Chutneys and bhajis

Curry leaves Chutney Powder

Curry leaves, abundant in iron, are an indispensable element in South Indian cuisine. They infuse dishes with their unique flavor and contribute to the region’s culinary identity. But did you know that these humble leaves also offer a wealth of health benefits, particularly in their iron content?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the rich world of curry leaves and unveil a delightful recipe for curry leaves chutney powder. This versatile condiment can elevate your meals, serving as a delectable dipping chutney for rotis and idlis or as an exquisite flavor enhancer for your rice dishes.

The Nutritional Powerhouse: Curry Leaves

Curry leaves, scientifically known as Murraya koenigii, are more than just a flavor enhancer. They are teeming with iron, making them a nutritional powerhouse. Iron is a vital mineral that plays a crucial role in transporting oxygen throughout the body, supporting energy levels, and maintaining overall health. Incorporating iron-rich ingredients like curry leaves into your diet can help combat fatigue and boost your vitality.

In my hometown, curry leaves flourish abundantly in our backyard garden. Until I left for college, I didn’t fully appreciate their true worth. These days, a small pack of curry leaves comes with a hefty price tag, so I handle them with utmost care. Recently a friend shared a big batch of them, so I made this chutney. We have been consuming it with everything!.

Ingredients:
2 cups washed and dried curry leaves
1 cup dry coconut
1 tbl spn chana dal
1 tbl spn urad dal
1 tea spn cumin seeds
A pinch asafoetida(optional)
7-8 red chillies
A small piece tamarind
Oil
Salt

Method:
Wash the curry leaves and spread them on a dry towel to air dry completely.
Heat a little oil and fry the curry leaves, on a low flame, until they turn crispy.
Remove the leaves and in same pan, add little more oil.
Fry chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds and roast till they are brownish.
Then add coconut, asafoetida(if using), tamarind and fry for sometime.
Add salt.
Once cooled to room temperature, grind to a powder.
Store in air tight container.

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Spicy Tomato-Coconut Chutney

Spicy Tomato-Coconut Chutney
Spicy Tomato-Coconut Chutney


I prepared this Spicy Tomato-Coconut Chutney a few days ago for dosas and we absolutely loved it. We had a lot of green (unripe) tomatoes in my freezer from last summer grown in our vegetable garden. Well, that means I need to find new and creative ways to turn them in to food. I decided to make a Tomato-Coconut chutney taking inspiration from some other chutneys I make like coconut-onion chutney, garlic chutney, tomato chutney.

Usually I make green tomato pickle from these unripe tomatoes. This time I had a huge stock of them and also had a lot of other pickles in fridge, so decided to just freeze them to use in different recipes.

Now about the coriander stems I used in this Spicy Tomato-Coriander Chutney – I usually take out the coriander leaves for garnish but leave the stems in fridge. Then I add those stems to chutney or pulavs. They provide thickness and flavor without overpowering the dish.

You can use red or green tomatoes to your liking. I have tried both and turn out great.


Check out a short video of this on my instagram –

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Tamarind – Shallots Chutney (Puli Kuzhambu)

Puli kuzhambu

Over the last few years, we have made some really good friends here in Kansas. Since we all have kids of almost same age, we try to meet often for potluck or get-together. My friend Subhashini makes very delicious Tamil food every time we meet. My food intake usually doubles when I am at her home!. My latest favorite is her tamarind chutney – that’s how she translates it to me. She said the Tamil name for the dish is Puli Kuzhambu (hope I am spelling that right). She serves this with curd rice and the combination is just out of this world. I am sure all curd rice fans there would love this on the side. The ingredient quantities are approximates only, change it according to your taste.

Last week I prepared a big batch of this and refrigerated. One day I served it with pongal – I followed Indira’s pongal recipe with matta rice. I don’t usually add vegetables to pongal because we like it simple and plain. Puli Kuzhambu went great with it. It remains good for a week in refrigerator.

Ingredients:
2 cups chopped shallots/sambar onions
3-4 pepper
1 tea spn coriander seeds
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1 tea spn rice
1 tea spn toor dal
4-5 red chillies
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn urad dal
1/2 tea spn fenugreek/methi seeds
4-5 curry leaves
2 tbl spns garlic cut into big pieces
2 tea spns thic tamarind extract or soak one big lemon sized ball of tamarind in water
Asafoetida/hing
Oil
Salt

Method:

puli kuzhambu1
Heat a little oil and fry pepper, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, rice, toor dal, red chillies.  Grind to a paste. Now add 1/2 cup of shallots and grind again.
puli kuzhambu2 puli kuzhambu3
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they pop up, add urad dal, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves. Give it a min. Then add remaining shallots and garlic. Fry for few minutes till shallots turn translucent.
puli kuzhambu4 puli kuzhambu5
Now add ground paste, tamarind, hing, salt. Let it cook.
Serve with curd rice.
This remains good for a week in refrigerator.

