Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Tale of Two Chutneys

Let's get down and dirty about two Indian chutneys; one from the North and the other from the South.

Everyone gets to compare and contrast. This is more about you than India.

Are you lazy or involved? Are you complex or simple?

Ideally, they'd be ground with with a mortar and pestle similar to the Mexican molcajete, but who is the CC kidding? If he starts giving instructions for mortar and pestle, he'll lose what limited audience he has already.

Anyway, both the chutneys rock; and they are delightfully spreadable like a ..., well, you folks get the metaphor, right?

We do them in reverse order of difficulty.

South Indian Coconut Chutney


2 tbsp chana daal
1 cup cilantro leaves
1" ginger (coarsely diced)
5-6 Thai green chillies (substitute with 2 serranos)
1 cup coconut flakes (frozen is not just fine, it's brilliant!)

1 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp urad daal
1/2 tsp asafoetida
8-10 curry leaves

lime juice (to taste)


Roast the chana till it is dark golden. It's already yellow so there's a fine line between roasting and burning.

Blend the chana, cilantro, coconut, ginger, and green chillies with some salt and lime juice. Try and blend it with the least amount of water so that you can control it later.

Heat some oil in a pan. Toss in the mustard seeds until they splutter and burst. Toss in the asafoetida, the urad, and the curry leaves.

Toss in this mixture inside the blended mixture.

Yeah, this is hard. You don't want to heat up the blended mixture. There are instruments and techniques but this is not something that can easily be described.

You can always just add a tiny amount of water to the fried mixture, wait for it to cool, and then mix the two.

Just do your best. This is hard to screw up.

North Indian Chutney

4 cups cilantro leaves
1 cup peanuts (shelled, roasted)
5-6 Thai green chillies (substitute with 2 serranos.)
lime juice.


There's even a version that skips the peanuts but the CC likes them 'cause they add some zing.

Toss the stuff in a blender. Blend till smooth-ish.

Easy peasy.

No comments: