30 September 2006

WHB Special - Coriander chutney & Chutney sandwiches

Coriander chutney

Ask any Indian what their favourite herb is - more often than not the answer will be Cilantro. (Coriander as we call it here) The main reasons for this being availabilty, tradition and also the way it goes perfectly with most Indian flavours. The vibrant scent of coriander is what hits your olfactory senses the minute you enter any open air market in India.

Today, most Bombay supermarkets sell (ex-exotic) herbs like fresh basil, parsley, lemon balm at quite reasonable prices. I just picked up two packets of basil and one of lemonbalm. While I made this huge batch of Marinara sauce with tomatoes, mushrooms and basil, I'm yet to figure out what to do with the lemon balm. I did spike my morning tea with it though. Any other suggestions are welcome!

Back to my good old favourite - Coriander...While most posts in the past one year on WHB must have explained the benefits of this herb, I love it for the freshness it brings to any dish. A dash of chopped coriander can awaken the most dullest of dishes by infusing that touch of green and the smell of the garden. People who are not used to this herb on a regular basis do find it a tad strong - atleast so I've noticed.

The recipe I want to share with you on the occasion of WHB- Finale is something I've blogged about before. Coriander chutney is my all time favourite recipe and I'm yet to see a recipe with any other herb that can be as versatile as this. For people who haven't tried this one before, its simpler to make than a pesto and is totally fat-free. If you buy too much of coriander, when it's in season, a chutney is the best way to save the delicate herb.

Coriander chutney
Time taken - Under 10 minutes
Makes over 1 cup
Category - Spicy spread, accompaniment to Indian breads and snacks, Fat-free spread


3 cups chopped coriander leaves (Washed thoroughly and drained)
2 green chillies (Thai chillies or you can use Jalapenos)
4-5 cloves garlic
2 T dalia*
Pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of sugar (optional)


1. Put all the ingredients except the lemon juice in a small grinder like the Sumeet chutney jar or in batches in a coffee grinder.
2. Add a few tbsp of water to grind to a very smooth paste.
3. Remove in a jar / bowl and squeeze the lemon juice on the top. This retains the fresh green colour. Check for salt.


1. *Dalia is a split lentil variety easily found in Indian stores. If you don't find this, you may use roasted peanuts, pine nuts or sunflower seeds)
2. This chutney will stay for 3-4 days if kept in a jar in the refrigerator.

10 things you can do with Coriander chutney

1. Use it as a spread on bread. It'll make you forget "I can't believe its not butter" or whatever the name is.
2. Use it to make Bhel puri - one of the bestest Bombay street foods
3. Mix it with regular hummus to make green hummus.
4. Mix it into yogurt to make a coriander flavoured yogurt dip for crudites.
5. Use it inbetween the layers of stuffings in a Muffaletta - a hollowed out bread which is stuffed with layers of ham and cheese and served with an olive salad. You could substitute the ham with veggies or chicken salami.
6. Spread it on a roti, stuff with vegetables to make a spicy frankie.
7. Use it as a base for toppings on salt crackers.
8. Use a thinned out chutney as a salad dressing.
9. Use it as a marinade for paneer, chicken or fish before you throw them on the grill to make tikkas.
10. Spread it on pizza bread. Top with tomatoes, beets, green and yellow peppers, olives and mushrooms to make a fusion Pizza.

Cucumber-Beetroot Chutney sandwiches

Chutney sandwiches are my all time favourite. If I have a jar of coriander chutney and some bread lying around, I never have to bother about cooking my next meal. I generally take two slices of whole grain / multigrain bread, cover them generously with chutney and load them up with a whole bunch of vegetables for a healthy eating option.

These sandwiches taste wonderful with some ketchup or even just like that. They make an excellent filler for a picnic basket or a tiffin box. As a kid, I remember eyeing my classmate's tiffin box with all envy when she used to get these for lunch. There is one thing to remember though - if you'll be eating this after a few hours, then it's best to line your slices with a thin coat of butter, table margarine or Olivio, so that the chutney wont make the bread soggy.

You can even get your kids to assemble these sandwiches.

What you need to make 4 triangles-
4 slices of bread
Coriander chutney
Olivio or butter
Slices of thin slices of cucumber and raw beetroot
Salt, pepper & chat masala

Spread a thick layer of chutney on 2 of the slices and a thin layer of Olivio on 2 other slices.
Layer up the sliced veggies on the buttered slice. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and chat masala. Cover it with the chutney slice and cut diagonally through the center to make two triangles.
Repeat the same with the other two slices.

