Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Color me Green...

It is a rainy, gloomy sort of a day. While I sit in front of the computer busy on a call, my mind wanders to a quarter of a century back…we were living in this secluded valley…surrounded by eucalyptus trees, majestic mountains (one of which was aptly named Bhalu (Bear) Pahad (Mountain) )and a variety of wild life – Bears, Deers, Cheetahs lived here aplenty…you must get me to tell you the story about the Cobra in our bedroom sink…the living was idyllic but the weather was extreme…the winter very cold and the summer scorching…yet after the summer we looked forward to the cooling down with the rains…we sat on our verandahs watching the rain hit the parched ground…the smell is something I wish I could bottle and keep with me forever…the smell of wet earth.
But I was human after all and a child…so the rains brought with them a desire to eat something chatpata…like Aloo Chop (if you are from the North East…you know what I am talking about). Piping hot Aloo Chops with tangy mint chutney was our succor on those wet lazy uncomplicated days. Fried food in these health conscious days is not something I indulge in, however the mint chutney I make with my handy dandy Magic Bullet time and again to add a little jazz to boring meals and take me back in time to those carefree days of the past.

For the Chutney you need –

1. 1 Bunch of Mint Leaves

2. 1 Bunch of Cilantro Leaves

3. 1 Lemon

4. 1 Small piece of Jaggery

5. Salt to taste (I use sea salt)

6. 1 Serrano Chile (feel free to use Habenaro if you so please)

My little trick is I use Vinegar instead of water (to make it grind easier in the mixer). Grind the mixture to a fine paste. If I am in a mood for a different flavor profile, I sometimes add in a knob of ginger…if I am making this as an accompaniment for dosas I add in frozen coconut (MTR) and sometimes if I feel adventurous I actually add in a handful of peanuts (call it the influence of a Maharashtrian husband)

Herbs liven up one’s palate. I use a lot of Cilantro, Mint, Basil, Rosemary and Parsley in my cooking. The fresher the herbs, the livelier they make the dish – it makes going vegetarian exciting. My humble chutney goes to PJ for the event “Herbs and Flowers in my platter”


  1. Lovely post! That chutney would work well with any fried snacks, ah!

  2. @Plateful - this chutney works well with Dal, Subzi, Chawal/Roti too...makes it a tad bit more exciting
    @Kirthi...we are having the fresh earth smell constantly where I am at (along with torrential rains, tornado warnings and a Tsunami warning thrown in)