July 10th, 2013
Spicy Curry Leaf And Coriander Chutney
I generally do not cook very spicy food as overuse of spices tends to mask the flavour or character of certain foods. So, for me to make a detour from my general cooking practices the dish in question needs to be phenomenal.
Like this chutney made with fresh curry leaves and coriander. And since I’m on a much needed break visiting my parents, I had access to fresh curry leaf and coriander grown by my mother. To tell you the truth, I had no intention of making this chutney. But, when my brother expressed a desire to eat something spicy, I remembered this chutney which the husband had relished and gone upto the extent of declaring that he could brave Mumbai traffic and travel long distances to come home to a plateful of hot rice and this chutney.
I would normally serve this with some papads, hot rasam and a vegetable dish, but this chutney is so good that one can make a proper meal with it by just mixing a spoonful of it with some hot rice and a dollop of ghee to get a taste of traditional south Indian cuisine.
Curry leaves, which are also supposed to be power houses of nutrition and good for many parts of the human body are an indispensable part of my cooking and I will not dare to make a south Indian dish without them. There was a time when I used to even force myself to eat them raw, considering the health benefits.
Not being a huge fan of fresh coriander and using it only in places where it is absolutely necessary and in most cases always cooked (cooking coriander eliminates that raw smell which I’m not a fan of in some dishes and adds flavour to the dish), I was surprised with the flavour of this chutney when I first made it, more with the intention of feeding it than relishing it myself.
This is a staple now and perfect to add zing to any bland or otherwise lackadaisical food. I have tried it with dosas, appams, rice, chapati and bread and have not met with disappointment. If you are looking for a spicy addition or accompaniment to a meal then this is it. The plus side is you could even eat it as a main course if you are not up to it to cook a full meal. All you have to do is mix it into some hot rice and a little sesame oil or ghee to be in complete bliss.
Spicy Curry Leaf And Coriander Chutney Recipe
You can use various varieties of dry red chilies in this recipe and adjust the taste according to your liking
35 gm (1 cup packed) curry leaves
35 gm (1/2 cup packed) fresh coriander or cilantro
1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp pepper
10 to 12 dry red chilies
2 tbsp tamarind
1/4 tsp asafetida
1 1/2 tsp salt
A little water
4 to 5 tbsp sesame or any other vegetable oil
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafetida
In a blender put in all the ingredients for the chutney, the curry leaves, fresh coriander, ginger, pepper, red chilies, asafetida, tamarind, salt and grind to a fine paste using a little water approximately 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup.
In a wok or a saucepan heat the oil for the seasoning, put in the mustard seeds and when they pop, stir in the ground paste and cook on low heat until the raw smell disappears and the chutney is well cooked.
Serve with some hot rice and papad or as an accompaniment with other rice and bread dishes.
Can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.