30 September 2006

Recipe for Indian Green Chutney | Mint and Coriander Chutney




Ask any Indian what their favourite herb is - more often than not the answer will be coriander or cilantro, as it is called in some other countries. The main reasons for this being availability, tradition and also the way it goes perfectly with most Indian flavours. The vibrant grassy scent of coriander is what hits your olfactory senses the minute you enter any open air market in India.

Today, most supermarkets sell herbs like fresh basil, parsley, lemon balm at reasonable prices and I love playing around with these flavours in my daily cooking, but my first love of course is coriander. 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 a fresh aroma. People who are not used to this herb on a regular basis do find it a tad strong - atleast so I've noticed. The interwebs are also full of coriander haters, who claim that it smells like soap.

This Mint and Coriander / Cilantro green 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. My recipe for coriander mint chutney uses turmeric and lemon juice, both of which contribute to keeping its colour vibrant green and they also act as a preservative, keeping the green chutney alive in an airtight container in the fridge for even up to two weeks easily.



Green Chutney Recipe | Mint and Coriander / Cilantro Chutney recipe 
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: Under 5 mins
Makes over 1 cup

Equipment required:
Blender or a Mixer with a chutney jar attachment
or Coffee Grinder for very small quantities


Ingredients:
4 cups coriander leaves and tender stems
2 cups mint leaves
2-4 green chillies, depending on how spicy you want it
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp dalia or roasted gram or use roasted peanuts
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon


Directions

  1. Wash the coriander and mint leaves in 2-3 changes of water.
  2. Drain well in a large colander.
  3. In the chutney jar of a mixer, dry grind the green chillies, garlic cloves, salt and roasted gram (or peanuts) or a coarse powder.
  4. Using a spatula, clear up the sides of the mixer, bringing everything to the center. Add half the chopped mint and coriander, with 1/4 cup water and grind to a smooth puree. 
  5. Add the sugar (if using), turmeric powder and add the remaining mint-coriander and if required add a few spoons of water and grind to a fine puree. 
  6. Add lemon juice, give it a good stir and fill into clean glass jars with tight fitting lids.
  7. Keep refrigerated and this will stay good for 10 days minimum.


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.

23 comments:

paz said...

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

Paz

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.
-Supriya

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 :)

cheers!

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,

Geraldine

http://enviedavril.typepad.fr/

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! =)

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