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sauces, spice mixes and condiments

Green and Tamarind Chutneys

Green chutney and tamarind (imli) chutney are imperative for teatime snacks like papri chaat, but are delicious on all kinds of food from grilled meats to roasted veggies to quesadillas. We almost always have a batch in the fridge to brighten up meals.

Chutneys, ready to be drizzled! Also some yogurt, just thinned with water, seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and cumin seeds, and sprinkled with chaat masala.

Here are my super basic recipes, but both are very versatile. Sometimes I make the green chutney with just cilantro, sometimes I use lemon instead of lime, sometimes I don’t have coconut so I add a pinch of sugar or honey for the sweetness.

I make my tamarind chutney from tamarind concentrate because I always have it in the fridge (although I’ve been meaning to get a block to play with). Sometimes I sub jaggery for the sugar, or black salt for the kosher salt, add spices like fennel or add dried fruits like prunes, dates, or even one time figs. It’s fun to play around with the ingredients; the important thing is to find the balance in each between tart, sweet, salty and spicy.

Green Chutney

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 2-6+ green Thai chilis (2 has a nice kick, 6 is atomic. I usually do 4, more if I’m trying to impress my MIL, less if I’ve got goris coming over 😉)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste

Add everything in a blender with just enough water to allow it to blend. Add more water little by little, blending in between additions, until it reaches desired consistency (not watery, but thin enough to drizzle). Adjust seasoning, adding more salt if needed, another chili if you want it spicier, even a pinch of sugar or honey to balance the other flavors.

Tamarind Chutney

  • 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon each: salt, red chili, cumin

Mix all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer, stirring often, until mixture becomes syrupy (you’ll know by that magical moment where it gets super bubbly all of a sudden). Cook for a teeny bit more, stirring constanty, then remove from heat. Pour into a bowl or glass jar and allow to cool completely.

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