I have a sort of, kind of, garden. You can’t really call it a garden, as it is just a few potted plants on my deck. And most of them tend to die after a few months in my care. The one plant that has held on, occasionally taunting me with its near-death experience, is mint. Occasionally caterpillars come and eat it, but I trim it back, and it grows again.
I recently came upon a large quantity of cilantro, so I thought it was time to introduce my loyal mint plant to a new friend and make that magical green sauce that they serve in Indian restaurants. You know the one I mean? I’ve heard it called by many a name – green chutney, mint chutney, mint and coriander chutney, poppadum sauce. You name it. Green chutney is the one I chose to go with as this is such an intensely green sauce. The name is simple, but apt.
This is that spicy, thin sauce that you can have with your pakoras, your samosas, your poppadums, your naan, or just eat it with a spoon if you like. I love to have it with any and every Indian dish, honestly. And of course you don’t have to stick with the Indian theme. This sauce would be great stirred into mashed avocado for an exotic guacamole, or drizzled over rice or cous cous. It has an intense flavor that should not be underestimated. It is magnificent.
You can also stir it into yogurt to make a milder, creamy sauce. Personally I like this one dialed up all the way. So showcase your herbs, why don’t you?
Green Chutney (makes 1/2 cup)
- 3 cups (packed) cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 1 cup (packed) mint leaves
- 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper (seeds included; stem removed), coarsely chopped
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- water as needed
1. Place the cilantro and mint leaves in the bowl of a food processor. Process just until finely chopped.
2. Add the garlic, ginger, serrano or jalapeno, lemon juice, and salt. Process until a paste starts to form. You may need to stop it periodically and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add water as needed to thin out the paste to make it more of a sauce-y consistency (see photo above – I used no more than 1/4 cup of water total). Transfer to a bowl and serve as you like. Freeze or refrigerate the leftovers.