Saturday, March 8, 2008

Coriander Chutney

This coriander chutney is a great recipe! People love the sharp flavour. My mom sent me this recipe when I lived in Montreal and needed ideas for an Indian supper I was making for my housemates.

I made this chutney for the Gastronati's Indian feast last month. The recipe only makes a small amount, about half a cup or so. But the flavours are very concentrated. You only need a tablespoon on the side of your plate as a condiment. It's also a nice garnish in Indian dhals and soups (kind of like India's version of the Italian gremolata).

This is meant to be a mint and coriander chutney, but I didn't have fresh mint so I chopped fresh coriander only and added a teaspoon of dried mint.

Coriander Chutney

1.5 cups firmly packed fresh coriander leaves (or 3/4 cup each of fresh mint and coriander)
1 tsp tamarind (roughly)
1 tsp dried mint if not using fresh
1 green or red fresh chilli, take the seeds out (very hot)
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1.5 tsp sugar
bit of water if needed
1/2 tsp garam masala
lemon juice (optional)

If you are using tamarind concentrate, you are lucky and can save time by skipping this step. If you are using a brick of tamarind, twist off a knob about two inches long, and wash and soak the tamarind in some boiling water to cover and let it sit until it is cool. You can do this ahead of time too.

Wash the coriander (and mint) very thoroughly since it is often full of sand. Discard any tough stems, but tender stems give good flavour. Chop finely and mix with the chopped garlic and onions.

If you presoaked the tamarind, knead it in the water to separate the pulp from the seeds. Rub the pulp through a sieve and add the pulp only to the chutney. Add the tamarind, garam masala, dried mint, salt and sugar to the coriander mixture and stir it all together.

Taste it for seasoning after it has sat for a bit to see if more salt or sugar is needed, or even a bit of lemon juice to sharpen the flavour.

If you have a blender you can put it all (including the tamarind pulp) in and blitz to a paste, but I prefer the texture of the finely chopped greens better.

This is best made on the day that you eat it. It can sit in the fridge a while before you serve it.


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