Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, South Indian, Vegan

Kothamalli (Coriander Leaves) Chutney – Tamil Nadu Style

I have a distinct memory of the taste of the coriander chutney served with dosa at a restaurant in Thiruvannamalai. It did not have the raw green taste. I asked them how to make it. But, since I did not get the proportions right, it had not turned out well. So when I found out that my new domestic help belongs to Thiruvannamalai, I asked her what kinds of chutneys she makes at home for dosa and idli and she mentioned the coriander chutney. I asked her the method and from her description I could make out this is the same one I must have had at the restaurant. Got her to make it today morning and it was simply yum! I loved her style of cooking. She roasted the whole garlic cloves without chopping them. She has no hesitation about the quantity of ingredients. Unlike me, she was lavish about the quantity of oil and the amount of garlic. In the below recipe, I have reduced the amount of oil significantly. Unlike Navaratna chutney which is sap green in color has a raw taste, the color of this chutney is yellow green resembling pickled olives and has a cooked taste.

Ingredients:
For roasting and grinding
Coriander leaves – 2 cups (tightly packed)
Urad dal – 2 tbsp
Chana dal – 2 tbsp
Dry red chilies – 7-8 (adjust to taste)
Tomato – 2 medium
Garlic – 1 pod (8-10 cloves)
Coconut – 1-1/2 cups
Tamarind – lemon sized ball
Oil – 1 tsp

For Garnishing
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Dry red chilies – 2
Oil – 1 + 1 tsp

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Makes 2 cups

Method:
Wash, drain, and chop coriander leaves. You may use the tender stems as well. They add to the flavor.
Heat oil in a pan and add chana dal. When they start sizzling and changing color, add the urad dal and saute until they start turning red.
Add garlic cloves (whole will do – no need to chop them), chopped tomato, dry red chillies and saute in medium flame for 5 minutes.
Add the coriander leaves and let them wilt a bit and turn dark green in color. Do not overdo this. Just let the leaves wilt and turn off the fire. If you overcook the coriander, the flavor will be lost.
Add tamarind and grated coconut and let this get lightly cooked in the residual heat of the pan.
Once the ingredients cool down, use a mixer to grind along with salt. You would not need to add water as the tomatoes and coriander would have some water content. Do not overgrind. Grind until the red chilies and the roasted dals have been ground well.
Now for garnishing, heat oil in the same pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, split the dry red chilies into two, add that and the curry leaves. Roast for less than a minute and then add the chutney to this pan. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes or so.
Turn off and transfer to a serving bowl.
Chutney is ready to be served with dosa, idli, roti, or even rice.

Notes: If you want to avoid garlic, you can substitute it with a half an inch piece of ginger.
You could skip the tomatoes and add a little more tamarind but using tomato and tamarind in the given proportion is recommended to balance the tart.

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Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, Pickles, South Indian

Coriander Chutney Powder/Kothamalli Chutney

Coriander Chutney powderMoms never cease to surprise! Just when you think you have tasted almost everything that your mom makes, there comes a new one. How I wish culinary skills were hereditary! So, the latest one that mom surprised me with is a coriander chutney powder. This spicy chutney powder is made with lentil and fresh herbs. It is easy to make and totally irresistible.

Ingredients:
Fresh curry leaves – 1/2 cup
Fresh coriander leaves – 2 cups
Dry red chilies – 5-6
Urad dal – 1/2 cup
Tamarind – small lime size
Asafetida – 1 tsp, if powder; about one-inch piece, if using whole asafetida.
Salt to taste

Method:
Ingredients

Clean coriander leaves and curry leaves using water and wipe dry with a towel. Remove curry leaves from stalk and keep aside. Chop coriander and keep aside.

In a thick bottomed pan, dry roast urad dal until it turns light brown. If you are using asafetida powder, add it to the urad dal just before you remove the urad dal from fire and lightly roast. Remove from the pan and keep aside. Add the red chilies to the pan and dry roast until the raw smell is lost and the red chilies start turning black. Ensure that flame is in ‘low’ because chillies can get burnt easily. If you are adding whole asafetida, dry roast it until it swells and starts giving out flavor. Remove from pan and keep aside.

In the same pan, add the curry leaves. Dry roast until the curry leaves start turning crisp but retain the green color. Before you start grinding the ingredients, ensure that the mixer jar is completely dry. Add the roasted urad dal, asafetida, and dry red chilies to the mixer jar and grind until the ingredients turn into a coarse powder. At this stage, add the curry leaves and grind again. When the curry leaves are also ground, add fresh (but dry) coriander into the jar and grind again until all the green leaves are powdered well. Add salt and tamarind and grind again until all the ingredients are ground and mixed well. Remove from the jar. Adjust the salt to taste. Freshly ground chutney powder might be a little moist because of the use of fresh coriander leaves. You could even make tiny balls out of the ground powder or store it in powder form.

Transfer the ground chutney powder into clean, dry jar. Refrigerate and use. This will last up to a month. This chutney powder can come to your rescue on a lazy day when you are too lazy to make an elaborate meal. Just make rice and serve this chutney powder with warm rice, ghee, and papad. You will not miss sambhar or any other subzi! You can try this chutney powder with idli/dosa also.

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