Food restores me like nothing else. And now that my blog is being neglected quite a bit, I thought I might as well break the silence with a few recipes.
Now, I feel chutney is something that hardly needs a recipe, mango, mint and coriander are the very basic ingredients. But then, I feel cooking is not about knowing what to cook and how, it is rather a process of being inspired to cook, on as regular a basis as possible, so that on your platter you have different variations of even the basic comfort food.
The sight of good food can compel you to take efforts in your kitchen too. That's why I keep reading so many food blogs. These wonderful women — Sailu, Shilpa, Shahana, Nupur, Indira, Sangeeta, and the valuable exception Mr Ushnish Ghosh — they work up such magic, that I have to admit that if I care to cook a little more than I used to, it's because of the interest they have inspired in me. I hope this mention of a humble chutney will inspire you to try out many different tangy-hot versions yourself..
The photo is of the mint-mango variety.
In a mixer, grind about 50 gm of chopped mint, half a raw mango, two green chillies, teaspoon of jeera (cumin), salt and sugar with very little water. I always grind all the ingredients without water first and then slowly add 2-3 tablespoons of water while grinding for the 2nd or 3rd time.
I found that instead of mint, coriander goes better with raw mango. The same recipe, using about 50 gm coriander instead of mint tasted infinitely better and retained a wonderful raw green colour that I am so fond of.
Add 2-3 cloves of garlic to the above mix, and you get another splendid taste. However, avoid using sugar when using garlic.
Note: I am not too specific about the quantity of coriander and mango. Use up whatever is available with you, adjust spices accordingly and you will get tasty variants each time. For example, if you use red-chillie powder instead of green chillies and use roasted cumin powder with garlic, the taste is very different.
Prepared thus, and stored in a clean bowl in the fridge, the chutney can last for 3-4 days. It will thicken / dry up and if you want, you can grind it again in a mixer with a little water and salt/chillie to taste after a day or two.