1:30 pm

  13. I go with a good whack and then peel/chop fine..strong tenkaJella it is 🙂 I love the slivers look Indira, I noticed that in your bachali-anapakaya creation as well. Thank You!

    Comment by Aparna — March 31, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

  14. There are hundreds of kinds of garlic, and I am starting to see some unique varietals at farmers markets. Some with red skin, some purple. Beautiful. Maybe some of those are closer to the Indian kind. Or one could grow one’s own of course!

    Comment by Diane — March 31, 2008 @ 4:59 pm

  15. Poor garlic is getting whacked by everybody 🙁

    Comment by Roma — March 31, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  16. I love my dear Garlic 🙂
    For me too – it depends on what am cooking..
    I like it minced for shrimps masala .. like it crushed for stir fried veggies & like it sliced for making biryani… etc etc
    I feel it also gives a different flavor by adding it at different steps of cooking a recipe !!!

    Leena 🙂

    Comment by Leena — April 1, 2008 @ 6:46 am

  17. and I just…crush it. I wonder why no one does it ?? quick, easy, and gives you the essential juices which make the dish stronger and healthier.
    I use the machine like this :

    Comment by Lukas — April 1, 2008 @ 9:05 am

  18. I whack first with the flat edge of a knife and the heel of my palm to make the skins easier to remove. I have a brother-in-law, a former pro chef, who whacks, then minces with a pinch of sea salt. He claims the salt makes it easier to chop fine (it doesn’t stick to the knife blade as much, I noticed) and gets those lovely essential oils moving.

    Gorgeous pictures, Indira! Who knew the humble garlic could look so regal?

    Comment by Hilary — April 1, 2008 @ 10:59 pm

  19. Garlic is one of the essential ingredient in my daily cooking.I prefer to cook garlic by grinding which will give more flavour and enhance the taste of the dish.

    Comment by Sharadha sankar — April 2, 2008 @ 3:11 am

  20. Love the first photo it is very special.

    I love to whack the garlic with the side of a large knife, then slip the peel off and chop. I rarely grate it, but do grind it sometimes. I like the crunch of garlic so don’t press it in a garlic press very much at all. Sometimes i will roast a whole head of garlic and use that.

    Comment by Vegeyum — April 3, 2008 @ 4:03 am

  21. Hi Indira,
    Here is an extract from an NYTimes article. Quote
    Many home chefs mistakenly cook garlic immediately after crushing or chopping it, added Dr. Kraus. To maximize the health benefits, you should crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. That triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic.
    For the full article go to

    Comment by Padma Yerra — April 5, 2008 @ 7:27 am

  22. […] Preparing Garlic, Four Ways ~ from Indira of Mahanandi […]

    Pingback by Jihva for Garlic: Roundup « V I R U N D H U — April 7, 2008 @ 9:39 pm

  23. […] Mahanandi has a post on the cutting and chopping of garlic, explaining the different methods and the difference in taste. Similarly, Even a Pencil has a post describing how to chop onions. […]

    Pingback by Tempting! Links to Fabulous Food « A Life (Time) of Cooking — May 28, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

  24. Hi, I’ve just discovered your blog thanks to Vegeyum! I usually whack, then chop, but here in the south of France some people use a small plate with little spikes for rubbing the peeled garlic clove. You can then scrape the garlic off, or add olive oil and dip bread.

    Comment by Rosa — May 29, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

  25. The article was extremely interesting for me because I like garlic very much and that is so tasty to have put it my meal.

    Comment by benefits from using college essay editing service — March 15, 2018 @ 9:26 am

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