Much like tamarind+date chutney, this green chutney is quite familiar to anyone who has ever been inside an indian restaurant or enjoyed some delightful chaat. Versions vary and this recipe can be adapted to use all cilantro, all mint, or just alter the ratios of each depending on what you’re after. I feel this version is the closest to the generic green chutney so ubiquitous in american indian restaurants as to be almost cliche. But, it’s a delightful and delicious cliche that can instantly brighten anything it touches.
105g | ¾ cup chopped white/yellow onion
20g | 1 small jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, chopped
75g | about 1 cup very firmly packed cilantro, chopped (leaves and small stems only)
32g | about ⅓ cup very firmly packed fresh mint, chopped (leaves only)
30g | just under ¼ cup chopped shallots
5g | 1 tsp chaat masala
10g/ml | 2 tsp lemon juice
4g | ¾ tsp fresh finely chopped ginger
1.2g | ¼ tsp finely chopped garlic
5g | 1 Tbsp dry shredded (unsweetened) coconut (can be left out if avoiding, or subbed for a few cashews)
1.5g | ¼ tsp salt
120g/ml | ½ cup water (+ more at end)
1 Tbsp neutral liquid oil* (optional)
Blend everything but fresh herbs until smooth
Add in herbs in 4 separate batches, blending until roughly chopped between each addition
Add water to bring to 480ml | 2 cups total and blend to desired consistency
Allow to sit at least an hour before using to allow flavors to develop
Will keep 2-3 days in the fridge before losing flavour and colour
*the oil makes for a creamier consistency that coats better and has more “stick”, you can leave it out if you don’t want the extra fat, or sub with more coconut
Like it’s sweeter, richer, tarter friend, this recipe is incredibly simple. The bulk of your prep time will be de-stemming the cilantro and mint, you want nothing but the leaf stems with the cilantro (the stems are watery, less flavorful, and often slightly bitter) and NONE of the mint stems (they are tough, dry, and bitter.) If you choose to not heed my warnings and do sloppy work on your prep for this, and it comes out watery, bitter or fibrous….well, that’s on you pal.
Everything here blends together to create a bright, vibrant, green, fresh chutney with very soft umami notes and a very refreshing aftertaste. It’s quite a good palate cleanser as well, and helps to tone down the heat from other dishes. This is a chutney best served right away (well, after an hour long rest) but will keep for a few days in the fridge before the colour, flavour, and texture become muddy. Seriously though, if you have leftover, you’re doing something wrong in life. This stuff is GOOD.
The choice to add oil or not is completely up to you, i’ve just found it has a sightly heavier body, just enough to gently grip your papadum and hold together better when tossed into or drizzled over chaat dishes. The oil simply helps to hold things together for you, it does mellow the flavors some, but not enough to make a huge difference, so go ahead and leave it out if you prefer, you can always add a little extra coconut instead.
Don’t limit this lovely chutney to just your indian snacks, try it with roasted vegges (especially root ones), on tacos, with creamy pasta dishes….the uses are seriously endless. Think outside that confining box of “it’s indian food” because in reality, it’s all just food. [break free of your flavour prison and walk free. be bold. be daring. eat.]