Oct 10, 2012

Thick Cilantro Chutney and some Chutney 101

The best part with chutneys is that there are a million ways to make a chutney with the same ingredient. Coriander or Cilantro is used so frequently in Indian cooking if I don't add it I feel like something is missing. It is always added as a garnish to dals, sambhars and savoury stews. There are many ways to make a chutney with coriander. It can be the main ingredient or it can be added just for colour. Some people add raw peanuts, some add coconut to give it a body. But this ensures that the chutney doesn't stay for too long.

This particular recipe uses none of those additions and also doesn't use any water. This helps the chutney stay for weeks. It is a concentrated coriander chutney quite different from the Basic Green chutney I did earlier.

Before I go ahead, today's find is: Earthy Consumer. Let me warn you before you click on that link, be prepared to spend hours! This website is a treasure trove of information from how to make your own face scrubs to nutritional information about different foods to recycling. There are even some recipes in there!

This chutney is a very typically south Indian chutney that I ate growing up. The way south Indians make chutney is very simple. The main ingredient changes but the additional "chutney ingredients" do not change that much. If you look at the Pumpkin chutney you will see that apart from the pumpkin, the other ingredients are:

Red Chilli
Tempered Mustard Seeds, Urad Dal and Asafoetida

This remains pretty much constant in most chutneys from South India. Some times people might add a little jaggery to enhance the flavours or some chutneys will not have coconut like this one.

It is a thick, bright green dose of coriander. The coriander is not cooked so it keeps all the raw goodness intact. It stores very well because no water is added to this chutney. You can mix it up with plain rice or have it with some rice and vegan yogurt. It's on my list of comfort foods!

Coriander Chutney South Indian Style aka Kothamali Thogayal

You need:
3 cups fresh coriander- washed, de-stemmed and air dried
2-4 red chillis
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split urad dal
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 lime sized ball of skinless tamarind
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oil

Heat the oil and temper the mustard seeds, urad dal. Add the Red chillis and asafoetida. Once the chillis are puffed up, remove only the red chillis. Put it in a grinder with the coriander, salt and tamarind. Grind till thick and smooth. Do not add any water. You might have to keep stopping to push the coriander towards the blades. Add the oil with the tempered seeds and dal.

Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.


  1. The color is stunning!

  2. Is the air dried 3 cup ingredient fresh coriander? I want to make this. I'm going to be working on gluten-free paratha soon.


    1. Hey Kittee,

      Sorry for the typo. It should be 3 cups fresh loosely packed fresh coriander. Gluten-free paratha sounds yum! I'm sure its all going to turn out grrrreat!


  3. when my grandma makes this, i can eat it with dosa, idli, rice and just plain...its that good...
    ah now u make me crave for it... !!!

    1. Come on over! :) I'll get some for you when I come visit you!

  4. YUM!!! I love kothamili chutney and all chutneys that have kothamili too.

    That photo is amazing! The colours are so gorgeous and I'm totally loving the hypnotic texture on the background. :)

    1. Thanks!

      It's meant to hypnotize you into thinking you're eating some chutney. :)


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