Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mint Chutney

Mint Chutney (pudhina/podhina)

Mint (Pudhina) Chutney

This recipe was given to us girls by our cooking teacher when we were 16.  It became an instant hit in our home...and the recipe spread.
When hubby dearest met me for the first time he complimented my sister on this chutney and asked for the recipe.  With a twinkle in her eye she told him it was ‘my’ recipe. I guess the twinkle meant she saw a happy future for us as long as I kept making this chutney!
This chutney enhances lamb dishes and biriyani.  It is delicious  with potato/veggie cutlets.
Add a few leaves to a pulao (Indian fried rice), with a chopped  semi-cooked potato while frying the onions, and it will taste yummy.

A few tips about mint:
When buying mint pick it up and smell the bunch...if it doesn’t have a strong aroma it isn’t right for this chutney.  The best bunches I get are in the Middle Eastern and Mexican supermarkets.
When you do buy a bunch of ‘good’ leaves, put a few stalks in a glass/jar of water in a partly sunny location.  Remember strong sunshine through glass can burn the plant.  
The stalks will grow roots in a few days and you can re-pot it indoors or out, depending on the weather in your area.
Mint in the ground takes over the yard with it’s long roots and our freshly mowed lawn, at one time, had a minty smell, so be careful where you plant it.
Even in a pot, it’s roots come out and spread so move your pot from time to time.
Trim your leaves by taking off the top half of the plant or more to encourage fresh growth.
In summer when your plant is going gangbusters, take the leaves, wash and freeze them for the times you can’t find any.
When the leaves in your pot wilt it is time to re-pot the plants or pull up half of them to give the rest room to grow.

So finally, here’s the chutney recipe:

½ cup mint leaves (wash in 3 batches of water as mint attracts insects)
1 cup cilantro leaves ( wash in 3 batches of water)
½ cup grated coconut
½ medium onion (chop)
2 green chillies
½ - 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
1 tsp rai (mustard seed)
2 tsp urad dal
1 Tbsp oil.
Salt to taste

In a non stick pan, heat oil, add rai.
When it splutters add urad dal.
Fry golden brown.
Add chopped onion...fry till transparent.
Add mint leaves and green chillies... fry till leaves wilt completely.
Place in blender with washed cilantro leaves, coconut, tamarind, salt.
Blend till slightly coarse.
Taste, adjust salt, chillies and tamarind if needed.
Blend for one more minute and enjoy!

1 comment:

lan said...

hey look who is back! i might try this. liked the little tidbit story much:-) good to see/read you geets.