mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Mint and Walnut Chutney

In Chutneys, Dips and Spreads, Kashmiri, Low Fat, Under 30 min! on April 17, 2007 at 9:15 pm

mustard fields
Mustard fields, Punjab

Spring arrives early in the Northern Plains of India. The Hindu calendar marks Basant Panchami as the first day of spring. Basant coincides with blooming mustard fields, and it is from these perhaps, that the colour yellow has come to symbolize spring to us. If you have ever seen a mustard field in spring you will know the magic I am talking about. Reading about spring and cherry blossoms on other blogs also reminded me of Kashmir. Blossoms of the cherry and the almond trees herald the arrival of spring in the valley.

mint

If anyone likes warmer weather it is my potted mint. After looking sad all winter it perks up at the sight of spring. As the bright green leaves begin to grow they find their way into a lot of things in my kitchen – omelettes and scrambled eggs, cold soups and salads, refreshing jal jeera, and into many a chutney. All of you probably have your favourite recipe for mint chutney. As do I.

mint

This recipe combines the spring of the plains with the spring in the mountains. Since this is a traditional Kashmiri chutney, can nuts be far behind? The Kashmiri Pudna Chatin is made with pudina (mint) and walnuts. The heat comes from either fresh green chillies or red chilli powder, and yoghurt provides the cooling sour tang.

Mint and Walnut Chutney

It can be made without any grinding equipment – no blenders, grinders or heavy-duty pestle and mortar required. Remember, I told you about the Kashmiri housewife not having time to mess with side dishes? I have seen my aunt mix some using dried crushed mint, red chilli powder, and yoghurt. Dried mint is good to have at hand during winter. I am always stocked.

Grinding walnuts is no biggie – the smallest of pestle and mortars is up to the task. If you have never needed to pound anything ever, you can always smash the walnuts on the kitchen counter using any moderately heavy object such as a rolling pin (you don’t have a pestle and mortar but you have a rolling pin?). Or go out and pick that river stone pebble from that pot in the garden (or the neighbour’s). As long as you have a kitchen counter. Or a clean floor. :)

Mint and Walnut Chutney

Doon Pudna Chatin
(Walnut and Mint Chutney)

2 C fresh mint leaves (or 2 T dried crushed mint)
a few green chillies or ½ t red chilli powder
¼ C walnuts
salt
2-3 T yoghurt

Using very little water, grind all ingredients (except yoghurt) to a fine paste. Mix in the yoghurt and serve.

If using dried mint:
Pound the nuts and green chillies to a paste (in a pestle and mortar or a grinder). Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Let sit for some time to allow the mint to rehydrate. If you do not have any grinding equipment, use red chilli powder instead of green chillies.

This chutney is very good in a plain butter sandwich, as also with any Indian meal. It was also good with fresh-from-the-garden celery sticks! Pistachios and pine nuts make good substitutes for walnuts.

And is this not the perfect entry for Meeta’s Monthly Mingle, where the theme this time is ….Spring, what else!

And while I am talking about spring, there are these flowers blooming in my garden

To showcase P at the Flower Fest I have for you:

Petrea
Petrea volubilis
Common name: Purple Wreath

Petrea
fallen flowers

The beautiful Purple Wreath is amongst the first spring blooms in Delhi. The twisting bark of this deciduous creeper has an interesting texture. The leaves are very rough and sandpaper-like. In Delhi it blooms between March and April. The whole creeper gets covered with lilac-purple bunches of flowers. The blue-purple flowers fall off as the sun rises, but the lilac bracts give a burst of lasting colour. A real delight to look at.

In my garden there is also a very special Frangipani tree – with deep red blooms. I grew it from a cutting from my mother’s tree. It has a very delicate fragrance and is a favourite of mine.

plumeria

Plumeria rubra
Common name: Frangipani, Temple Tree, Champa

The Mint Chutney is my entry to The Green Blog Project Winter/Spring 2007 being hosted by Mandira this time!

Tags: Monthly Mingle, Flower Fest, mint, chutney, mint chutney, Kashmiri, dips, low fat, under 30 min

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  1. I like Mint in any form. My aunt makes Mint Chutney with little Tamarind and it tastes awesome. I will post that in a few days and I will try this too.

    Hi Lata. We are all mint fans here – so look forward to another variation on the mint chutney!

