Imli Chutney with Fruits

by Shivani Khanna

Tamarind or Tamarindus indica is indigenous to tropical Africa but has been cultivated for so long on the Indian subcontinent that it is also considered to be indigenous to India. Today, India is the largest producer of tamarind and its pulp is made into a variety of products.

Tamarind is one of the most sought after ingredients in Indian cooking and most regional cuisines use it in a variety of ways. It is an important ingredient in chutneys, curries and sauces.  It is also used to make sweet and sour confectionery, loved by most Indians, specially in the villages.

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First the tamarind pulp is washed in clean water so as to remove all the dirt and dust. It is then soaked in drinking water for upto four hours or even overnight. The soaked pulp is then mashed by hand in the soaking water itself. After that, the liquid is strained through a fine mesh strainer collecting the liquid and all the smooth pulp too.The strained liquid, along with the sugar is boiled till thick.Care must be taken to use non reactive vessels as the tamarind is a sour agent. Once off the stove the salt and chilli powder is added.

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The prepared Imli Chutney can be cooled and stored in a jar in the refrigerator for a long time. For the purpose of the fast, we add some fruits like banana and pomegranate seeds to add flavour and texture.

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Imli Chutney with Fruits

Ingredients ~

250 gms dried tamarind
450 gms sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chilli powder

Method ~

1. Wash the tamarind pulp in clean water so as to remove all the dirt and dust.
2. Soak the tamarind in drinking water just enough to cover it, for upto four hours or even overnight.
3. Mash the soaked tamarind pulp by hand in the soaking water itself.
4. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer collecting the liquid and all the smooth pulp collected on the under side of the mesh too.
5. In a non reactive vessel, boil the strained liquid, along with the sugar till semi thick or till the liquid falls in a continuous stream from the spoon when lifted. It becomes thicker on cooling. More sugar can be added to taste as the tamarind pulp will differ in sourness from place to place.
6. Once off the stove, add the salt and chilli powder to taste.
7. The Imli Chutney should be sweet and sour in taste with a hint of saltiness and chilli.
8. Once cooled, store the chutney in a clean bottle in the refrigerator where it will stay for many months without spoiling.

Raita

by Shivani Khanna

Curd or Yogurt is a cultured milk product that is soured and thickened by the action of specific lactic acid-producing cultures added to milk. The lactic acid produced by the culture coagulates the milk protein, thickening the milk and adding the characteristic sour flavor. The starter cultures—or probiotics—used to make yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

These probiotics can help maintain the balance of bacteria necessary for a healthy digestive system; boost the immune system, shortening the length and severity of sickness; and may reduce eczema in babies.

Yogurt is highly nutritious and is an excellent source of protein, calcium and potassium. It provides numerous vitamins and minerals and is relatively low in calories.

Many people who are lactose intolerant can enjoy yogurt. Yogurt contains lower amounts of lactose than milk because the lactose in yogurt is converted to lactic acid by the bacterial cultures. ~ Dairy Council of California

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In most parts of India, yogurt or curd is eaten at every meal. It is eaten plain or with addition of vegetables. Salt, red chilli powder and ground roast cumin are used to flavour the raitas.

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Cucumber,  grated or chopped is added to yogurt to make a raita. Boiled potatoes, once chopped are another addition which is common to making raitas.

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Raita

Ingredient ~

250 gms yogurt/curd
1 cucumber
1 boiled potato
salt, red chilli powder, ground roasted cumin to taste

Method ~

1. Peel the cucumber, grate or chop it.
2. Peel the potato and chop it fine.
3. Beat the curd, add the spices and the vegetable of your choice.
4. You can make three different kinds of raita, grated cucumber raita, chopped cucumber raita or chopped boiled potato raita.

 

Green Coriander & Mint Chutney

by Anita Kumari

Chutney is a family of condiments mainly associated with South Asian cuisine that usually contain some mixture of spice, vegetable, and/or fruit. Chutneys may be either wet or dry, and can have a coarse to a fine texture. Several Indian languages use the word for fresh preparations only.
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As such Chutney covers a wide variety of foodstuffs. The common element which makes them all ‘chutneys’ is that they are eaten with meals to add flavour. The best English translation of Chutney is relish. As such, they can be, and are, eaten with a wide variety of foods. – Wikipedia
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Anita Kumari left her home in Jharkhand about 9 years ago to come to Delhi for work. She loves cooking. She has the gift to cook delicious meals and serves them with love. She has a whole family back home whom she supports but enjoys her stay in Delhi. She has become independent, tech. savvy and proudly dresses up to go out. Her recipe for Green Coriander & Mint Chutney is one which she has formulated on her own. It is much loved by all and even taken frozen all the way to Singapore.
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She uses fresh green coriander and mint as the main ingredients to which she adds a tomato to give flavour. She uses the onion to give bulk to the chutney and the addition of green chilli is to your taste. The smaller ones are very spicy so 1 to 1 1/2 will do, whereas those bigger in size can be less sharp and you may need to add 2. To round up the flavours, she adds lemon juice for sourness. Indian lemons are the size of golf balls or smaller, hence the use of three lemons. This again is to your personal taste. You can add half a teaspoon of sugar to give it a sweet and sour flavour.
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Green Chutney is an accompaniment with most street foods of North India. It is a quick, simple and in-expensive way of adding an element of taste to everyday food. It is also the favourite condiment that accompanies snacks, either fried, steamed or sautéed in most homes.  The recipe for the green chutney may vary from household to household, but everyone relishes it with their food.

Green Coriander & Mint Chutney

Ingredients :

200 gms fresh green coriander
50 gms fresh green mint
½ tomato
1 small red onion
2 green chillies
1 clove garlic
3 lemons, juice
½ tsp salt or to taste

Method :

1. Pick the mint leaves from the stems.
2. Peel the onion and chop fine.
3. Chop the coriander, mint, tomato, green chillies and clove of garlic.
4. Add all the ingredients in a blender. Add the salt and the lemon juice.
5. Blend till fine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. The chutney should have a balanced flavour of chilli, sourness and a hint of garlic.