Fresh, Spicy Mint Chutney

Fresh, Spicy Mint Chutney

Fresh, cool, spicy mint chutney is a refreshing condiment with infinite uses.  It’s a perfect companion for smoky kebabs, crunchy fritters, samosas, papadums.  It’s even tasty drizzled over pizza.   This delicious sauce, with its balance of tart, spicy, and cooling flavours is a welcome addition to any meal.  Best of all?  It takes mere minutes to make!

Fresh, Spicy Mint Chutney | cookglobaleatlocal.comMint chutney sounds fancy.  But, it’s actually a very simple condiment to make.  Its fresh, bright flavours bring any meal or snack to the next level.  Once you learn how easy it is to make, you will find yourself slathering this chutney on sandwiches and drizzling it over just about everything. I like to drizzle it over nachos, use it as a “sauce” for pizza or pasta salad, and do all sorts of other things with it.  A delicious sauce can always be used in a variety of ways, and — as far as I’m concerned — there’s no reason to limit yourself to its original application.

This traditional Indian condiment is a classic accompaniment for grilled and fried foods.  Mint chutney is found throughout the Indian subcontinent.  As a result, there are numerous regional variations — adding everything from ginger to spinach into the mix!

However, this version is my personal favourite.  My recipe is heavier in mint than some other versions.  I use more mint because I adore the contrast between the fresh, crispness of mint and the chilies’ heat.  However, as you become familiar with this recipe, you should feel free to adjust the balance of flavours to accommodate your pantry or your taste.

What can I serve mint chutney with?

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Fresh, Spicy Mint Chutney | cookglobaleatlocal.com

About this Recipe

Fresh, Spicy Mint Chutney | cookglobaleatlocal.comThis is a very simple recipe.  As such, the freshness of your ingredients is paramount.

Old lemons will not have the same amount of juice as fresh ones.  They also get tarter as they sit, which will inevitably throw off the balance of your sauce.

Fresh herbs do not have a very long shelf life.  So, I like to prepare this chutney the same day I buy the herbs or — at most — within 48 hours of purchase.

The exception to the rule is the chilies.  Since the spiciness of chilies, and their availability, varies throughout the year, I always keep a stock of fresh chilies in the freezer.  Fresh frozen chilies are perfect for chutneys, and you should feel free to use them here.

If you’ve never frozen chilies before, you really ought to try.  While thawed chilies are not as pretty as fresh for slicing fresh over a dish, they’re perfect for cooked dishes, and for purees — like this.

Must I pluck the leaves off the mint stems?

I understand.  We’re all rushed nowadays.  Many of us feel torn between family, home, school or work (or both).  However, if you approach time in the kitchen like a little (well earned) meditation, this small task will fly by.  And, yes, I’m sorry to say, it is important that you pluck off the leaves.

Trust me.  I tried blending stalks and leaves the first time I made this chutney 30 years ago, and the results were awful.  The stems of the mint are not only fibrous, they also make the chutney undesirably bitter.  It’s well worth it to take a few minutes and pluck the leaves off the stems.

What if I don’t have a high speed blender?

No problem.  People have been making chutneys since long before the invention of high speed blenders, and you can too!  If you have a large mortar and pestle, you can grind chutney by hand.

Otherwise, a standard blender will work perfectly.  Simply add a tablespoon or two of water, and scrape down the sides occasionally to ensure an even grind.  The process may take a moment longer.  But, trust me, you will still wind up with a delicious chutney that your friends and family are sure to enjoy.

Most of all, I hope you an your family love this chutney every bit as much as my family does.  Bon appétit!

Yum



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