Category Archives: Dips,Chutneys,Sauces,Spreads

Green Chutney with Kairi(raw mango)

This is essentially the same chutney as the one  here, except that Ma would often use chunks of aam ki kairi or raw mango (without the skin) instead of lime juice and that adds a delightfully tangy flavor and taste.

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Coconut Chutney

They all love this, with dosas or vadas or upma.

I skip tempering it – a garnish of curry leaves, mustard seeds and urad daal fried in a little oil – since I worry already about all the natural oil in coconut. And it tastes good enough without.

Coconut Chutney

9 tablespoons of freshly grated coconut

5 tablespoons of chana daal (yellow split pea lentils)

2 teaspoons of sunflower oil

125  grams of yogurt

1/4 cup, or a little more, of water

salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon of asofetida

Heat the oil, then lightly roast the chana daal in the oil till it is golden brown. Add the asofetida towards the end and stir it in well. Take the daal out in to a bowl or plate and let it cool.

Grind the coconut, till it has a much finer texture, with some water and some of the yogurt.

Add the rest of the yogurt, the daal and the salt and blend everything together till the chutney has the texture/consistency you like. Don’t grind it too long though as otherwise it will acquire a pasty taste. It tastes better if there are still very tiny bits of daal which make for a nice crunch.

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Coriander and Mint Chutney, the way Ma makes it(1)

For the first four days this last week, it rained “elephants and hippopotamuses”, as the girls said.

So we had soup for dinner quite often, and one evening we had pakoras as well, since it was just the sort of weather when I enjoy them most.

I happened to have some coriander and mint chutney left over from a lot that I made a couple of weeks ago so we polished off the pakoras with that.

I usually keep this chutney now in a pretty glass jar which I brought back a couple of years ago from my mother’s kitchen as it is a pleasing reminder of the years when b. and I grew up in Bokaro. The way I remember it, this jar was always in the fridge, full of chutney. And the taste of the sandwiches b. and I sometimes made, with left over baigan bharta and this chutney,  is one of the nicest gastronomic memories of my childhood 🙂

Noor likes it a lot too, especially with dhokla.

Coriander and Mint Chutney

A big bunch of coriander; another of mint (I tend to use less of the mint and more of the coriander)

One small onion

One clove of garlic, peeled

1 green chilly, stalk removed, or a little red chilli powder, or half of a whole red chilly (optional)

salt to taste

1 tbsp of lime juice (use more or less, as you like)

1 tbsp of sugar (again, you could use more or less)

Wash the herbs thoroughly, then chop roughly after removing the hard stalks (I always retain the softer stems, instead of using only the leaves; it seems a waste to let the stems go since they have so much flavor too).

Peel and chop the onion in to 6-10 large-ish parts.

Blend together all the ingredients, using as little water as possible. This will therefore take time, since you will have to stop every once in a while to keep the machine of the food processor from overheating, and to stir the contents of the bowl/jar in which you are making the chutney. But it is worth spending the time rather than using too much water, since that would result in a watery chutney.

Also, add the sugar and lime juice gradually, so that you can control the amount you will use of each, depending on the balance of sweet and sour tastes that appeals to you.

This is such a  tangy treat with so many different things; besan ka cheela, pakoras, batata vadas and, yes, in sandwiches too !

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And finally – Pesto

Ever since the girls ate the delicious pasta with home made pesto at Radhesh’s home some weeks  ago, they have wanted to know why I don’t make pesto at home too.

Well, I used to, when they were babies, but back then only Shri and I liked it, the girls always seemed to prefer the bottled variety.

But now that they seem to have enjoyed the real thing, I thought it was time to start making it ourselves again.

So this evening, they helped me make the pesto that will go in to our pasta tomorrow.

They thought plucking the basil leaves from the pot in the kitchen took a little too long, but enjoyed grating the parmesan, and were happy that this meant they got a chance to eat some of it along the way.

This is so easy to make, and the taste so much,much better, it made me wonder again why I have been using the store-bought pesto for so long .

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behind the pesto bowl - the napkin holder Noor made in school for Mother's Day this year

Pesto

Quite a big bunch of fresh basil

1 large clove of garlic, peeled and chopped in to 3-4 chunks

grated parmesan (1/2 cup to 1 cup, as per taste)

olive oil (4-6 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons of pine nuts

salt to taste

To make : Blend everything together in one of those coffee grinding machines or hand blenders that one uses to grind spices.

C’est tout !!

As the girls will confirm, this is finger-licking good 🙂

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Indira on the job,

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then Noor

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Tomato, Ham and Cream Sauce for Pasta – A recipe to mark Mother’s Day 2009

It is Mother’s Day – fete de les meres – in France tomorrow so Shri took us out for dinner today to a  restaurant in Golfe Juan, overlooking the old port and all the boats docked there.