1. White bread will taste superb but go with whole grain for a healthier option.
2. Other vegetables that will taste good in this sandwich are sliced boiled potatoes, sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos etc.
3. Chat masala is readily available in most Indian grocery stores in small boxes. I also remember seeing a blogger's recipe for the same, but can't trace it at present.

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paz said...

I love cilantro and I know I'd love your sandwich! Wonderful post! Thanks!


Foodie's Hope said...

Brilliant write up on Cilantro!! Great recipes!! Love anything cilantro and mint too!Sandwiches look yummy!! Thanks N!!

Nandita said...

Thanks Paz and Asha.
Blogger is giving hell - hence those three times!

Kalyn, I read your comment but since i'd posted the same thing by mistake thrice, i had to delete the other two posts and unfortunately your comment too got deleted along with that!

Kalyn said...

I'm writing my recipe right now, so I hope Blogger will cooperate. I love your recipe for cilantro chutney, something I buy at a great Indian store in Salt Lake, but have always wanted to make myself. I like all your ideas for using it too.

Great choice for a favorite herb, I'd say!! (Of course I might be a bit prejudiced.)

Nandita said...

Thanks Kayln, Im pleased to hear that you liked it! Waiting to see who wins the herby race :)

Nandita said...

Wonder what's wrong with the template now- 5 comments are being shown as '2 comments'

Diane said...

Yum! I'm making this for lunch tomorrow...

I use Lemon Verbena (not the same thing as lemon balm? not sure...) for making a tisane with one part lemon verbena to two parts mint.

Anonymous said...

Made the chutney hours ago....to go with our Dasera meal. It turned out very tasty!
Loved your write up.

Snehal said...

ahh, a post close to my heart :). My hubby says that I would eat anything with coriander on it ..LOL! [i love it that much, and if this chutney starts getting used up, I have to make a fresh batch for the fridge, I am that neurotic about it :)]. I love all ur different uses for the chutney, will have to try some out. Redesigning my other website and adding new functions on gelskitchen so the blog is a bit [actually a LOT] neglected. Will get on that :). hey the link to my blog is wrong :(

Nandita said...

Diane- Will go a google on tisane and find out, i havent heard of this one, is it a drink?>Hope you like the chutney!

Supriya - am glad you tried it!

Snehal- So sorry about the wrong link, have corrected it now. WIll look forward to your blog updates.
Warm regards.

Anonymous said...

Nice write up on cilantro, Nandita....I too am a big fan of sandwiches....and my refrigerator is always stocked with chutney.

Anupama said...

Wonderful Post about Coriander. It is my favourite herb too. I liked your suggestions about Coriander Chutney.I sometimes make simple coriander parathas. They are the simplest and yet the tastiest.

Anupama said...

Hey great WBB Round-up too. well categorised.

Saffron said...

My favorite herb is Coriander too. Unfortunately, my daughter can't stand it, can you believe it! and she's my flesh and blood!!

Great ideas with the chutney. You forgot 1 - dip finger in jar and lick :)


Anonymous said...

Wow, u really cast the winning vote on cialntro. very moving write up.Green hummus, hmm...

mooncrazy said...

This sounds wonderful. I'm quite partial to cilantro but have never tried much Indian food. Odd since my daugher is Maltese Parakeet. She will have to tell me where to find dalia.

Anita said...

Looks like Blogger ate the comment...

I agree that coriander is king. The husband does not think a dish is done/presentable till it has got a sprinkling of this herb. And in a chutney, it comes into its own.

Anonymous said...

Hey Doc, Havent seen you arnd for quite sometime..!! Wassup :-) Hope everything is alright at your end, keep us posted :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey, Great going on Chennaionline. Loved the columns.

Also,your Breakfast Event is marvelous. Soooo many interesting ideas and breakfast is soo important, but most of us
skip it due to lack of time :(

Manjusha Nimbalkar said...

Hey Nandita,

Cool presentation.
Sandwiches look so yumm with beetroot making it so damn good looking....

Miss Klein said...

What a nic and greeeeen idea ... I've made a wonderful trip throught your website !

From Paris,



bluespriite said...

Thats true nothing like good ol green chutney...:)

Casey-Likes-Cake said...

I really like alot of your recipes! I actually spent way past my bed time surfing around here.
I want to try this and alot of other things on your site, because they're so healthy, but the thing is - I don't like really spicy stuff. =( What can I do to make this chutney less spicy without ruining it?
Thankyou! And great site! =)