Coriander-mint chutney is an easy-to-make green herb chutney that can be used as a healthy dipping sauce for many of your favourite Indian snacks, as well as being a zingy, fresh sauce for vegetables, cheese dishes, grains and salads. Lovely too as a sandwich spread, mixed with yogurt or pureed beans.
We don’t go out to eat as often as other people seem to. The reason for this is that I love to cook. To me, cooking and feeding others is not a chore, even though I do it for a living. Oh, and I don’t love getting dressed up, or changing clothes to be restaurant-presentable. This is especially so if I’m already home and done what most of us do when we get home: take off bra, and put on sweatpants and fluffy socks. Bliss.
Unless it is a really special occasion, or at the weekend perhaps, home-cooking (or home-reheating) reigns supreme at Food To Glow.
But if we do go out it is often to an Indian restaurant. My favourite is southern Indian food – sambar idli, tangy fish dishes, vegetable-stuffed dosai – mmm. But we are lucky to have many Indian regions represented in Edinburgh, as well as Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The foods and dishes across the Indian subcontinent are so incredibly diverse, and I enjoy them all. Or the ones I’ve tried. Not having grown up in an area where such foods are common, I have not only taken to it, but it is in my top three cuisines. As a girl whose favourite foods growing up were grilled cheese and my Mimi’s incredible fried chicken, this is saying something.
Herbs and spices are my meal-musts
Reading the previous sentence about my early food loves may surprise you. If you have been following me, and cooking with me, for any length of time you will be well-aware that I love spices and herbs. Nearly every homemade morsel that is produced in my kitchen will have an aromatic addition, whether savoury or sweet. Curry leaves and cilantro leaves, coriander seeds, tamarind, turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, garlic, chillies, black pepper, mustard seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, asafoetida, cloves, nutmeg and nigella seeds – beloved, and used week in and week out.
If you have even just a few of these flavour bombs in your cupboard, almost any dinner can go from meh to wow.
For example, pour whisked eggs into a sizzling pan of ghee, garlic, chillies and a pinch of each of turmeric, black pepper and salt and you can quickly have an omelette fit for company. Especially if you add in some grated vegetables and top with a tangy herby sauce. The more spices and herbs you have to hand, the greater the scope of your culinary exploits. But even just a few can work wonders, and add to the nutritional value of your meals.
Herb chutney – a green sauce that goes everywhere
One little thing that nearly all of the countries and states of the Indian subcontinent have is a herb chutney. These, as you will no doubt know, are not always the sticky-sweet vegetable and fruit chutneys we have here in the UK – although they are loosely linked by a culinary thread across the generations. No, the ones I’m thinking of are looser, herb-laden sauces. Dipping and drizzling sauces that make an already glorious golden pakora, frazzled onion bits piercing the otherwise perfect orb, utterly irresistible.
Today’s recipe is fabulously simple, as well as incredibly versatile. Based vaguely on one served at a jumping Indian grill house not too far away from me, I have longed to pluck up the courage to ask for the recipe. But this one is quite close – in taste if not in texture: theirs is pale and cream-smooth from long blending. Mine is obviously less refined; more a herb and spice mulch than sauce. The taste of both is deeply but not aggressively herbal, with slightly more coriander/cilantro than mint, and – hopefully from me – a balance of a few spices and the all-important citrus. It is drinkable, I tell ya.
Other than a glorious dip to dredge your pakoras and samosas in, where else can this coriander-mint chutney go?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
1. With most any hot and cold Indian subcontinent snacks, including crunchy-savoury-sweet bhel poori and poppadoms (pictured above) ;
2. Stir into finished main dishes such as dals and biryanis;
3. Drizzle over egg dishes – an omelette!
4. Enhance and enliven roasted, raw or steamed vegetable dishes, plain proteins such as cooked chickpeas or grilled meats; grain salads; gorgeous with a creamy luscious avocado
5. Use as a spread for sandwiches – mix with yogurt or blended pulses for a more substantial, spreadable dip or spread.
Something tells me this would be incredible with buttermilk fried chicken and grilled cheese. 🙂
Ahem, I will be showing you a unique way to use this coriander-mint chutney in the next post. Big hint, below. 🙂
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Easy-to-make green herb chutney to be used as a dipping sauce for many of your favourite Indian snacks, as well as vegetables, cheeses and salads. Lovely too as a sandwich spread, and mixed with yogurt.
- 75 g cilantro/coriander use leaves and stems
- 30 g mint leaves leaves only
- 1-2 green chillies deseeded (about 8 grams)
- 2 garlic cloves peeled; optional
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder optional
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp lime juice fresh only
- water enough to loosen
Ensure that there is no root or damaged stalks on the coriander, and that coriander and mint are well washed and shaken dry. Roughly chop the coriander leaves and stalks, and the mint leaves only.
Place the herbs, chillies if using, garlic cloves, asafoetida powder if using, cumin, ginger, good pinch of salt and the lime juice into the bowl of a food processor or blender with pulse button. Blend until the sauce is the texture that you want, adding any water to make it thinner if you wish. I added about 2 tablespoons of water.
Taste for seasoning, knowing that it will deepen in flavour over the next hour or more. Some of you may want to add a drizzle of honey or wee spoon of sugar. Cover and chill until time to use.
Use within five days. Adding more lime juice, or some lemon, if you use some and then store the rest for a few days. This will help keep the colour.
Use only the mint leaves. The stalks can be very bitter when blended.
But do use the whole coriander/cilantro bunch, excluding the root.
This chutney is best fresh but will last for up to five days if kept covered and refrigerated. Ideally remove from the refrigerator 15-30 minutes before you wish to use it.
HOW TO USE: as a dip for samosas, pakoras and other hot and cold Indian subcontinent snacks; stirred into finished main dishes such as dals and biryanis; drizzle over egg dishes, vegetable side dishes, plain proteins such as cooked chickpeas or grilled meats; use as a spread for sandwiches; mix with yogurt or blended pulses for a more substantial dip or spread.
RIPE FOR PINNING!