Coconut Mint Chutney

An eternal favorite at home this simple chutney made of fresh or frozen grated coconut , roasted channa dal or dalia and flavored with fresh mint is a notch above the usual. The entire assembly is done in minutes literally and you will have one of the best tasting accompaniments ever for dosa or idlis.. Well aware of moderation being the key, this coconut  chutney is perfect when you do not over indulge.

Fresh ingredients bring to the table the flavor that is best described lip smacking !

Grated coconut  ground with fresh mint, chili and ginger and seasoned with crackled mustard seeds and split urad dal.. Now how can you resist it?

Coconut Mint Chutney

Ingredients:

For chutney:

  • Fresh or frozen grated coconut : 1/3 cup
  • Roasted Channa dal or Dalia : 1/4 cup
  • Fresh green chilies – 4-5 ( please adjust according to spice level)
  • Ginger : skinned, 1 inch piece
  • Fresh mint leaves : 10-12
  • Salt : 1 tsp.+ adjusted to taste
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of water

Seasoning :

  • Oil : 1 tsp.
  • Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp.
  • Split white Urad Dal : /2 tsp.
  • Asafoetida : a generous pinch
  • Curry leaves : 4-6 , torn in halves ( I was out of these)

Method:

  • If using frozen coconut , do bring it to room temp before grinding. Alternatively nuke it in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds.
  • Initially coarse blends the ingredients listed under chutney without adding water. Then add the required amount of water to smoothen out the consistency and to bring it to required thickness.Smooth grinding is essential otherwise flavor is lost.
  • To season it, heat a tsp. of oil in a skillet or fry pan and add the mustard seeds and hing. The seeds will crackle and you can subsequently add the  split urad dal and curry leaves. Allow the dal to brown a bit and scoop everything out and add to the chutney.
  • That’s it . Ready to serve with piping hot idlis or dosa.

You might want to try it with these as well.

Coconut Mint Chutney

Varaitions:

  • You can substitute coriander leaves or cilantro for mint. It would give you a different dimension.
  • Squeezing half a lime will impart tanginess and would be awesome as well.

 

Beetroot leaves Thogayal/Chutney/Relish

A trip to any grocery store invariably ends up in me looking for fresh beets. And if it is usually packed with leaves, then the fresher the better naturally. The gorgeous color  and crispness of the leaves is a natural draw for me. Actually I am a sucker when it comes to all kinds of fresh leafy greens (Make it most of the veggies ). Can never resist the siren’s call !!!

 Beetroot leaves Thogayal/Chutney/Relish

So there was this lushest pack of beets beckoning to me in the produce section of HT. Gorgeous bright green leaves with veins of deep red and big fat beets clustered to it. I just had to pick it up! Don’t judge me please, I can always rationalize it as  how one can never have too many veggies. So in any case, these gorgeous beauties came home and I was itching to make something out of it. Usually the leaves can be sautéed and made with a bit of soaked dal to yield a side accompaniment. But I want something else..  I wanted to make this relish that my mom and grandma could practically whip out of any vegetable. The basic recipe remains the same but the varieties it yields with it as the base is  amazing. This is great as a spread, a side dish or to simply use it up mixed with rice and veggies as well.

 

Gorgeous green leaves with thick red veins !
Gorgeous green leaves with thick red veins !

Beet leaves sautéed and fine ground with roasted urad dal, tamarind, red chilies, whole black pepper to yield a slightly spicy, a bit tangy and wonderful earthy relish/ spread/thogayal. Chockfull of nutrients in a bowl!

Prep time : 10 min  Cook time : 10 min  Yields :  8 -10 servings

Shelf life : 1 week refrigerated.

