Isha teaches Hosh a simple, cheap recipe that not only looks & tastes restaurant style, but can also be easily modified.
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“Coriander coconut chutney,” Isha was saying as Hosh listened attentively, “is a combination chutney. Coriander chili chutneys are used more with North Indian spicy or deep fried preparations like samosa, pakora, Aloo bonda etc. because they flavor and flare up the spice."
"Coconut chutneys have traditionally been used to cool you down, and they go very well with South Indian cuisine like idli, dosa, vada, upma etc. They are also great at countering the heat from spices, and generally very good for you.”
“Other very popular chutneys are those made with mint or mango. Chutneys are sides, so you can easily modify the quantities and preparation methods to suit."
"We’ll make Coriander coconut chutney today with the chili, as I have Somalian guests arriving. Our European guests find the chili too hot for their liking, so I leave out the chili when I am preparing this side dish for them.”
She gave him the Ingredients List as usual to file in his Recipes Folder, but had already assembled everything to save his time.
- 2 cups fresh coriander leaves
- 60gm fresh shredded/desiccated coconut
- 1 fresh small green chili
- ½ teaspoon rock salt/salt (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoon water
“How many people will it serve Ma, and how long will it take to make?” asked Hosh.
“This will be good to serve 8-10 people,” she replied. “I am teaching you a quick 2-3 minute recipe that will still turn out to look and taste restaurant style.”
Hosh put the fresh coriander leaves in a measuring cup, pressing gently. Since they were using fresh coconut, Isha asked him to peel the brown skin off from its back first because it is hard and shouldn’t go in the chutney. They put all the ingredients in a mini wizz (or food processor), and blended until smooth.
“It’s done now, but you don’t always have to blend it until smooth,” said Isha. “You can leave it coarse if you prefer it that way. Now store it in an airtight plastic or glass container. Lemon and salt are natural preservatives, so it will keep for 2-3 days. However, storing it in a fridge will help maintain its freshness and flavor for longer and you can use it for up to a week then.”
Hosh tasted it. The chutney had a raw taste of coriander.
“If you don’t like the raw taste of coriander,” said Isha, “you can fry the coriander leaves in a little oil first, before grinding them with coconut. Didn’t you like the taste?”
“I absolutely love it Ma,” said Hosh, “but if all its variations are so quick to make, I’d love to learn at least one more version that tastes or looks a bit different.”
“Sure,” promised Isha. “Will do next week when I’m cooking for our South Indian friends. Meanwhile, watch this YouTube video for another version.”
Their Somalian guests loved the well-presented chutney that was served with corn chips, potato chips, fries, pakoras and fish fritters as starters that night. They liked it so much that Isha served it again in mains with pita bread. With good food and good friends, their evening was fun as usual.
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