Chutneys are one of the most sumptuous, deeply flavoured delights of Indian cuisine. These three fresh-tasting, quick chutneys (similar to salsas in Latin American cooking) are best made close to the time you wish to serve them, so that they keep their colour and flavour. The Coconut Chutney plus Masala Dosa combination is a traditional South Indian dish, and is one of Stella’s most familiar tastes of home.
1 cup freshly grated coconut, or frozen grated coconut (available in Asian groceries and many specialty stores), partially thawed
2 green cayenne chiles, roughly chopped
1 tablespoom water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon urad dal (optional)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
6 fresh or frozen curry leaves
Put coconut, chiles, salt, water, and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Grind until the mixture just begins to puree.
Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dal and curry leaves. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes until the dal is golden. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes. Pour the spices and oil into food processor with the coconut mixture and briefly pulse to mix all of the ingredients. Place in clean bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Coriander Mint Chutney
1 cup coriander leaves and fine stems
1 cup mint leaves (picked from stems)
1 green cayenne chile, seeded and chopped
1 ½-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon sugar
Large pinch salt, or to taste
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and puree. Pour chutney into a clean bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons urad dal (optional)
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 large or 2 small red cayenne chiles, seeded and chopped
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
6 plum tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat.
Add the urad dal, mustard seeds and chiles. Cook for a couple of minutes until the dal is golden. Add the turmeric, tomatoes, garlic, and salt. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 15 minutes.
Place in a food processor (or blender) and pulse a few times, to a coarse puree. Serve cool or at room temperature.