It’s been a while since I had time to take part in what is probably my favourite event – Regional Cuisines of India (RCI), the blogging event started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine, to celebrate the rich and diverse cuisines of India. This month I’m back, and exploring the cuisine of the princely state of Hyderabad. Our host this month is Mona, from Zaiqa.
Mona has a whole host of mouthwatering Hyderabadi recipes on her blog, and many of them caught my eye. One of them inspired me to create this lovely chutney, based on a treasured family recipe that Mona’s grandma used to make. I kept the ingredients the same as Mona’s, apart from substituting Thai red chilies for green chilies only. I also adjusted the quantities of tamarind to suit our taste, and the fact that I was using concentrate: I reduced it, otherwise it would have killed off all the other flavours. Also, my curry leaves were tiny, so I added a few more to give them a more prominent role in the chutney. All of this really shows how it’s necessary to work with the ingredients at hand, taste them to get to know them, and adjust the quantities accordingly.
Coriander and Mint Chutney
(Hara Dhaniya aur Pudine Ki Chutney)
SOURCE: adapted from Mona’s recipe at Zaiqa
PREPARATION TIME:10 – 15 min
COOKING TIME: 2 – 3 min
CUISINE: Indian – Hyderabadi
1/4 – 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 tbsp sesame seeds
a little groundnut oil
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, washed and dried, roughly chopped along with the tender stems
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves – 1 cup, washed and dried on paper towels, roughly chopped, only leaves
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
6 green finger chilies, washed and roughly chopped (or fewer, according to taste)
8 – 10 fresh curry leaves
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
Salt to taste
- Heat the oil on medium high heat, and as it warms up, add the shredded coconut and the sesame seeds, and roast them both together till light brown and aromatic. Let it cool. Keep aside.
- Put the coriander leaves, mint leaves, garlic pods, red and green chillies, curry leaves, tamarind pulp, sesame seeds, shredded coconut and salt in a blender, and blend it till nice and smooth. You can add about half cup of water to aid in the blending if needed.
Tamarind is very strong-tasting and it can overpower other flavours. It’s best to add it cautiously.
The chutney keeps well in the fridge for up to a week. However, with time, all flavours fade, except for (you’ll guess) tamarind. You’ve been warned!
I served this with a fragrant and simple Hyderabadi tomato-based chicken curry (Hyderabadi Murgh Tamatar), which worked really well and perked up the dish considerably.
Fragrant and tasty chutney, with vibrant, clean spicy notes of the green chilies. Enjoyed it, & will make again!