Chutneys have the power to make or break your food. I don’t mind buying ready made chutneys, but there are two that I take the effort to make, especially during Ramadan, because I like my version the best and also because they make me feel a little closer to home! They have such deep and concentrated flavors that a little goes a long way and there’s nothing like a well made chutney that instantly transports you back home. Hari Chutney, or mint chutney, is such a classic. It’s used in marinades, on its own, mixed in yogurt and in so many more ways. While I appreciate layered flavors, I like keeping my hari chutney simple. I use 3 ingredients. That’s it. It makes for a great base that you can add on to according to your need. I use it on it’s own in my Malai Boti marinade. I mix it in some yogurt with a pinch of salt and coarsely ground cumin seeds as a raita. And for my chaats I mix it with some imlee ki chutney (Tamarind chutney) and chaat masala. I truly believe that less is more when it comes to hari chutney, letting the fresh flavors shine. You can also add some garlic cloves, dried pomegranate seeds and ginger, but that doesn’t stay fresh as long, so I sometimes just use a small portion of the simple chutney and blend these things in when needed.
This batch stays fresh for about 2-3 weeks in your fridge in an airtight container. It may darken in color but that’s because there are no preservatives added. The flavor stays fresh for 3 weeks, I’ve tested it. As for your freezer, it stays fresh for up to 2 months. I like freezing this chutney in ice cube trays that come with lids. Then whenever I need some I pop out a cube and either microwave it or let it come to room temperature on it’s own. You really need to make this at home, it’s an easy blender job and is truly rewarding! Let’s get started, shall we?
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 bunch fresh mint
2 bunches fresh coriander
4-8 fresh green chillies
1/2 tsp salt
1/2-1 cup water
Start off by plucking the mint leaves off the stems, you don’t want to use the stems. On the other hand, keep the coriander stems, just cut off an inch of the stems from the bottom and keep the rest. They add so much flavor it’s insane. Cut the tops off the green chillies. I like to keep the seeds in, but if you want just the flavor and not all the spice, you can deseed the green chillies.
Then just put everything in your blender or chopper. I start with 1/2 cup water and add a little more only when my blender isn’t doing it’s job. If you’re using a nutri-bullet or high power blender/chopper you may not need to use all the water. It’s just to help blend everything into a nice chutney consistency. If you end up accidentally adding too much water don’t worry about it. It won’t do anything to the flavor, and it’ll actually help make a smooth yogurt sauce when you mix it in. That’s all there is to it. Keep in an airtight tight container and it’ll last you through weeks of meals.