Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My grandmother's chutney

My grandmother was famous for her chutney. Because it was bright green, fresh, tangy, sour, slightly sweet, spicy with a note of nutty. She always had it in a steel box in the fridge, waiting to be slathered onto a buttery sandwich, tikki or pappar. Whenever I would go back to India to the beloved kitchen, we would make the chutney together. She would always sit on her chair and trim the coriander leaves, dropping the thick stems to the floor and around her sari. She did the same to the mint leaves, making sure to trim them more because the stems are tougher. After she patiently did that, and measured the other ingredients, my grandfather would pile them into the blender and whiz. He would walk over to her so that she could check for salt, though he would always remind her not to add too much. After her approval, he would arrange them into steel containers to enjoy for the week, even though we all ate her labor of love too soon.

I remember one night when I didn't have an appetite, my grandfather insisted that I eat something. So he got to work making me a sandwich. He generously buttered (Amul butter - the best in India) two slices of bread, and then slathered the emerald chutney on. It melted my heart to see him do that for me and it is the best sandwich I've ever had. That is love to me.

So when I went home to visit my family and beloved cat in America last week, my dad asked me if I would make the chutney. And I did, and within 3 days, the double batch was gone. My grandmother is always here with me and she is smiling when I am making her food.

Nani's Chutney

1 1/2 cups fresh coriander leaves (measured in cups tightly)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 small red onion
1 tbs ginger, grated (more if you like it spicy)
1 large garlic clove
1 green chili (more if you're my parents)
1 1/2 tbs tamarind pulp
1/4 cup peanuts, unsalted
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 - 3 tbs water
A squirt of lime or lemon

1. Trim the thick stems off the mint and coriander.
2. In a blender, grind everything. Add water as needed, but don't make it runny. Check for salt.
3. End with a squirt of lime or lemon to help keep the chutney green and enhance sourness.

Enjoy on sandwiches, as a dip, with cheese, crackers or alone. 

1 comment:

  1. Ooh nice picture of the chutney. Nani was in my dream the other night, but perhaps it is because I cook so many things that she did, and I'm always talking about how she cooked it.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...