Chutneys spice up a meal, and endow flavour to those simple chapatis or rice preparations, and in the North, among the robust Punjabis, many a meal sees nice portly bowls of chutney served with simple homecooked fare of dal, sabzi and rice or roti. During the colonial era, the British used to take many a curry they had come to like and masalas to their home or even on their colonial conquests to places as far as South Africa and the Caribbean Islands.
Since these journeys were long, the concept changed, until the commercially made mango chutney Major Grey’s chutney became the British standard chutney. Major Grey, as legend has it, was a mythical colonial British officer who loved curries and even made his own.
So, its origin takes Indian flavours and English persistence and improvisation. The famed mango chutney, made from the season’s harvest, the delectable and simple green chutney that is made using the stone grinder, which imbues its flavours on to the leaves... and the chilli chutney that can be used as an accompaniment to the meal, or even added to spice up simple sabzi and dal recipes, are that teekha part of any meal that one has come to love.
Corporate Chef Ravi Saxena has trudged the Delhi to Amritsar path and stopped over at over 300 dhabas to unearth authentic recipes that are his calling card of Punjabi flavours at his chain of restaurants.
And in that, are these very popular, simple to make and delicious chutneys that see a pride of place on any Punjabi household’s dinner table. And they also make any meal delicious.
In the olden days, the chutney was a relish that was made of fresh spices, fresh seasonal ingredients, and that tradition surprisingly continues even today. The famed and very simple garlic and chilli mix is something that is found in most Punjabi households, and is made fresh week after week.
Red Chilli Paste
Red chillies whole 1 kg
Vinegar 700 ml
Refined oil 1 litre
Tomato ketchup 250 gm
Sugar 100 gm
Ginger-garlic paste 100 gm
Salt 10 gm
Boil chillies in hot water, drain the water, and set aside.
Make a paste of the chillies.
Heat oil in a pan, add ginger-garlic paste, chilli paste and cook till it starts bubbling.
Add remaining ingredients and finish. Store in an airtight container and serve with paranthas or rice... as an accompaniment.
Sweet Mango Chutney
Raw mango 1 kg
Sugar 150 gm
Black salt to taste
Ground black pepper 4 gm
Ground clove powder 2 gm
Crushed red chilli 8 gm
Peel and grate the raw mangoes. In a pot, add mangoes and sugar, and simmer.
When the sugar starts melting, continue stirring till it becomes a thick syrup.
Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking till it becomes thick. Taste for seasoning and store in a martaban.
Chopped coriander leaves 500 gm
Cumin seeds 10 gm
Garlic cloves 50 gm
Green chilli 30 gm
Ginger 40 gm
Juice of 3 lemons
Salt to taste
Black salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients together.
Grind them in a domestic mixer well, till they becomes a smooth paste.
Chill and serve cold.
Chilli Garlic Pickle
Green chilli 15
Peeled garlic cloves 20
Aniseed 4 gm
Crushed red chilli 5 gm
Salt to taste
Asafoetida 0.5 gm
White vinegar 500 ml
Combine everything together and mix well, shake and ensure the chilli and garlic are coated.
Put in a glass jar, cover with a muslin cloth and tie.
Let it mature for a minimum of four days, preferably in sunlight.
— The recipes are home made house secrets shared by Corporate Chef Ravi Saxena...