Hari chutney is a South Asian condiment. I always have it made in my fridge. Basically, it is a green chutney consisting of cilantro, mint, and green chilies. You can eat with rice, curries, samosas, tandoori dishes, basically anything. The flavors in it are so fresh and vibrant because of the mint and cilantro. The herby quality of the chutney mellows out and completes whatever dish it is accompanying. I have been trying to make the perfect chutney for quite a few years and now I think I finally have it right. Sometimes it would be too minty, other times too spicy, I have tried it with and without lime and I think I prefer it without lime (just slightly though). I usually add whisked yogurt to tone it down a bit and give the chutney a more delicate flavor. However, it is perfectly suitable to refrain from adding yogurt. In this case, a squirt of lime juice to enhance the chutney’s flavor. Traditionally, this chutney was made with a large mortar and pestle. But, in today’s world, usually we opt for an easier option–the blender.
This chutney is quite simple to prepare. I also add some freshly ground cumin, and just a pinch of ajwain (carom) seeds. The cumin adds earthiness and the ajwain complements the mint with a great pungency.
Cilantro and Mint Chutney
Makes about 2 cups of chutney
1/2 a bunch of cilantro, washed throughly, thick stems removed
15 mint leaves, stems removed
1-2 green chilies, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped roughly
juice of half a lime, optional (for chutney without yogurt)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon scant ajwain
1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (cayenne pepper)
1 1/2 cup whisked plain yogurt (you may add water or milk to thin it out a bit)
In a blender or food processor, add the cilantro, mint, green chilies, garlic, salt, cumin, ajwain, and cayenne. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water until everything is a smooth puree. If you are not using yogurt add the lime as well.
If adding yogurt, pour the chutney into the whisked yogurt and combine. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
This can keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
*Some add dried pomegranate seeds to the chutney as well. I do not particularly care for it in this chutney, but you may want to try it out.