Serves : 5-6
Preparation time : 20mins

puli kuzhambu6

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Mint – Onion Chutney (Pudina – Kanda Chutney)

pudina-kanda chutney

I wanted to post this recipe for a long time. This was a regular with chicken biryani at my pachi’s (aayi’s sister) home. It has been over a decade and I still remember the awesome taste of this combination. Somehow I have not prepared this very often, I kept forgetting to get the exact recipe from pachi. But that changed when I was in India this time.

I have a strong dislike for raw onions and my family knows this very well – I still watch in awe when Ishaan, who is a picky eater, loves to eat raw onions!. All my life, aayi prepared (still prepares) two versions of any dishes that involved raw onions. So she was very surprised when I called up my pachi to get this recipe and prepared it. Here the onions are mixed very well with lemon and salt that takes out the strong bite/smell of the onions (atleast that is my explanation for liking this chutney!). I absolutely love this chutney with any pulavs/biryanis. This even tastes good with rotis/chapatis.

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh/frozen coconut
1/2 cup chana dalia (putani/hurigadale)
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/4 cup mint (pudina) leaves
3-4 green chillies
3-4 garlic
2 tbl spn lemon juice
1/2 cup onion slices
Salt

Method:

pudina-kanda chutney1pudina-kanda chutney2
Make a thick chutney from coconut, coriander and mint leaves, green chillies, garlic and salt.
Make a coarse powder of dalia.

pudina-kanda chutney3pudina-kanda chutney4pudina-kanda chutney5
In a bowl add lemon juice and little salt to onion slices and mix very well (preferably do this with fingers so that the onion is very well mixed with salt and lemon, this takes out strong bite of onion ). Add the chutney and powdered dalia to the onions and mix. Serve.

PS: A little yogurt can be added to the chutney if needed.

pudina-kanda chutney

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Green Chutney With Lemon

green chutney with lemon

During the Christmas holidays last year, we were at a friend’s place in CA. My friend Roopa pampered us with some awesome North Karnataka food (V loves North Karnataka dishes). I noted down some of the recipes, but never got to post them. This is one of those recipes. She served this with wheat flour dosas. It was such a great combination.

Check out another version of coriander chutney here.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut
1/4 cup chana dalia (hurigadale/putani)
1 tea spn cumin seeds
4-5 green chillies
1/4 cup coriander leaves (use along with stems)
5-6 mint(pudina) leaves (optional)
1 tea spn garlic (optional)
2 tea spn ginger
1 tbl spn lemon juice
Salt

Method:
Grind all of the above ingredients to a chutney consistency. (I usually don’t have mint in the fridge, so I didn’t use it when I made. I don’t use garlic in the mornings, so did not use that too). Serve.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 15mins

Pictorial:

green chutney with lemon1

green chutney with lemon

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Spinach Chutney (Palak Chutney)

As I mentioned earlier, I am trying to use spinach in all its avatars these days. I always have a huge batch of pre-washed baby spinach in my refrigerator. I use a handful of it in whatever dish I can. Today I made this delicious spinach chutney with appe for breakfast.

Ingredients:
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/2 cup onion
5 red chillies
1 tea spn chana dal
1 tea spn coriander seeds
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn urad dal
A pinch asafoetida
Oil
Salt

Method:
Heat oil and add chana dal, coriander seeds, onion, 4 red chillies. Fry till onions are translucent.
Grind it with spinach leaves, coriander leaves, tamarind extract, salt. If required, add very little water.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, urad dal. When mustard starts popping, add asafoetida, 1 red chilli cut into small pieces. Pour this over chutney.
Serve with dosas or idlis or appe.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 20mins

Pictorial:

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Onion-Coconut Chutney

This is a chutney based on a coconut chutney I tasted at my cousin’s home during Christmas holidays. We both loved the chutney. When I came back, I made a different version of that chutney. I had a very little coconut in my fridge, so I mixed both coconut and onion. It turned out delicious. I have been making this chutney with dosas and idlis ever since.

