Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Coriander Coconut Chutney with peanuts

Chutneys are an essential part of the Indian cuisine. We Indians tend to make a chutney out of just about everything. I learnt that, from our old neighbor's aunt who could actually make various chutneys - from fruits, vegetables and even peels. We were kids then so I did not pay any attention and now regret it. Today, I made this coriander coconut chutney to go with bread. Actually not, when I went to the weekly market I got this bunch of fresh coriander sprigs that just called me to it. And the price was awesome, so I picked 2 bunches and had already decided at least one bunch would get made into a chutney. This coriander coconut chutney is apt for a chutney sandwich - a little butter and chutney on bread.
When we were young, we would go on trips in a group with 3 other families and just prior to the trip the ladies would get together to plan the menu. Sandwiches were usually part of this menu and one of the aunties got this recipe from her friend who suggested using this for a chutney sandwich and also in cucumber and tomato sandwiches. This was the first time we had added peanuts to a chutney. The peanuts gives this coriander coconut chutney a nice buttery smooth texture that spreads like silk on bread. The original recipe called for raw peanuts and very little coconut but since it can be kept in the refrigerator I changed it to suit our tastes.
Coriander leaves - 1.5 cup packed
Coconut, grated - 1/2 cup
Peanuts - 1/4 cup
Green Chillies - 2
Tamarind - 1/4 tsp or Lemon juice - a dash
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste
The measurement of coriander given here is of cleaned leaves and very tender stems. Discard the hardenend stems. Roast the peanuts very lightly, then put in a cloth and rubit  to get the skin off. The tamarind used here is pulp.
Put all the ingredients together in a blender jar and grind to get a fine paste. If needed add 1 tablespoon of water not more, when grinding. Check the taste, you may want to adjust the sugar and tamarind or lime juice. This chutney should taste hot and salty with hints of sugar and tamarind coming through. The chutney can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I did heat this chutney on very low heat for a couple of minutes to keep it from spoiling and also as a reassurance that it is not completely raw. Especially, with all the talk of the dangers of eating raw vegetables, herbs, etc. it makes sense to cook / heat everything as much as possible.
After I made this chutney I realized there was no bread at home so I will have to wait till I get a pack from the store. Till then..... maybe I can have some with my afternoon's dal rice.
My Coriander Coconut Chutney with peanuts goes to
 - Taste of the Tropics - Cilantro/Culantro/Coriander hosted by eastwestrealm