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
Blender or a Mixer with a chutney jar attachment
or Coffee Grinder for very small quantities
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
- Wash the coriander and mint leaves in 2-3 changes of water.
- Drain well in a large colander.
- In the chutney jar of a mixer, dry grind the green chillies, garlic cloves, salt and roasted gram (or peanuts) or a coarse powder.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add lemon juice, give it a good stir and fill into clean glass jars with tight fitting lids.
- Keep refrigerated and this will stay good for 10 days minimum.
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.