Even though it contains some chile, this easy chutney (made in a blender) is a cooling accompaniment to anything spicy. Chef Suvir Saran of New York's Devi Restaurant likes to serve the chutney with cheelas (chickpea-flour crêpes) or dosas (lentil-flour crêpes). "But my partner, Charlie, likes it with almost anything," says Saran, including scrambled eggs with cilantro and chiles. The recipe calls for a pinch of asafetida, a plant resin which adds a distinctive depth of flavor; if you can't find it, the chutney is also delicious without it.
Delicious, Quick Side Dishes
1 cup fresh or dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk
One 1-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons mint leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon asafetida (see Note)
15 fresh curry leaves
1 dried red chile, seeded and crumbled
How to Make It
In a blender, combine the coconut, yogurt, milk, ginger, shallot, jalapeño, cilantro and mint and blend to a paste, stirring a few times.
In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the mustard seeds and cook over moderately high heat until they pop, about 1 minute. Add the cumin, peppercorns, asafetida, curry leaves and dried chile and cook until the curry leaves are crisp, about 30 seconds. Scrape the mixture into the blender and puree until smooth. Season the chutney with salt and serve.
The chutney can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Serve at room temperature.
Asafetida, the resin of a fennel-like plant, has an intense onion-garlic flavor. It is sold in powdered or lump form at Indian markets.
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