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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Chutney Duo: Tamarind and Mint

It goes without saying that chutneys are an integral part of Indian cuisine and culture.  Go to any Indian restaurant and there will always be at least a trio of chutneys available for various dipping of appetizers or accompaniment of breads or meats.
I particularly enjoy chutneys with my samosas and pakoras.
The pakoras I chose to end 2013 with are made with Black-eyed peas.  The selection was perfect since black-eyed peas are the traditional American way of bringing luck and good fortune into a new year.
I love to fuse...
Here are two of the traditional chutneys to serve with these appetizers, which I chose as the start to 2014.  Twas a happy new year indeed.

Tamarind Chutney (left)
2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
2 cups water
1/4 cup jaggery (I used brown sugar)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds

Dry roast and grind the cumin and fennel seeds.
On the stove top, dilute the tamarind concentrate into the water with brown sugar, salt, and spices.
Bring to a boil, then simmer until the chutney reaches desired consistency.  I probably left it for a good hour on a very low simmer.  Stir every once in a while to check.

Mint Chutney (right)
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
10 sprigs cilantro
1/4 medium red onion
1 small tomato
2 cloves garlic
juice from 1 lime
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chat masala (I used tandoori masala + amchur)
1/2 tsp sugar

Blend everything together.

I personally prefer the mint chutney with samosas and tandoori things, but I prefer savory to sweet.  People in general (I've noticed) seem to prefer the tamarind chutney.

Needless to say, both were very much needed to accompany all this craziness…
I seriously cannot grip anything in my right hand.  My kneading-rolling-pinching muscles are sore all through my arm through to my triceps.
I think I'm going to be muscularly lopsided if I continue in this direction.
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