Chutneys are a delicious Indian condiment. The word “chutney” is actually a British term derived from the Hindi word “chatni”, meaning, “to crush”. They are very popular all over India and are quite simple to make.
Chutneys come in a wide range of bold and exciting flavors ranging from spicy to sweet, savory, tangy and even sour. They also vary in textures depending upon the ingredients used and their preparation. There are two main types of chutneys: fresh and preserved and they can either be wet or dry in nature. Regardless, fresh home made chutneys will always add an exotic Indian touch to any meal.
Cilantro chutney is one of my personal favorites. It's fresh and earthy with a slightly tart taste. This versatile chutney can be used as a condiment, dip or even as a spread. Whether its samosas, pakoras, vadas or dosas --- cilantro chutney is the perfect accompaniment to any Indian meal.
Cilantro is also known as fresh coriander or Chinese parsley. It is readily available in most grocery stores these days and any Indian grocery store will most definitely carry cilantro leaves. When buying fresh cilantro, look for bright green sturdy stems and leaves with a characteristic cilantro fragrance.
Yields 1 cup
2 cups freshly packed cilantro leaves
2-3 small Thai green chilies, roughly chopped
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
juice of ½ a lime
water (if needed)
salt to taste
In a blender or food processor, blend all of the ingredients until smooth. You may need to add a little water to help the blending process. The consistency may be adjusted according to personal preference. You may add a little water for a slightly thinner consistency. Refrigerate and use immediately. The chutney will last for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
You can substitute mint leaves for the cilantro leaves or use a combination of both mint and cilantro. For a slightly tart taste, add a few pieces of green apple for a refreshing twist.