Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chutneys - Part 1

This is one dish that we can not do without . Whether it is breakfast or tea, lunch or dinner, chutneys have become an inseparable part of our daily meals. It is usually served as an accompaniment with the main dish. However, there are chutney buffs who are never tired of indulging in a chutney and rice as a routine. My great grand mother who lived up to the age of ninety six was very particular to have one variety of chutney every day. It was a treat for her sharp taste buds, and she could enjoy it with softly cooked steaming hot rice without having to worry about her missing dentures! Rajamma was her attendant. It was amusing to watch the short and stout lady and the big fat grinding stone (kuzavi) roll all over the stone slab (ammi) in an effort to a grind smooth chutney! 

As the culinary expertise is growing with the interaction of people from various cultures, lots of new recipes for this dish are evolving.  There are two parts. This part deals with the chutney variations that can be served with steamed white rice, along with a spoon of ghee or sesame oil; Part 2 will be posted soon, and has the variations that are served with snacks, idlis, dosas, sandwiches and so on. Here are a few basic chutney recipes.

Fresh coconut gratings – 2 cups
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Split black gram dal – 2 tsps
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 4
Tamarind – size of a small marble
Salt - ½ tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tsp
1 .Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida and mustard seeds.
2. When the mustard splutters add black gram dal and roast till golden in colour.
3. Add red chillies and roast till they are crisp.
4. Grind the seasoning coarsely with salt and tamarind, and 1 tbsp of the fresh coconut gratings.
5. Add the remaining coconut gratings and run the mixer for a few seconds only to blend with all other ingredients.
6. Scoop out the coarse chutney into a dish and blend once again with a spoon.
7. Serve with plain hot rice. 


Tuvar (Red gram) dal - 1 cup
Bengal gram dal -1 tbsp
Black pepper – 10 corns
Red chilly – 1
Freshly grated coconut – 1 tbsp (Optional)
Salt – ½ tsp
Fresh garlic – 2 or 3 pearls
Oil – ¼ tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Add asafoetida, pepper corns and peeled garlic pearls.
3. Add red chilly, and both dals and roast till you get a pleasant aroma.
4. Dry grind the roasted ingredients and then add the coconut gratings and salt.
5. Add 1 cup of water and now wet grind the ingredients into smooth chutney.

This chutney can be relished with steaming hot rice. Chutney-rice tastes good when mixed with ¼ tsp of ghee or sesame oil. The best accompaniment along with paruppu chutney is roasted papad, and vattal kozambu tangy tamarind gravy with salted sun dried vegetables) or milagu kozambu (a spicy gravy with black pepper corns and tamarind juice). I will be posting these recipes soon. 

Fresh mint leaves – 1 big bunch
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Bengal gram dal – 2 tbps
Black gram dal – 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red chillies – 4
Tamarind – enough to roll into the size of a small marble.
Salt - 1 to 2 tsps
Oil – 2 tsps
1. Clean mints leaves and keep aside.
2. Heat oil and add asafoetida and mustard seeds.
3. Add the dals and roast till golden in colour
4. Add red chillies and fry till crisp.
5. Add the cleaned mint leaves and sauté till the leaves wilt.
6. Grind all the above ingredients with tamarind, salt and a little water.
7. The texture must be slightly coarse and thick.


Big and smooth egg plant – 1
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Black gram dal – 2 tsps
Tamarind – enough to roll into the size of a small marble
Dried red chillies - 3
Salt – 1 tsp
Oil – 4 tsps
Tip: Since the egg plant is cooked whole without cutting, make sure you examine the egg-plant that you choose. They should not have any holes on the surface. These indicate that there are worms inside the vegetable!
1. Wash and wipe eggplant thoroughly.
2. Rub 2 spoons of cooking oil all over the vegetable.
3. Roast it on an open flame or grill until the outer skin cracks.
4. Allow the vegetable to cool, and then peel off the scalded skin.
5. Slightly mash the cooked vegetable with a spoon or a fork.
6. Heat the remaining oil and add the asafoetida and mustard seeds.
7. Add the black gram dal and roast to a golden colour.
8. Add red chillies and fry till crisp.
9. Grind all the seasoning coarsely with tamarind and salt.
10. Finally add the prepared egg plant and run the mixer to blend.
Tip: Cooking eggplant in the above manner provides a delicious smoky, charred flavor. If however, you dot not relish this flavor, simply cut the egg plant into pieces and sauté in little oil, before grinding.


Ripe tomatoes – 4
Peanuts – 4 tbsps
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Black gram dal – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Red chillies – 5
Salt – 11/2 tsps
Sugar – ½ tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Tamarind –a little (Optional)
1. Wash and cut tomatoes
2. Heat oil and add asafoetida and mustard seeds.
3. When it splutters add black gram dal and roast till golden in colour.
4. Add peanuts and roast till they crackle.
5. Add red chillies and let them become crisp.
6. Lastly add the cut tomato pieces and stir well.
7. Cover and cook on slow fire for 2 minutes or until the tomatoes soften.
8. Remove from heat and cool.
9. Grind all ingredients with salt and sugar to smooth or coarse chutney as required.

I like to call this the ‘joker chutney’ as it goes well with any and every dish. Onion pieces can also be added with the tomatoes, for a different flavour.

2 Post your Comments:

Drew @ Cook Like Your Grandmother said...

I love that grinding stone. I know there's no way I'd use it enough to make it worth the cost, much less even finding a place to keep it. But it would be so great to be working that thing as guests show up, just to see the look on their faces.

Found your blog from Leftover Queen.

Sumy said...

I love the way you presented the recipes and the description of the women involved in cooking is lovely.