India, my India, the land of milk & honey…
The land where snake charmers work side by side engineers developing cutting-edge technology…
The land where Cricket and Bollywood unite the poor and the rich, the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians…
Today India continues its tryst with destiny that started exactly 68 years ago.
Like Indians all over the world, I have my own traditions when it comes to celebrating my country’s independence day. And one of those traditions is to cook with the colors of the Indian flag.
But I have been ridiculously busy with work this week and hadn’t been able to give much thought on what to make this year. And yet, I don’t like breaking traditions.
So here’s what I made as a quick fix today: a trio of very traditional Indian Chutneys. A chutney is a condiment that you use as a dipping sauce or a side with snacks.
The three chutneys are from different corners of India, to give you an idea of the diversity of Indian cuisine, while also tickling your taste buds.
Let’s begin with Saffron, the first color in the Indian flag, signifying courage and sacrifice. To capture the color, I made this Red Chilli, Peanut and Garlic Chutney from the state of Maharashtra in Western India. Spicy,nutty and wonderfully textured, this dry chutney is essential for Vada Pav, the Bombay ‘burger’.
Then comes White, signifying truth, peace and purity. And this mellow, yet wonderfully flavored Coconut Chutney, popular in all South-Indian states captures white beautifully. This chutney is an absolutely essential condiment to be served with idli, dosa, medu vada, uthappams, appams… all south Indian breakfast (and all-time-of-the-day-or-night) classics.
Last but not the least, we have the color Green, signifying prosperity. And this fresh, herby, spicy Mint and Coriander Chutney is the epitome of ‘Green’. It is used extensively in North India in all the ‘Chaat’ dishes. It makes a fabulous spread for sandwiches. It can also be added to biryanis or curries to add extra depth… a very versatile condiment to have on hand.
This lovely trio is accompanying me to two fabulous events:
- Angie’s Friday Fiesta, which is just the right place to put me in the weekend mood 😀
- Shruti’s Independent India event, where you will see a riot of Tricolor Dishes.
Do come and check out both these events. You will meet a wonderful, wacky set of people who are ridiculously creative!
Happy Independence Day to my fellow Indians everywhere 😀
Here are the recipes for the Chutney Trio.
Trio of Classic Indian Chutneys
The Color Saffron: Dry Red Chilli, Garlic and Peanut Chutney
8 Garlic Cloves
1/2 cup grated Dry Coconut
1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds
1 tablespoon Roasted Peanuts
4 dry Red Chillies
1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
1/2 teaspoon Tamarind Paste
1 teaspoon Oil
Salt to taste
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in skillet or pan and roast garlic cloves over low flame for 1 minute.
Turn off flame and transfer it to a plate
Dry roast grated coconut in same skillet over low flame until light brown. Turn off flame and transfer it to a plate.
Dry roast sesame seeds over low flame until seeds start to pop (approx. 30 seconds) and transfer to plate.
Dry roast red chillies in the same skillet over low flame for about a minute. Turn off flame and transfer it to a plate
Let roasted garlic, roasted coconut, red chillies and sesame seeds cool for 5 minutes.
Add roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, tamarind paste, red chillies, garlic, coriander powder and salt in grinder jar or food processor jar.
Grind until it is a medium coarse powder. Taste for salt and add more if required.
Chutney is ready. Transfer in an airtight container.
You can store it for up to 15 days in refrigerator.
The Color White: South Indian Coconut Chutney
1 cup grated fresh Coconut
1/2 inch piece Ginger, roughly chopped
1 small clove Garlic, roughly chopped
1 Green Chilli, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon Daaliya (Roasted Pigeon Peas Lentils, available in Indian grocery stores)
Add all the ingredients except daaliya into a food processor or grinder jar and grind to a smooth paste, adding just enough water needed to make a paste.
Then add daaliya to the same jar and grind further till all the daaliya is incorporated and the chutney is smooth and creamy.
Serve this chutney with idli, dosa, medu vada, uthappams and appams. This chutney should be consumed fresh.
The Color Green: Coriander Mint Chutney
2 cups fresh Coriander leaves (cilantro)
1 cup Mint leaves, packed
5-6 of Green Chillies (adjust to your taste)
2 inch piece Ginger
5-6 cloves of Garlic (adjust to your taste)
A squeeze of fresh Lemon or Lime Juice
Grind all ingredients together with just enough water and salt to a smooth chutney.
Enjoy green chutney with chaat, pani puri, as a sandwich spread, as a dip for papad, bhajiya, vada and with samosa.
This chutney can also be frozen, if not being used immediately.