Curry Leaf Chutney
Curry leaves are essential to Indian cooking and are used extensively throughout the South Indian states (Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu & Kerala) and the Western Indian states (Maharashtra & Gujarat). They are very aromatic and have a lovely fresh citrusy flavor. In Marathi, curry leaves are called “kadi patta”.
Curry leaves are a very rich source of iron. They are also antioxidants and thought to have strong anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Now luckily, I just happen to have a thriving curry leaf tree within my hands reach - but curry leaves are usually available all year round in most large Indian grocery stores and markets. I highly recommend using fresh curry leaves whenever possible as they really add a wonderful aroma, as well as, depth of taste and flavor to any dish. Traditionally, curry leaves are simply added to hot oil as a seasoning for most dishes.
My Curry Leaf Chutney is the perfect example to highlight the versatility of curry leaves. Here, the fresh curry leaves are actually ground into an aromatic powder – which can then be spread onto warm buttered toast, mixed with yogurt or ghee or just served with phulkas/rice. Simple yet absolutely fantastic in both taste & fragrance ☺
CURRY LEAF CHUTNEY (Kadipatta chi Sukhi Chutney)
2 cups fresh curry leaves, loosely packed (rinsed, drained & wiped completely dry)
6-8 dried red chilies, to taste
2 tbsp white urad dal (skinned & split black gram dal)
2 tbsp chana dal (skinned & split Bengal gram dal)
½ cup grated coconut (or unsweetened desiccated coconut)
½ tbsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds
¼ tsp asafetida (hing)
1 heaping tsp tamarind powder
salt to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Using a large deep skillet on medium high heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil. When hot, add the dried red chilies along with the urad dal & chana dal. Sauté until fragrant & lightly browned, this will only take a few minutes so be patient & keep stirring. Remove the chilies & dals completely from the pan & then add both the cumin & coriander seeds along with the sesame seeds & asafetida to the skillet. Dry roast for just 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Remove the spices from the pan & add the remaining tbsp of oil. Next, add all of the curry leaves & sauté until they have dried & become slightly crispy (maybe 3-5 minutes). Remove the curry leaves & set aside until needed.
Then transfer all of the ingredients (including the tamarind powder & salt) to a food processor & pulse a few times until you have a smooth powder of desired consistency. Personally, I like my chutney coarsely ground. Store in a clean airtight bottle or container – this chutney will last for quite awhile.
Feel free to add 2 tbsp of unsalted peanuts to the chutney, just add them along with the dals for a slightly nutty flavor.
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