Let me tell it to you straight. I may come from Indian heritage, but I don’t really like green chutney, never have. I was always a nothing-but-imli chutney kind of gal — my sweet tooth always triumphs, even when it comes to Indian food. Maybe that’s why I’m such a huge fan of Gujarati food in general . . and chocolate and ice cream.
I generally found green chutney to be a bit too salty or too spicy, and generally nothing to write home about. And certainly nothing to replace my beloved imli chutney with. Until I ate THIS chutney. Oh. My. God.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. Ok, it was about two months ago – Christmastime – when my dear Aunt Marie brought over a few jars of green chutney to share with us. She also made some chutney sandwiches to boot. How could I know that crustless thin white bread and a simple bright green spread could bring me so much joy. But once I had some, I HAD to have more.
But alas, after Christmas, I flew back to my new home in Kansas City, with nothing but my clothes, the kids’ holiday gifts, and chutney-ridden dreams.
Let me tell you something – I’ll get political here as I do. Immigrants matter and contribute to the United States culture so you obviously know where I stand. But did you also know that a certain aunt of mine who happened to immigrate here years ago makes the most amazing chutney you’ve ever had!?? Now you can find out because I am sharing her recipe with you, just to spread joy and good taste across the globe. Let me introduce to you: the Greatest Green Chutney Ever.
Make it. Relish it (HA!). Because life’s too short not to experience this.
A warning: This recipe has not been tested multiple times (like my beloved Cooks Illustrated recipes) and it is improvisational. So I am sure that depending on the ratios you use and the freshness of your ingredients, it could range from amazing to less than magical. But hey, it takes 5 minutes to make so if you have a problem, tweak the ingredients, work that blender magic, and check if you like your concoction any better. At least you won’t have to wash any measuring cups or spoons in the process. Once I make this a few times I hope to have a more exact recipe, but I had so many Facebook requests already from friends who want to make this themselves that we accelerated production a bit with this recipe. So here goes nothing.
First – a few notes on ingredients. Make sure to trim the bottom of the cilantro and dunk it in a few changes of cold water to make sure it is completely clean and free of dirt. Don’t just use the leaves — Keep the stems — there is LOTS of flavor in the stems! As far as the chillis go, I highly recommend long thin chillis because they aren’t too spicy but are very flavorful.
If you can’t use raisins, dates are also acceptable. I am indicating raisins here because that is how I made this chutney. If your raisins or dates are dry or older, soak them before using as it’ll take a little work for the blender to grind them adequately. As far as yogurt goes, I used whole milk yogurt since that is what I had around and it gave great flavor but Marie Auntie uses Greek yogurt and hers turns out awesome.
Notes on equipment. I recommend a Vitamix with the smallest blending container or BlendTec if you’ve got it. More powerful blenders will get you a better, more uniform chutney. A smaller blender will also help it mix well so maybe a “magic bullet” would also work? When adding ingredients in any high speed blender, it’s best to put the liquids on the bottom and put more solids on top – the liquids will give you a medium to mix and will help the prevent the blender from stopping/overheating/getting clogged. Agitate as needed and scrape sides as needed while blending.
If it isn’t quite right – you can tweak this recipe as you need to. I used juice of a full lime so I needed to add some more cilantro and yogurt to cut the tart and help balance out the flavors.
RECIPE for the Greatest Green Chutney EVER
By my awesome Auntie
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 long green chilli, stem and seeds removed
Half a handful of golden raisins (sultanas)
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 a lime (or more to taste)
handful of almonds or a handful of almond flour (I used almond flour)
whole milk yogurt – 1-2 large spoonfuls to help with grinding.
- Fill Ingredients in blender. Add liquid ingredients first, then put dry ingredients on top.
- Pulse a few times, increase blender speed as necessary. You may notice the blender making a little noise from the raisins getting chopped up; stop to agitate/scrape sides as needed until you get a good smooth blend.
- Taste it – adjust ingredients as necessary and mix again.
Eat it on anything. Eat with a rotisserie chicken, spread on thin plain white bread and cut the crusts and cut it into cute little triangles (like Indians do), or just eat it by the spoonful. If I get permission I’ll post the awesome Pakora Recipe from my friend Sheetal which is also an UH-MAY-ZING dish that goes very well with this chutney!
Before long you may be out of chutney.
Do not despair. One day you will find more cilantro. You can make more.