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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Chutneys My Family Enjoy Around The Globe

When I go to my home in Tenerife to spend some time with my family, my brother always makes a big bottle of chutney for me before my arrival. One thing good about chutney is that it tastes better when it matures. It can be kept for days and can even be enjoyed with just a slice of bread.

In Spain, food is bland (according to our Indian standard). My family also eat bland food (they feel that we spoil the original taste of food by adding chilies in the food) But I can never enjoy Indian food without chilies. Not that Spain don’t have interesting chutneys (Mojos- as they are called in Spanish) they have great variety of Mojos.

Chutney (as it is called in India) have different names in different countries like Sambal, Salsa, atchara, Mojo or Sauces.

My cousin, Paddhu Lalwani, who lives in Barcelona sent me the recipes of some famous mojos.. There is Romesco, Ali-oil and tomato mojo that you eat with bread.

To make Romesco,
·       Roast in the oven 1/2cup almonds, 5-6 cloves of garlic, one inch bread slice and one tomato.
·       After roasting, we must de-skin the tomatoes and crush the garlic.
·       Meanwhile we have to roast 2 medium sized red capsicum on an open flame till they are charred.
·       Peel off the charred skin and put in the mixer with roasted ingredients.
·       Add vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper (according to your taste).
·       Mix it to a smooth paste.
·       Can keep upto 5days.

 All my cousins around the Globe (specially in Asia) enjoy the spicy food and a chutney is the must-have accompaniment. For this #ChutneyDay celebration, I got in touch with my family members around the world and spoke to them about chutneys and sauces that they enjoy on the other side of the globe. It was interesting to learn about the different types of chutneys that is enjoyed all over the world.

For some years I have lived in Surinam, and really relished the local cuisine but that was long time ago. I still remember the mango chutney that they would serve at the parties. It had the pungent flavor. I asked my cousin Rakhee Khiani, from Surinam,(who still lives there) to share the recipe of local Bilimbi chutney that I used to enjoy. (This chutney is served at every wedding lunch) Birambi are like amla (goose berries) but this chutney is made from long green ones.

Bilimbi is cooked in a pan with little raw mangoes, garlic and masalas like turmeric, cumin seed powder, coriander powder, fenugreek powder and mustard powder. (Nowadays the masalas are sold in packets), the mixture is cooked till the water dries up. Then they are mashed and stored in bottles.

I asked my niece, Gina Balani, from Curacao, about the favorite chutney that the local enjoy in her city. She spoke about Salsa Rosada that she enjoys the most which is simply a mixture of mayonaise and ketchup. Lime juice, salt, ground pepper and tobasco are added.

This tastes good with fries, chicken, and specially sea food. It is extremely popular in Columbia and South America. It is also available in bottles and she said that it tastes delicious. I have asked her to get me that salsa when she next visits me.

Talking of sea food. I was zapped when my niece, Rinku Chugani, from Phillipines sent me this pictures of fish called Bangus or milkfish with Calamansi flavored soya sauce  (Calamansi are very small green, round limes, like lemon but sweeter than lime.

In her city of Manila, people enjoy eating Atchara with grilled or barbacued chicken/pork/fish. Atchara is a vinegered unripe papaya, served similarly to Indian achaar. It is sweet and sour (not spicy). Also filipinos like ‘Bagoong’ a shrimp paste eaten with sour mango that tops the greens in the picture.

When my sista, Gitoo Shafizada, send me the picture of this Peppe chutney from Lagos, I was drooling. It looks so tempting. 

This African Peppe Chutney has a peculiar taste of scotch bullet,  which is one of the strongest chilies. Grind scotch bonnet chillies, garlic and fry in palm oil. Add little salt. Some put tomatoes to reduce the heat of the chillies. This is a versatile chutney that can be used as a condiment, dip or appetiser component.

I spoke to my Sister-in-law, Preeti Mirpuri, from Bangkok and she immediately went to her kitchen to make her favorite sauce and sent me the picture

She took a small bowl of soya sauce, added chopped garlic, green chilies, red chili powder, lime juice and sugar. (for non-veg version, she adds fish-sauce) This sauce tastes very good with stir fries. She simply pours this sauce on hot rice and enjoy just that. “It gives good flavour” she said.

Flavour is what one likes and chutney normally enhance their taste with garlic and chilies. I asked my niece, Kanchan Shadadpuri, from Dubai, if she knew of any emirati chutney. In restaurants in Dubai, they normally serve cheese rolls with sweet and tart mango chutney. But she didn’t get time to click a picture for me. She was holidaying in Singapore and send me the picture of Sambal ranggup that she bought for herself.

This sambal contains soy oil, chili, shrimp, garlic, anchovy, sugar and salt. Its ready to serve. You can just add to rice or noodles and serve with egg, cucumber, tomato, etc. It is product of malaysia,

There is a food stall just opposite my aunt’s house in Loas. They sell Klao niaw (sticky rice), Loas’ most famous dish. Loa consumes more Klao niaw than any other country and it is eaten with practically all Laotian dishes. My cousin, Pooja Mohinani, sent me this picture(clicked by her sis-in-law) of the street food sold  there.

picture courtesy: Sonam Wadhwani

I was most interested in the Garlic Chutney they sell. I had loved it when I had visited her. It is simple - made from roasted garlic, red chilies,  and tomatoes. No salt is added to it, they use soya sauce and ajinomoto. Typical accompaniment to foods in Laos is fresh mint, spring onions, lime, garlic and chilis.

Rushina asked me if I could share any traditional chutney recipe. I love making chutneys and most of the time, the recipe is hardly repeated. I have shared my recipes on my blog several times. 

You may check my post on Red Chutney On my Plate 

In my book ‘Sindhi Cuisine’ I have recipe of Mint Chutney that is normally found in every Sindhi homes. We have it with deep fried snacks like patties and samosas, or simply have it as Chutney sandwich.

here is the recipe..

·       The recipe is on page 105 of my book on Sindhi Cuisine. 
·       Mix together 1cup chopped fresh mint. 1 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves, 8 cloves garlic cloves, 8 green chilies, 1tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt.
·       Grind them to a smooth paste.
·       Transfer it into the bowl and add 2 tbsps of tamarind pulp.
·       Store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
·       The taste improves with age.

It has been raining heavily since last two days and I am like stuck at home. My neighbors were bored too and waited for my invitation to come to my house. One friend fried potatoes and brinjal bhajiya.

Come over” I said, “bring your bhajjiya, I have mint chutney at home

So while we watched the rain from my long french windows, we munched on bhajiyas and chai…rains and bhayiya always go together and with my spicy chutney, my evening was wonderful.

This post was written to celebrate #ChutneyDay. I am with Sheila Raheja Institute of Hotel management – SRIHM and I #PledgeA Recipe for #ChutneyDay with RushinaMG on 24th Sept.

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