Chutneys and condiments vie with fish as the main dishes of a meal at our (my parent’s) house. At any given point there would be at least two or three pickles, Inji curry (puliinji), chutneys made from coconut, mint, dried shrimp, onions etc. A typical meal consists of rice, a piece or two of fried fish, a vegetable thoran and fresh chutney. When my wife and I are visiting India, considering my wife’s never-ending love of inji curry, there will be a giant tub of that too.
During our visit in February-March my mother had giant bottles of mango pickle, garlic pickle and Inji curry. And on most days my mother would churn up a mint chutney.
These are the recipes for the garlic pickle and mint chutney –
1. 1 kilo (approx. 2 pounds) peeled garlic
2. 2 teaspoon (tsp) black mustard seed crushed
3. 1 tsp hing (asafoetida) powder
4. 3 tsp chilli powder
5. 1 tsp turmeric powder
6. 1 cup oil
7. 2 tsp vinegar
7. salt to taste
8. 1 tsp black mustard seeds
Heat oil in a wok/deep dish and splatter mustard seeds. Turn off gas. Add the crushed mustard seeds. Add chilli and turmeric powder. Add garlic and salt. Turn on flame and stir the mix for about 5 minutes. Take the wok off heat and add vinegar. Let it cool and store in dry bottles.
1. one bunch mint leaves
2. 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves with stalk
3. one small piece ginger
4. 1/4 cup dessicated/grated fresh coconut
5. 4-5 green chillis
6. 2-3 cloves of garlic
7. 1-2 sprig curry leaves
8. small onion
10. juice of half lime
Add all ingredients except lime to grinder and blend. Transfer the chutney into bowl and stir in lime juice.