Thank you, Shri, Indira, Noor, for a very nice evening  🙂 The walk back along the port from the restaurant to the car park was wonderful; it was a full moon night and the sea looked really pretty.

The chef at the restaurant was good enough to give me a fairly detailed recipe for the delicious pasta that Noor had.

We all really liked the sauce and it isn’t one I had tasted before. So I decided to go up to the chef -a very young guy- and ask for the recipe.

Here’s what he told me as he took a short pause from putting the finishing touches on a pizza he was about to put in to the oven;  I’ll refine the quantities when I make this sauce myself.

He said “make the usual kind of tomato sauce – some onions softened in olive oil with a bit of laurier, then add some meat (it was little cubes/chunks of ham in the version we had today), cook everything for a little while, then add just a little bit of white wine(he moved his hand in this quick motion which made me imagine him pouring out a tablespoon or 2 from a bottle), let it evaporate, then add tomatoes, and let it all cook for some time (he said an hour but I guess that would depend on the quantity of tomatoes). Finally add a little cream and simmer the sauce for a couple of minutes”.

This should taste good with chicken as well, or diced aubergine for a vegetarian version.

The other interesting thing that happened was that Indira- I think inspired by the neat arrangement of rice, vegetables and salmon on my plate –  told us that one of things she might also want to do in university – apart from studying dance (we talked recently about the concept of university and how being a professional of any sort typically requires some years of study in university) – is to learn to be a chef.

I asked if we could eat free at her restaurant once she is a Cordon Bleu chef so she said yes, but only the first time – after that I believe we’ll have to pay on subsequent visits (though she mentioned a generously discounted sum) !

She seems to be taking our Finance 101-type talks seriously.

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“Yoghurt Sauce with Mint” – aka – Pudina Raita

As I watched Indira happily polish off the remains of the yoghurt in Noor’s pot (Noor, who hasn’t been too well, had already gone in for her sieste without finishing her lunch)  after finishing her own, I was reminded once again of how Mataji, my maternal grandmother, used to call me “dadhipriya”, because I loved yoghurt so much. I see the same fondness for this food in Indira too.

It reminded me too, of her favorite raita, though that is not how she thinks of it. The extent of Indira’s francisation– the result of attending the local maternelle for three years and of eating lunch in the school cantine since the last two years- struck me one day last summer when she said,”You know that yoghurt sauce you make sometimes, that has mint in it? Will you make that again, please? I love it !!”

It took me a while to figure this one out , that she was talking about pudina raita.

So although it is a fairly cold winter day here, I thought I’d document this recipe too, since she loves this “sauce” so much. Of course, it is best eaten on a hot summer day, since the mint has such a cooling effect.

Pudina Raita

250 gms of yoghurt

2-3 tbsps of finely chopped fresh mint leaves

1/2 tsp of sugar

salt to taste

Whisk the salt and the sugar in to the yoghurt. Mix in the mint leaves, and then turn the raita in to a serving bowl and leave for an hour or two before eating, so that the flavor of the mint blends well with the yoghurt.

This raita is great with pulavs, paranthas, and heavy and spicy curries and meats. And it is a wonderfully cooling and fresh addition to meals in the summer.

And with tikkas and kebabs, I imagine it could even pass off as a dip or -yes ! – sauce:-)

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One of Atto’s – Tangy Coriander & Mint Chutney

Atto – my husband’s bua – is one of the best cooks I know.

What makes her food more special though, is the care and affection with which she feeds people.

I have been saying to her for years that she ought to write a cookbook. In the meanwhile, here is her recipe for just the most delicious green chutney (with a couple of minor variations of my own; like I don’t recall if Atto used onion when I saw her make it, but my mom does in her coriander chutney; so I use it too)

Coriander and Mint Chutney

A big bunch of coriander; another of mint (I tend to use less of the mint and more of the coriander)

One medium sized onion

1 green chilly, stalk removed

salt to taste

2 tbsp of thick tamarind juice (use more or less, as you like)

3 tbsp of a thick solution of jaggery dissolved in water (again, you could use more or less)

Wash the herbs thoroughly, then chop roughly after removing the hard stalks (I always retain the softer stems, and don’t bother about using only the leaves; it seems a waste to let the stems go since they have so much flavor too).

Peel and chop the onion in to 6-10 large-ish parts.

Blend together all the ingredients, using as little water as possible. This will therefore take time, since you will have to stop every once in a while to keep the machine of the food processor from overheating, and to stir the contents of the bowl/jar in which you are making the chutney. But it is worth spending the time rather than using too much water, since that would result in a watery chutney.

Also, you could add the tamarind and jaggery pastes gradually, so that you can control the amount you will use of each, depending on the balance of sweet and sour tastes that appeals to you.

I just love this chutney; I find the use of tamarind instead of lime juice quite a great touch.

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