Monday, 25 April 2011

Mint Chutney

For some reason, the name 'mint chutney' always makes me smile. In my head, the word reads like this: 'mint chutney :-)'. I have no idea why this is, but I'm not about to dissect a source of impulsive joy and destroy it forever. However, my father -- who cannot leave a thing well alone and likes quoting rusty phrases for the sheer pleasure of seeing people wince -- tells me this is because mint chutney is a thing of beauty, and therefore a joy forever.

I know. I've had him around for twenty six summers, so believe me, I know.

But there's no getting around the fact that mint chutney is, in fact, one of my father's signature dishes, and the fact that he does, in fact, make it remarkably well. And since he just made a lovely, fragrant bowl of it this morning, I think we can forgive him. Just this once :-)

'Mint chutney :-)' . Here's how:

 First, green chilies. Do without them if you can't stand the heat, or use just one, with seeds scooped out.

 Second, washed mint leaves with the water shaken out of them (you'll need about between half and three-quarters this amount)

 Coriander, also washed and dried. Some people take the stalks off, we keep them in. You'll need this entire amount.

 Tamarind in water. This, by the way, is too much water. A couplr of tablespoons of water would suffice. Mash the tamarind in and then remove the seeds from the bowl, leaving a thick, pulpy gravy.

 A little sugar and salt.

 The pulpy tamarind-water.

All of it on a grindstone (the cylindrical stone pestle is missing here), to be ground into a fine paste.

Voila! The delicious tangy-minty-spicy chutney, yours to eat as you see fit :-)

We eat it as a dip for batter-fried vegetables, biryani, and some stuffed parathas.


Dea-chan said...

Is there a sub for the coriander?

Rimi said...

You could try basil. In fact, I insist you try and tell me :-)