This is by far one of THE most popular Indian condiments that ever was. If you go to any Indian restaurant, the first thing that comes on your table is this Mint chutney with some onion rings. And surprisingly, I hadn't paid a proper tribute to this yet. Sure, I have the recipe on the blog here but this mint chutney is something that can take your food and add that je ne sais quoi to make it brighter, spicier, tangier and yummier.
Every household will have a different version of this chutney and I have learnt mine from my mom and she from her mom. So you can safely say it is much loved in our home and has a permanent place in our fridge. We use this chutney to zing up our fritters, add flavour to our sandwiches, to enhance our kebabs, with our samosas and kachoris, with our chaats, with stuffed parathas the list goes on. The fresh, herbalicious chutney can be toned down with some yogurt and drizzled on salads and is a classic pairing with the Chicken and lamb tikkas. I sometimes even toss a couple of spoonfuls of this with rice and I have instant mint rice on hand. Its goes awesome even with Veggie Indian Style burgers
Herbs like mint and coriander actually aid the digestion of everything you eat. Also this Indian equivalent of pesto adds a dimension of freshness to the otherwise spicy Indian food. Well, I could keep going with the advantages of this chutney but that won't solve anything unless you make this and taste it.
Note: There are tons of variations of the chutney. People sometimes temper spices and add to the chutney, sometimes they add curry leaves in the mix, sometimes they leave out the coriander leaves, sometimes they add nuts, sometimes they add bread crumbs to get the texture right. I mean you do what suits you, but here's the most common version of them all.
On to the recipe then.
Makes: 1 cup
Time taken: 15 mins
2 1/2 cups or 1 large bunch of fresh mint leaves
2 1/2 cups or 1 large bunch of fresh coriander leaves
1 medium onion, diced roughly
3-4 cloves of garlic
2" pc of ginger root, chopped roughly
1 1/2 tsp of black salt or rock salt
2 green chilies, roughly chopped
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp sugar
pinch of love
Have your ingredients assembled. The ingredients missing here are cumin and sugar. I'm an airhead and I forgot placing them here. On another note, I absolutely love the garden fresh herby aroma in the air. Even a whiff of this makes me feel like I'm eating healthy.
Get your mint and pluck off the leaves from the stem unless your stems are really fresh and green. Mine are clearly not so I got on to the mundane task of de-leafing (and making up new words)
With the coriander, I just like to chop the leaves along with 70% of the stem because the stem of coriander is always so flavourful, even more so than just the leaves
And the star of the dish- Garlic. The thing with garlic is there are a lot of mint chutneys that don't use garlic. Those mint chutneys never make it into my plate. I cannot not have garlic in the chutney I make... it makes all the difference. trust me. Skin the garlic cloves and set aside.
In a food processor/ blender, add in the onion, mint leaves, the coriander leaves, green chilies, ginger and garlic. Top that off with black or rock salt and cumin. You can use plain salt here but the rock salt increases the flavour exponentially. As for why the cumin is missing here in the pics again, I'll admit I forgot adding it till the very end. Don't be like me. Add the cumin now. Same for the sugar. Please don't be like me.
Squeeze in the lemon juice. I squeezed two small-ish lemons which gave me about 4 tbsp juice which was perfect!
Give it all a whizz, till it all comes together like a chutney. It will be a little coarse but thats completely fine. Now if you wanted a smoother texture, you could add in 2-3 tbsp of bread crumbs or some nuts or even a drizzle of yogurt but I wanted to keep it real. Ofcourse if you add any of the additional ingredients, your chutney colour will change and you might have to adjust the seasoning too. So make sure you keep tasting as you go.
Ta da! Chutney is ready! How quick was that?!?! I love the fact that this comes together in no time at all. Majority of my time was spent on plucking the mint leaves. If your mint leaves are fresh, chop off their leafy bits with stems and let it all go in the food processor.
Spicy, tangy, fresh all in one! Are you green with envy yet?!