Monday, May 19, 2008

Pudina/Mint chutney

Dear Foodies,

Pudina chutney

After my tryst with mint in the lovely risotto, I thought it was time I gave mint another chance. I do stock some mint in my freezer but rarely use it. Last Friday, I went grocery shopping and saw a nice fresh bunch of mint for $2. The first thing that came to my mind was the chutney my mom makes with fresh pudina. My father enjoys it mixed with plain rice, but that was too strong for me and I liked it the best as a spread in the sandwiches he makes. He made these lovely sandwiches, which had the pudina chutney spread on buttered milk bread (not toasted) and layered with cool cucumber and tomato slices. No sandwich can ever compete with the simplicity of this one.

Have you guys tried the Mediterranean veggie sandwich at Panera bread ? It tastes soo close to this sandwich and is my fav for the very same reason.

So as soon as I came home, I called my mom to ask for her recipe and made the pudina chutney. The chutney takes a little over 10 mins to make but I spent a good 15 mins washing the leaves itself. I got the mint at an organic store and there were tiny insects behind the bigger leaves...eeks, that totally scared me and I filled up the whole sink with water, let the leaves float in it for a while, and individually scrubbed each leaf! Thank God the bunch was not as big as the ones we got in Hyd :))

Pudina Chutney 2

Ingredients:
  • a bunch of pudina/mint - approx 2 loose cups
  • 2 tsp - Oil
  • 1 tsp - Urad dal
  • 1 tsp - Channa dal
  • 2 nos - dry, Red chillies (adjust to taste)
  • tamarind, the size of a 25cent/50paise coin or ~1/2 tsp if using extract
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp - water
Method:
  • Wash the mint leaves and drain them on a kitchen towel. Heat a pan with oil, once hot add the dals. ( I use the broken urad dal, and so add it a little after the channa dal, else it burns)
  • Once the dals turn a little golden, reduce the heat and add the tamarind and red chillies. Once the chillies change color, transfer all the ingredients to the grinder.
  • To the same pan (with oil) add the mint leaves and saute for 2-3mins till they wilt. Transfer to the blender and grind to a coarse texture adding water as required. Don't overdo the water or the chutney will not hold together. (I have a tiny food processor, so I first used my spice grinder to coarsely powder the dals and then transfered them to the food processor with the pudina). Add salt to taste.
Thats it, you have a versatile dish in your hands now. Mix the chutney with hot plain rice along with a tiny dollop of ghee or drizzle of oil, spread it on your bread for a flavorful sandwich, add to a cup of thick yoghurt and use as a dip for chapathi's & dosa or even veggies/chips , use it in chat recipes like bhel puri, sev puri, pani puri...ohh, the list is endless.

After publishing this post I saw the chutney in the fridge and made an instant bhel with what I had at home. I mixed murmura/puffed rice with chopped onions, diluted chutney, hot n sweet ketchup, a few dashes of tobasco and mango pickle masala. Topped with some Namkeen mix and a quick snack was ready. In an ideal situation I would've added diced tomatoes, cucumber and peanuts with lots of cilantro.

To me the slight tang from the tamarind and the crunchy dals were a perfect balance for the strong mint flavor. You can also use all cilantro/coriander leaves or a mix of cilantro & mint for this recipe. Do you have a another version of this chutney you love ?

18 thoughts:

Kalai said...

Nice recipe for pudhina chutney, Priya! You are right abt it being so versatile, too. I really love the spoon you've served it on!! :)

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Hi Priya...
This is my fav. Looks so good. Love to try ur version. Beautiful pics...

DK said...

I use Pudina chutney with my sandwich and Bhel too. The mint adds such a distinctive taste to the dish.:) Cool Post

Shubha Ravikoti said...

The recipe... looks good...

Srivalli said...

priya..that spoon looks lovely..nice pictures

Arundathi said...

love that spoon!

bhags said...

i never had mint chutney until Mr kanth made me eat it with dosas.....the spooned chutney looks very inviting

Cham said...

I love to eat with hot rice, make the same way... Got to try in bhel now...

Priya said...


Kalai, I bought the spoon at a store called World Market, nearly everything in my apt is from that place!

Sukanya, you did not give me your version :(

Dhivya, the mint is surely refreshing.

Shubha, Welcome! I off to your blog now...

Srivalli, Thank you :), I have a couple more spoons to flaunt :)) I get just 1 or 2 pieces of cutlery when I like them and try keeping a straight face at the counter while the person is wondering why I bought single spoons or forks :))

Arundathi, me too :)

Bhags, try having it with a little yogurt or even some pulusu/kuzhumbu mixed with the chutney, makes it even more yummier. I must be crazy right ??

Cham, chutney with rice is one of the best combos, but do try it in your chat.

bee said...

you wash stuff? you waste water? **sigh**

Priya said...


hahaha, but don't worry the water went to my 3 lil pots in the balcony and for the dishes :))
But hey, you shud have seen those insects :( They must have had a really bad breath going by the way they clung to the mint leaves! tch tch tch
And guess what, I looked at the label on a bottle of milk from a local farm and even they had palmitate...

Sangeeth said...

i luv mint chutney...i too prepare t he same way as u do....very nice recipe :)

madteaparty said...

Not just the spoon, the chutney in it looks great. Love the bokeh on the spoon pic - pretty circles!

Jans said...

I always like an Indian spicy chutney even on my burgers :))
Nice one Priya....

Rajitha said...

yep! i have had the mediterranean veggie in panera..but i order it on a focaccia..how yummy.....i think i have not been there for months (sob)

Priya said...


Anita, thank you for looking past the spoon :D You know, the ONLY reason that second pic is there is because of the bokeh, I loved the way the circle lines up on the spoon.

Jans, Welcome! I too prefer chutney to butter & mustard ANY day, no second guesses there.

Rajitha, I did not know you could do that! I am going to ask for it the next time I go there, but I do like the sweet taste of the crust on the bread that the sandwich comes in. I've not gone there in a while too :( I also miss my 'jalapeno bagel with 'jalapeno cream cheese with lettuce, roasted red peppers and cucumber' at Brueggers too :( Its a mouthful to say and also a mouthful to enjoy :D and ya... not to forget the look you get for the jalapeno combo :))

padma said...

too good ya..yummy..mouth waterimg

Unknown said...

This came out really well. I was out of tamarind so I used a whole lime juice and the taste was just perfect. Thank you!

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