Shhhh….. I am going to share a secret that my gujju friend had guarded from us for almost 10 years! I have shared a recipe for green chutney before and I love that recipe but I could never get the smooth consistency that my friend’s chutney had! When asked, he would just reply “I add a secret ingredient”! And finally after years of asking and asking he shared it! One fine day I opened my mailbox and there it was – “Thakkar’s Green Chutney (With the secret ingredient)
It was quite a surprise – the secret ingredient. I made the chutney for a recent dinner and I was boasting to my guest (who also happens to be a Gujarati) that it has a secret ingredient. When I told it was gathiya, she quite matter-of-factly told me they add it all the time to their chutney!. So I figured it is a well guarded Gujarati food secret.
Coriander and mint green chutney is a staple in most Indian kitchens and every household has a different recipe for it. I love this recipe because the gathiya makes it the smoothest green chutney ever. Not just as a dip, it is a lot more easier to spread and also to lick as is.
Green Chuntey (with a secret ingredient)
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Preparation time: |Cooking time: |Serves: 4 (makes about 250ml chutney)
2 cups fresh coriander, chopped (I take the coriander stalk as well)
1/2 cups fresh mint, chopped
1 cup secret ingredient (gathiya/plain bhujia)
2 green chillies, chopped
1 medium sized tomato, chopped (use raw mango if they are in season)
Juice of 2 limes
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
a little water to process the whole chutney
- In a mixer, add the chopped coriander and mint leaves. Process until smooth. Add water if required.
- Add all the spices, green chilli, tomato and ginger. Process again.
- Add the gathiya, little by little, and process.
- Add lemon juice and just blend for a few seconds.
- Ta-da! its ready 🙂 taste, adjust seasoning if required, bottle it, serve it, dip in your favourite snack into it, spread a little on that sandwich or add it to your regular recipe for a twist!
Here are some additional tips from my friend:
- Imp: Add lemon juice at end for best tang otherwise the heat from grinding the gathiya will make it less tangy.
- You can control the density by controlling water. If I am going on a Trip/picnic, I add less water during prep, so its easy to carry, and then add and whisk when I reach the venue.
- You can control the spicy-ness by balancing the chillies and the gathiya to your taste.
- Can be stored up to 5 days in fridge, in a sealed container. Unsealed, the top layer will oxidize and turn dark green- just remove that layer with a spoon.
May I suggest another “secret” I learnt from professional chefs re: pesto? This will prevent the oxidation of the pigments found in fresh green herbs. Please try and report back on how it works for you. You will need an ice bath, a bowl of water with ice cubes to quickly bring down the temperature, and a wide pan of water of significant volume brought to the boil. A good pair of tongs makes the work go smoothly. Wash the green herbs well, then dip them thoroughly in the boiling water to just blanch, for a few seconds only. Make sure all the leaves get touched by the heat. Remove quickly and plunge into the ice bath. Thoroughly cool. Drain well. Squeeze dry gently with your fist.
You should put these herbs, ginger, chilies, etc. in a food processor or a large granite mortar and pestle and quickly reduce them to a coarse paste, with some sea salt. If you want a finer paste, you can add this to a blender, reducing the time spent in this machine.
You can start with coarse salt + ginger in the mortar, then chilies, then green mango or tomato, using the techniques followed by the Som Tam makers, using a large serving ladle to scoop up the lowest portion and keep the contents mixed with one hand while using the pestle. Even the gathiya is well-incorporated thus. The best pesto is made this way and never in a blender.
Thanks for sharing your little secret of making the perfect pesto! 🙂 I am sure even chutneys will turn out best, as you say, in a mortar. Just like how our grandmother’s used to make but alas the modern technology has taken over my kitchen and I do not possess the huge mortar and pestle, the kinds that can grind this amount of chutney. I remember how my granny used to hand press all ingredients in the huge mortar we had in my childhood home.. 🙂
Thanks so much!
appears tempting , need to try .
Thanks for sharing along with tips.
Thanks Sahu! Do let me know when you try.