  2. Awesome post, Anita.

    I love this chutney…..by the way, you are playing a mind reader here. i bought a really fresh bunch of pudna y’day (yes, even Punjus call mint by that name). i was planning to make the regular pudina chutney, but since you’ve reminded me of this awesome chutney, i’d go for this :)

    Punju chutney is just mint, red onions, anardana, mirchi, salt and sometimes just a lil’ bit of sugar. I love chutneys made in hamam-dats/chathhu batta/sil-batta/dauri-danda :) The same flavor can never be captured by the grinders-they make the chutneys too fine! But we also make another dip with ground pudina/dried pudina, hari mirchi, kali mirchi and yogurt. Mint chutney, chana daal, dahi and rice: a favorite summer time meal :). Talk about similarity of cultures :). i keep the dried mint too-comes handy in making pudina paratha.

    Ah! and the almond blossoms…..we have peach and almond trees back home in Punjab…..so pretty during spring…..all flowers, just flowers…..

    Dahi is such a good paring with mint, in a chutney or otherwise.

    And why should we not have similarities – we are neighbouring states. Also, Kashmir was ruled by Sikh rulers for a long time!

    And you said nothing about the mustard fields of Punjab?! That picture is of Pulkanjari, a village near the border with Lahore.

  3. anita, love reading through your posts. where in kashmir are you from? i grew up in jammu and kashmir. more in jammu and used to visit kashmir. mint chutney looks good and never tried walnuts with it. spring is so beautiful. nice pretty flowers.

  4. Yes, grow mint in pots, not in the ground. I have mint everywhere and last year it started popping up in the lawn. I have some wild variety I think but it tastes good in tea. I saw a few shoots in the usual places last week and I groaned!

    This picture is from last year and you can see it crowding my irises. The leaves are longer than the mint I get in the stores.

    I have dried mint that I found in Safeway with all the various Mexican spices and it’s not as good as I expected it to be. Do you dry your own mint or is that a stupid question? :D

    After I am done with this huge crop of ginger, I am going to make your chutney, Anita, as well as Musical’s. And, I am going to freeze them both!

    Your P flowers are gorgeous! I didn’t know frangipani was champa!

    Yes, that is a stupid question! ;D Of course, I dry my own mint! But whenever you pick mint for drying make sure you use the very fragrant varieties (no hybrids). The picture seems to be of a fragrant variety. Just rinse out the stalks, spread on newspaper/cloth to dry in shade (in very dry weather). Crush between the palms when dry – throw out the stems and stalks. It will stay fragrant for months! Use where ever you would use fresh mint! I don’t have much at the moment, or I would send some! :-)

    Everybody is going champa-champa. You’ve all seen Petrea before?

  5. Manisha, whaaaaaaat! You’ll make Anita’s and my chutney :-D Aayi ga, what did we both do, that you’ll amke our chutney ;)

  6. I did not know that Frangipani is also called champa. I thought that it was the Hindi name for the light yellow fragrant flowers from magnolia family. Lovely pictures.

    Champa is the popular name for the Plumeria trees in the North. The Northern plains are too hot and dry for Magnolia species. Michelia champaca, more common in the coastal South (but also found all over the country), is a big tree and is also referred to as Champa! It too has very fragrant flowers (white or pale yellow). Neither are Magnolias.

    The Plumeria flowers come in all shades or white and yellow – from pure white to pure yellow, and everything in between – yellow with whites on the inside, white with yellow on the inside! You also have red-pinks, but a pure red is rare!

  7. Tumhari aur Anita ki chutney banaa doongi. Uske baad, us Pelicano ka achaar banaa doongi, hanh!

    Dear God, please send tax-help for Manisha, soon. We are all in grave danger of being liquidated if this mood continues…

  8. Manisha, is that a punjabi accent I hear?

    It is sounding like Ajit threatening Mona…

  9. [scratches his head] I’m not sure if I like the looks of that…

  10. Well…at least we’d know on which side of Manisha’s thali we stand!

    That’s true! But she doesn’t really believe in any order or taking sides…

  11. Well put! She’s definitely a main-dish madame…however, I see that you were chopped up first…

    Your chutney looks delicious BTW… it reminds me of some Persian yoghurt relishes…minus the raisins.

    I’ve read about frangipani before…is that not also referred to as “red jasmine”? Though maybe not related… Which is the champa used for incense?

    That looks like mentha spicata- what we call spearmint…that’s the best mint for cooking in my opinion, and I also dry it for use during winter… :-)

    I haven’t come across the term ‘red jasmine’ though it does have a fragrance similar to jasmine…It is likely that both are used for incense. I came across a couple of sites where Champa is one of the names for the Plumeria (I’ve added a link to Wiki).

    That spearmint I am going to use today to make some spearmint tea – maybe with a dash of lemon.

