The tangy tamarind chutney in your pani puri, or the spicy red and green chilli liquid in the bhel. But come monsoon, it is a no-no for many to eat on the streets, lest the tummy take an upside down turn for the worse.
Anuradha Sawhney, owner of Pune-based vegan food service, Back to the Basics, says, “I make a Date and Kokum chutney at home, a healthier alternative to jaggery, as dates have a lower glycemic index, while the ‘meetha’ chutney on the roadside contains tamarind for the sour taste. “Kokum is as instantly alkalinising as lemons,” she explains.
Sawhney offers flax seeds and peanut chutney which is laden with roasted channa dal, grated coconut, garlic, chilli, salt and lemon juice. “Having flax seeds is the healthiest way to introduce essential Fatty Acid into your systerm, as our bodies cannot produce Omega 3.”
Executive chef Ranjan Chakraborty at Bombay Bronx at Colaba says Indian and South East Asian food is incomplete without chutneys. “We have only four kinds of tastebuds in our palate, but chutneys create a flavourful riot on the palate.,” he explains.
He shares six must-have chutney recipes:
Churn 50 gm raw mango pulp, 10 gm each of ginger, garlic, onions and green chillies, 1 tsp amchur powder and jaggery in a blender. Add salt to taste and mix till you get a smooth consistency
Mix 70 gm coconut, 15 gm garlic, lime juice and salt to taste, a tsp sesame seeds and a tbsp ghee in a blender to make a smooth paste
Coriander Peanut Chutney
Take 60 gm fresh coriander, 20 gm peanuts, 10 gm green chillies, 10 gm garlic along with lime juice, salt and chaat masala to taste. Add a tsp oil and blend in a mixer
Burnt Tomato Chutney
Cut a tomato into four pieces. Add 4 crushed garlic pods and two tsp lime juice. Roast this mixture in mustard oil and blend in a mixer
Imli Spring onion chutney
In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp tamarind pulp, ½ tsp red chilli powder, 4 tsp sugar and add grated onions to it once the sugar dissolves. Add salt to taste
Plum and pineapple chutney
In a bowl, mix 60 ml plum pulp and 10 gm tamarind. Blend 10 gm pineapple and 20 gm Kashmiri chilli and add to the plum mixture. Top it with fennel seeds