Ramadan makes me nostalgic - not sure if could tell from my recent recipes like Caramel Custard and Coconut Macaroons, but it really does. I find myself going back to my childhood Ramadans spent in Jeddah, the later ones in Pakistan and how the everything just seems transformed. The days take on a lackadaisical pace, a frenetic burst of activity right before Iftar and then those wonderful bright nights. Stores open till late, Sehri at restaurants with friends, for a night owl for me that's just perfect. That's what Ramadan felt like, but what it always tastes like is my mothers Cilantro Chutney.
I make a mean Pakora mix if I say so myself and my mother's Aaloo Samosas are epic, but what I was always there for was the chutney. Slathered onto crispy pakoras, dabbed onto the potato stuffing of chutneys, anyway I could eat it I would. Somehow for many many years I could not make it. All I would make instead is a watery unbalanced mess.
Until this year where a dear friend of mine started an initiative on Instagram called #BachpanKiIftari (Childhood Iftari). Since pakoras were taken (lol) I made the next best thing. I kid - this is actually the best thing. In my opinion of course.
The Key to a FABULOUS Cilantro Chutney: An Unusual Ingredient
It has taken considerable doing for me to get this Cilantro Chutney recipe right. My mother, an accomplished cook who entertains a remarkable amount is not the very best at sharing recipes. I cobbled this one together from many mistakes, my sister in laws and mine, and the last round of notes I got from her. The key it seems is cucumber. While most chutneys are thinned with water this one turns to cucumber for a clean fresh taste. Compounded with the fresh acidity for the tomato it makes for a chutney that tastes positively zingy and sunny.
When making this Cialntro Chutney it is absolutely imperative that the ingredients go in cucumber first, tomato next and then the rest. That is because as my mother points out the cucumber and tomato form the fresh base for the cucumber. They need to be closest to the blender blade to create the liquid for the chutney.
Hope you try this chutney and like it! Either way I'd love to hear from you! You can share yours with me on Instagram @flourandspiceblog or rate the recipe below by clicking the number of stars you would like to give it!
A bright zesty chutney that pairs brilliantly with pakoras!
- ½ cup roughly chopped cucumber
- ½ tomato
- 2-4 green chilies
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice of a quarter lemon (about a tbsp)
- 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 bunch cilantro washed with bottom ends chopped off and the rest roughly chopped
- ½ tsp sugar (optional)
Place the ingredients in the blender cucumber and tomatoes first then the remaining ingredients.
Pulse a few times to combine - you don't want a very watery chutney
Adjust seasoning with salt or a pinch of sugar if it seems unbalanced.