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Cilantro, mint make a versatile condiment in Indian cooking

Cilantro and mint chutney has a bright and herbaceous tang that works well with appetizers as well as grilled meats.
Cilantro and mint chutney has a bright and herbaceous tang that works well with appetizers as well as grilled meats. Special to The Star

Cilantro and mint chutney is a wonderfully versatile condiment. It can be eaten alongside appetizers like samosas and papadum, and its bright, herbaceous tang holds its own as an accompaniment to main courses like grilled meats as well.

Family recipes are often as closely guarded as heirlooms, but in the name of cultural education, it is my pleasure to share a couple versions with you below. The first is from my family’s cook Murari, who has been with my parents for more than 40 years. The second is from a local friend who substitutes green apples, preferably Granny Smith, for the more traditional raw mango.

Both are easy to make, and freeze well. Enjoy.

Cilantro and Mint Chutney (Also known as Green Chutney)

Make about 1 1/2 to 2 cups

1 1/2 cups cilantro, chopped

2 cups mint, chopped

1/2 small onion, choppped (about 1 cup)

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tablespoon vinegar

1/2 jalapeño or 1 green chili

3/4 teaspoons sugar

Salt to taste

Grind all of the above together in a blender to a fine paste.

Shelf life: 4 to 6 weeks refrigerated and up to 1 year frozen.

Cilantro or Mint Chutney

3 cups chopped cilantro or mint

1 cup chopped onion

5 cloves of garlic

2 peeled, cored, and chopped green apples

1 green chili

3/4 tsp sugar

1/3-1/2 cup olive oil

Salt to taste

Grind all of the above together in a blender to a fine paste.

Shelf life: 4 to 6 weeks refrigerated and up to 1 year frozen.

Jyoti Mukharji teaches Indian cooking classes in her Prairie Village home. In the past five years, more than 1,900 aspiring Indian chefs have come through her kitchen.

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