> New York Hudson Valley Eats & Treats!: Chutney. Savory, delicious, and versatile!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chutney. Savory, delicious, and versatile!

A word or two about chutney -

I imagine that many of you enjoy the delicious wonder that is Indian food.  Often times when you eat out an Indian restaurant, they'll put little bowls of chutneys on the table.  This is basically Indian style relish / sauce.  You add them to the food to increase the decadent sumptuousness and food variety that is the Indian dish.

You've probably seen them - commonly in the greater NY metro area, there will be a mint chutney (green), a tamarind chutney (brown / purple), and a onion chutney (nuclear red).  As you may have read in a couple of my previous posts, I commonly serve the Indian food that I cook with mint and tamarind chutney, and more recently (on the urging of my female companion), I've been making the occasional mango chutney too.

Today, we'll cover the simplest one. Mint Chutney.
A bowl of mint chutney
Tasty mint chutney, courtesy of rahee.org

I'm all out of fresh herbs so these were acquired from Adams Fairacre Farms, a neat grocery store chain that's in Wappingers Falls, NY. They have incredible prices on nice local produce, and I'm very luck that I get to go there every week :)  On Wednesdays after 5PM, they even give you a 10% discount on your order - so that's where I'll be tomorrow night, to be sure!


1 bunch of mint ($2).  Strip the leaves off and discard the stems.
1 bunch cilantro ($1).  Chop it just a bit (5-6 good chops) or don't even bother.
1 Hot Green Chili.  Choose a nice big one, your choice.  Unless your brave, de-seed it!
1 Medium sized onion.  White onion if you have, but yellow will do too.  Not red.
1/4 tsp salt.  You can add more to taste, but you can't take it out once it's in there.
Juice of half a lemon.  Be sure you roll it soft before you cut it, this lets you get more juice out of it.
2-3Tbsp yogurt.  Yes, yogurt.

Anyway, put the mint and the cilantro in a blender.  Add the salt, lemon juice, chili, and pulse in the blender.
NOW, if you have a food processor, you can do this correctly, but I don't, so I use the blender.

If the ingredients aren't getting blended (it won't be easy at first), add cold water.  Start by adding 1/4 cup and add up to half a cup, but remember, you don't want it to be too watery.. just add enough to get it going and blending.

Blend everything together.  Smells incredible, doesn't it?  Once it's blended, add the yogurt, then blend it through.

Congratulations!  You've just made mint chutney!  This stuff goes great on all Indian dishes, and all kinds of other things too - try it wherever you need some zesty tang added to any of your favorite dishes!  I personally add it on top of the tabouli, potato pancakes... it's good on steak too - though not as good as chimmichurri!  But that delicious condiment deserves it's own post, to be sure.

Hope you enjoyed reading!  Let me know what things you enjoy adding your mint chutney to!

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