Ingredients:
1 cup onion
3/4 cup fresh/frozen coconut
1 tea spn coriander seeds
6-7 red chillies
1 tea spn jaggery
1/2 tea spn tamarind extract
1″ ginger
Oil
Salt

Method:
Heat oil and add coriander seeds. Fry for a minute. Add red chillies, onion and fry till onions are translucent. Add coconut and fry for few minutes. Grind with all other ingredients to a smooth paste (add very less water to help in grinding).

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 20mins

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Bellpepper chutney

bellpepper-chutney
I have been trying different chutneys with dosas and idlis apart from my usual chutneys. This recipe is derived from Indira’s bellpepper chutney. I changed it to suit to our taste. We love ginger chutney, and I have developed a habit of using lot of ginger in my cooking these days. So that is what I followed for this chutney too. We love the mild taste of this one.

Ingredients:
1 orange bellpepper(capsicum)
2 tbl spn chana dal
1/2 tea spn chopped ginger
5-6 curry leaves
3 red chillies
A pinch asafoetida
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract
Oil
Salt

Method:
Heat oil and add chana dal. When they are fried, add curry leaves, red chillies, chopped bellpepper. Add very little water and let it cook. Grind this with ginger, tamarind, salt(do not add too much water).

Preparation time : 20mins

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Potato-corn sidedish (Alu corn sagu)

I have no idea where this name “alu corn sagu” was originated. Alu being Hindi word for potato, Sagu being Kannada word for a spicy curry, this looks like one fusion dish. This recipe is from a Kannada magazine. I love potatoes, corns and sagus. So I had to try this. This turned out to be a very tasty, spicy-sweet dish which can be served with chapathis or puris.

Ingredients:
1 cup cooked corn
1 cup boiled, peeled and chopped potatoes
1/2 cup tomato puree (cook tomatoes in boiling water for 2-3 mins, peel and grind)
1/2 cup onion
2 tbl spn fresh/frozen coconut
3-4 red chilies
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 cardamom
1/2 tea spn chopped garlic
2 cloves
1″ cinnamon
1/2 tea spn coriander powder
A pinch turmeric
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
Oil
Salt

Method:
Heat oil, fry garlic, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, chilies, turmeric, coriander powder, onion till onions turn brownish. Add the coconut, fry for few minutes and grind all together.
Heat oil and add cumin seeds. Add the paste, fry till a nice aroma comes out. Add tomatoes, fry for a minute. Add corn, potatoes, tomato puree, salt. Cook for few minutes. Serve hot.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 25mins

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Ridge gourd skin chutney (GosaLe shire chutney)

There are few people in this world, with whom you can share your happiness and also your worries, who’ll always be there for you. They laugh with you in your happiness and give you help and support when you are in sorrow. You feel very comfortable around such people, who you don’t get to know often. They are pretty rare, aren’t they? We think we are very lucky to know a person like this. He is a mentor to V and like a big brother to me. We got to know him because he is V’s colleague and since then, he has become like a family for us here. His name is Sunil (Not to confuse with our other friend Sunil).

Since Sunil(I call him Sunilanna) is also a Konkani, we have similar tastes. So we go to his home sometimes and make him cook for us and sometimes he comes to visit us. We chat a lot on these occasions and enjoy a lot. Last week, he invited us for a small get-together. He had prepared a lip smacking good spread for us. This chutney is one of them. I took the picture of the dish and also took the recipe from him(this is his mom’s signature dish). Since then I have prepared this at home and each time we taste it, we love it more. Did I say V is a ridge gourd hater who never ate anything with this gourd? He has become a fan of this dish. I am happy that I can buy this vegetable now :).

Ridge gourd is called gosaLe or ghosaLe in Konkani. Shire is the sharp edges of the vegetable. Usually these edges are discarded when this vegetable is used. This chutney is made of these skins. It gets its very nice taste from the ghee and also from the cumin seeds. I have seen many different recipes for this chutney before but had never prepared it. I loved this simple version of the chutney and I am going to prepare it again and again in coming days.

Ingredients:
1 cup skin(the sharp edges) of ridge gourd
1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
2-3 green chilies
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract (optional)
Ghee
Salt

Method:
Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds. When they start popping, add green chilies and skin. Fry for about 7-8 mins till the color of the skin starts changing (do not burn anything, you can fry one ingredient at a time if you can not manage frying at a time). Take it out on a plat.
Add coconut to the same pan and fry for about 3-4mins.
Grind all together with tamarind and salt.
Serve as a side dish with rice, dosa or idlis.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 15mins

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