 Ingredients:

  • Beet leaves – trim stem, chop roughly to yield 2 cups
  • Skinned, split Urad Dal : 1/2 cup
  • Wet tamarind : 1 inch piece
  • Whole black pepper : 1/4  Tbsp.
  • Red chilies ( mix mild to high heat) – 4-6 or lower according to spice level
  • Oil : 2 tsp.
  • Salt : 1 tsp + to taste
  • Water : 1/3 cup – add as required to grind

 Optional : Seasoning ( but highly recommended)

  • Oil : 1 tsp.
  • Curry leaves : 4-6
  • Mustard seeds : 1 tsp.
  • Hing : a generous pinch

Method:

  • In a  skillet  add initially 1 tsp. of oil and on heating add chilies and whole black peppers,
  • Add washed,skinned, split urad dal and roast till it is a nice brown in color. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • In the same skillet , add another tsp. of oil and now add the thoroughly washed and cut beet leaves and sauté till it is tender. Say about 5 minutes. Add the piece of tamarind. Turn off the flame and scoop it side in another plate to cool.
  • On cooling , grind the dal and chili and pepper mix initially along with salt to a rough grind.
  • Add the leaves and tamarind and a couple of tablespoons of water and grind till you reach your desired consistency. Add more water if desired. A smoother relish will be easier to handle but will have lower shelf life if you add too much water. 

Optional Seasoning but highly recommended:

  • Heat oil in skillet, add hing and when it sizzles add mustard seeds which will splutter in the heat and then add curry leaves.
  • Turn off the flame and pour it over the relish and mix it well.
  • This is a great way to temper the spices as well enhance the taste if the relish along with increasing the shelf life a bit.
A thick spicy chutney/relish/thogayal chock full of nutrients !
A thick spicy chutney/relish/thogayal chock full of nutrients !

Enjoy with hot steamed rice, phulkas , dal and even a slice of toast!

Tomato, Onion and Carrot Chutney – Simple,Quick and Awesome!

#BacktoBasics

Superfast, Super quick , Super delish and uses ingredients most often found in your pantry . The best part about this is the fact that it is so versatile and has a burst of flavors all in one. You can keep the consistency thick enough to make it into a sandwich spread, or add a dollop on your burger when grilling. Or thin it out a bit and it become the most awesome chutney for Idli, Dosa(i), Adai, Upma .. You name it! Slightly vary the flavor and you have a super hit dip on your hands for those multi grain chips.. Oh! you can let your imagination run wild. But trust me, this is one chutney you will not regret to add to your list of must- do’s or repertoire.

 Ingredients:

  • Channa Dal or skinned peanuts : 1 Tbsp
  • tamarind paste : 1/2 tsp
  • Onion : 1 big , Chopped fine
  • Tomato: 1 big Chopped fine
  • Carrots: 1 big, peeled, Chopped fine
  • Cilantro : 1/4 cup, Chopped fine
  • Mint: 1/4 cup ,Chopped fine
  • Oil: 2 tsp
  • Green chilies : 2
  • Red Bydagi chilies : 2
  • Salt : 1 tsp

Method:

  • In a skillet, heat one tsp of oil and fry the channa dal or peanuts if using to golden brown.
  • Also add in the red Bydagi chilies and fry them.  Next add in the green chilies to fry it a bit more.
  • Scoop it all out in a plate to cool it down a bit.
  • Add in one more tsp of oil in the same skillet and fry the onions, tomatoes and carrots in the  sequential order. Take care to ensure these are nicely cooked/sautéed.
  • Turn off the flame and add in the chopped cilantro and mint and stir it in. The residential heat in the pan is enough to slightly wither the greens and take the edge of the raw nature of it.
  • Scoop this out on a second plate to cool the contents.
  • In a blender, dry grind the channa dal  or peanuts with the red chilies initially into a dry rough grind. Next add in the green chilies, tamarind paste, sautéed veggies and salt and blend very well without water.
  • Add in a few tablespoons of water to thin out according to need , but ensure it is given a final whirl in the blender before use.
  • That’s it! Simple and ready for a multitude of uses.

Notes:

  • Don’t’ have channa dal or peanuts? Try using split urad dal or  almonds. Works like a charm and don’t be shy to experiment a bit.
  • Don’t have red Bydagi chiles?Add in a tsp of kashmiri mirch powder or simply exclude it from the recipe.
  • Mint and cilantro can be mutually exclusive in this recipe or added with a bit of sweet basil and you have a completely different flavor.
  • Add in sautéed ginger and introduce a new variation to this.Want to add garlic? Yes yes you may do so, but ensure again it is sautéed very well.
  • Uses: sandwich spread, relish, topping, accompaniment to dosas, idli, rotis, upma and more, dip for multi grain chips and crackers, veggie dips.
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