Coconut, Cilantro & Mint Chutney

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A fiery, nutritious way to spice up your plate, this South Indian inspired chutney is addictively scrumptious. My close friend who has spent much time touring India made this for me one delicious evening, and it made it’s mark in my mind, inspiring an incredible fascination with learning more about South-Indian cuisine and what other flavors they have to offer!

I honestly haven’t gotten much further that trying a couple restaurants and making this chutney, but you can count on me incorporating some more of their spicy flavors in recipes to come. This is a slightly adapted version of a classic chutney – with the addition of almonds instead of roast lentils, adding a hint of roast coconut for extra nutiness, and omitting Asafoetida (an Indian spice) that wasn’t in the pantry. The essence of their flavor combinations shone through, and worked incredibly with the new additions…

It is hard to imagine how something so delectable and rich could be so good for you, but you need not look past the ingredient list to see that this nutrient, and healthy-fat filled chutney will make your whole body happy, and bring a flush to your cheeks with a healthy dose of fresh chili.

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YOU WILL NEED:

(CLICK THE PINK-LINKS FOR MORE INFO ON THEIR APHRODISIACAL PROPERTIES…)

1 mature coconut (not the young drinking coconuts)
1/2 cup of almonds – roughly chopped
1 a bunch of cilantro (corriander) – (roughly 2 cups, packed)
1/2 bunch of mint (roughly 1 cup, packed)
2 medium green chilis – deseeded and roughly chopped
3 tbsp fresh ginger – roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
4 tbsp coconut oil
4 tsp mustard seeds
salt and pepper to taste

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Start by cracking open your coconut in the method of your choice – I tend to drain the water from the three holes at the top which you can carve out with a knife, and then proceed to the extremely primal cracking of the coconut ritual – involving an outdoor area where you can thrust the coconut with all your might on the ground or against a solid wall. It is somehow thoroughly therapeutic to resign to such an animalistic act… Once you have recomposed yourself, remove the hard flesh in chunks with a butter knife. Taking aside about 1/4 of the flesh for roasting, chop into fine slivers, and roast along with the almonds on about 160 Celsius until nice and golden but still is about half white – should take roughly 10 minutes, but keep a close eye on them because they will burn within a matter of a minute.

Once they are roasted, place them in the food processor along with all other ingredients except the coconut oil and the mustard seeds. Blend all ingredients together until you achieve a fine crumbly mix.

Time to prepare the tempering. Tempering is a fundamental of South Indian cooking. It is the process of heating oil or ghee and toasting your spices to coax out their wonderful fragrances – and when poured on a fresh chutney mix such as this one, will deliver a sizzling kiss to its raw surroundings, caramelizing ever so slightly. Start by heating your coconut oil in a saucepan on a medium heat, and once nice and hot, add your mustard seeds (you can also add curry leaves, asafoetida or cumin seeds at this point – I decided to keep it simple, but any of the additions will blend with perfection). The feisty little mustard seeds will start popping fiercely, so if you don’t have a splatter guard, then use your lid as a shield not actually placing it down fully.

After cooking for about a minute, pour your tempering onto the chutney mix, and give it a quick whizz to incorporate. Now taste and add any extra seasoning, if it is a little dry you might want to add a splash of the coconut water and give it another good blend.

Use this incredible chutney atop a curry, as a dip, on toast – the possibilities are endless…

❤ ❤ ❤

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