This past weekend has been highly anticipated for about the last year and a half. There has been much build up, and let me just say, I was not disappointed. Why was this past weekend so highly anticipated, you might be wondering? Well, because my close family friend Val opened her kitchen to me and taught me some of her traditional Indian cooking methods and recipes, or course! And a wonderful time it was, indeed.
In one week, Bryan is heading off to school at Princeton (yahoo!), so this past weekend, Val and Lax hosted a lovely farewell party for him, with a beautiful spread of traditional Indian dishes. On Saturday, I was so fortunate enough to share in the excitement of the celebration, by sharing in the food preparation. Together, Val and I prepared three dishes: Chutney (which I suppose isn't considered a dish, though I could definitely eat it with a spoon), Roti and Paratha. Today, I will share with you the recipe for chutney. I will save the other two for another time, after I have practiced them so that I can give you the best directions possible (I hope you understand!)
Here are the basics of what I learned. However, so much of this cooking experience was benefited by the personal connection and experience with Val in her kitchen, that these recipes can do it no justice:
3 cups of fresh mint
3 cups of cilantro
The juice of 2 limes
15 small green chili peppers
2 inches of fresh ginger
12 ounces of shredded coconut
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
Cumin to taste
2. In a food processor, puree the ginger, peppers, coconut, salt, sugar, cumin, lime juice, 1/2 of the mint, 1/2 of the cilantro, and just enough water to allow the ingredients to liquify. Gradually add more mint and cilantro until desired flavor and consistency is reached. The final chutney should be thick but not dry. You can store extra chutney in an air tight container for several days or even a week.
Happy eating! (stay tuned for more of my weekend of food adventures, soon!)