Mint Chutney | Sauced

Mint Chutney

Indian food has a reputation for being immensely complicated, but this chutney is just the opposite; a standard green table condiment found at a lot of Indian restaurants—takes merely minutes and requires no additional outing to the Indian grocery for special ingredients. Cilantro and mint are thrown into a food processor with red onion, coconut, lemon juice, green chilies, garlic, ginger, and water. A few pulses later, the sauce is done; and for such quick work, the flavor is deceptively complex.

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel

Joshua Bousel

I've only tackled Indian food a couple times at home—I've found myself happier picking up from my local restaurant rather than working through ingredient and process heavy recipes. With a little extra time on hand right now, I decided to look into a few Indian sauces and found that my preconceived notion of having to dedicate hours on end to put them together was absolutely wrong. In fact, this mint chutney—which is the standard green table condiment found at a lot of Indian restaurants—took merely minutes and required no additional outing to the Indian grocery for special ingredients.

It starts with a two to one ratio of cilantro to mint which is thrown into a food processor with red onion, coconut, lemon juice, green chilies, garlic, ginger, and water. A set of pulses chops everything finely, and in a minute, the sauce is done.

For such quick work, the flavor is deceptively complex. Mint is no doubt the dominant trait, but there's layers beyond that with the sharpness of ginger, garlic, and onion. The best part was the heat, which was significantly heavier than what I'm used it, satisfying my heat seeking palate immensely.

The ease of this recipe had me eagerly putting together a couple more, so you can look forward to more sauce-y Indian treats in the weeks to come, and I'm also open for suggestions too.