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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Food Accessory – The Chutney

During my travels abroad, I have noticed that many restaurants serve bread and bread sticks with butter before you can place your order, but every restaurant you go to in India, every table is always laden with assortment of pickles and chutneys, all free of charge.

Chutneys are the favorite dish for every Indian. The other day, I was walking on the Linking road and one old lady approached me. She used to be my Mom’s friend and was regular at my home when I was younger. In between our conversation, she suddenly wanted to know the recipe of the chutney I had made some twenty years ago. I was aghast! How am I supposed to remember what chutney she had at my place so long ago? I didn’t want to be rude so I casually asked her what chutney was she talking about and she told me the recipe of chutney that I had completely forgotten. She started to praise my method of cooking and said that she was following that same recipe ever since then and was asking me if I still make it the same way. I was impressed because she has named her chutney as ‘Pushee’s chutney’ hahaahaa!
Well, over the years, there has been a drastic change in my cooking styles and my taste, I have discovered many more different ways to make chutney and each time it’s different. Chutneys are my specialty. Most of them are created on the spot with whatever is at hand. The problem is when people ask me the recipes of those that I have created, I truly don’t remember and cannot even repeat the same taste but they think I am acting tough and that I don’t wish to share.

If we know the taste of every ingredient it is easy to create one.  This morning I made one too. Before I forget maybe I should write it down.
Grind the following ingredients:
100grams green chilies,
1 medium size capsicum,
50grams garlic,
10grams ginger,
1 tablespoon chopped onions,
Add 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon basil leaves, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon garlic-ginger powder.
Heat one cup of mustard oil to its boiling point and pour on the mixture. Eat after two days.


When in Spain, I used to regularly make Guacamole, an avocado dip which I used to relish in sandwiches. The recipe is not exactly the same the way that Mexicans make it, it has been a bit altered and suited to my taste, but whenever I make it, it is always enjoyed by my guests. I have shared this recipe with so many friends and family that I have now memorized it to make it taste the same way each time I make it.
For making this dip, I use ripe avocado (that has black wrinkled skin, I have tried with green avocado in India, but it comes out quite bitter)
Grind together one avocado, 4 tablespoon of coriander leaves, 6 green chilies, 1 tablespoon of garlic, 1 teaspoon lime juice and salt to taste.
Pour the warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix.
Not sure if chutneys are good for health or not, but I usually eat it when the food is bland. When I am travelling I normally carry a tiny bottle of chutney in my purse, just in case……..

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