  12. Oh…I forgot to mention…I love the “fallen flowers” composition! And, is that your house behind the first petrea photo?

    That is my parents’ house – the first house I designed way back in 1988! I lived there for a couple of years while our house was undergoing renovation. I planted the Petrea…but it came to flowering after we moved out and my parents moved in!

  13. How very Morrocan of you to have mint tea… and speaking of mid-east influence, the masonry work over the window (?) I really admire…is that cast with fine concrete? that’s your first house eh? It must be nice to be able to visit it! Most of my designs have been painted over… :-D (former abodes) except two of my floors, in different buildings, which are still, as far as I know from subtle inquiry, intact.

    There is a window behind but the terracotta tiles create a jali (screen) behind which hides an ugly electricity meter on one side and the other side supports the beautiful Petrea. The house has many mistakes (mainly related to workmanship and detailing – which I knew little about at the time) but the basic planning was very sound and it makes for a happy house. The rear garden has a guava tree, and two mango trees that give the most delicious fruit! There is also a White Champa. In the front garden there is the red Plumeria (from where I got my cutting), this petrea, a trumpet creeper on the boundary wall, a red Hibiscus, a Kamini (related to the karipatta!), and a Tecomaria!

  14. Terracotta…I see the joints now! Well, it’s much nicer to look at than the electrical junction box! and it forms a perfect backdrop for the petrea.

    I checked out the other other two trees…quite the exotic collection in your parents’ yard! Your mother must love scented flowers very much! My mother likes boxwood, arbor vitae, and Russian sage…basically things she doesn’t need to attend to; she’s never had the patience for a thumb in any shade of green! I made a new (flower) bed for her last year in the shape of a pear/teardrop, which encloses an ash tree, and planted it nearly entirely with perennials with fine foliage…a lot of winter thyme, as it continues the feel of unsculptured boxwood. It’ll be interesting to see this coming season… I planted a single red-stalked rhubarb near the center, next to the tree as a dramatic contrast- but she isn’t convinced yet that rhubarb can be used for landscaping. [shrugs]

    The Kamini is indeed heavenly scented. My mom has it trimmed twice a year – it has been trained as a small tree and not as a hedge, as is more common. The bushy Tecomaria is home to a couple of Flycatcher families, and the parakeets love the guavas!

    Why rhubarb with the deep red stalks and big leaves must look pretty. I have used lettuce, celery, and arbi leaves ornamentally in my garden. It makes for a very edible garden which is even more important when you have a tiny garden and want it to do double duty One time the arbi bloomed and to everyone’s surprise, we saw really beautiful yellow lily-like flowers!!

    Does anyone know where I might plant the Moon and the Stars (watermelon!) in my tiny side-yard garden that is mostly in shade :) ? I will soon have sunny terraces though…

  15. anita, that frangipani is gorgeous. i saw some at the singapore botanical garden last year. they smell heavenly, so do the plumeria.

    oye manisha, stop threatening people. pop some mint at 300F for 8-10 minutes in your oven for dried mint.

    All the Pumerias have their unique smells. This red one has a most delicate fragrance, while the white-with-yellow-centre is stronger, but not as strong as Plumeria obtusifolia with the large pure white flowers.

  16. 300F in the oven? Blasphemy, I tell you! Slow cooked and sun-dried. That’s environment friendly. Uses only solar energy and some otherwise unused muscles, too.

    But whatever will I do about Pistachio the squirrel, who is back and eating all my plants?! I am soon going to start throwing things at him. My neighbors think I have some kind of a nervous tic cos I keep opening the windows to yell: “Pistachio!”

  17. give him/her something else to eat, for cripes’ sake. an apple core, maybe? or there are these things called squirrel feeders.

  18. btw, is frangipani the same as plumeria? some websites say they are, some are not sure. in the singapore botanical garden, some trees were called ‘plumeria’, some were called ‘frangipani’.

    Yes, Bee, they are the same :) I was wondering about the earlier comment…Plumeria is the Genus and there are many species and cultivars…too many in fact, for all to be documented! Frangipani is one of the many common names.

  19. anita, the pot you have for the mint – i have an almost identical one, and it has mint as well.

    Great minds think alike you think?!
    :)

  20. “Sarson ke khet” :)

    That does make me very nostalgic…..after all i am a “Pind the kudi (Village belle)” :-D

    For now my interest is more in the sarson ka saag than the fields ;).

    and while you mentioned Plumeria, i started thinking about the other flowering trees…..Oleander/Kaner was the first to come to my mind…..

    ah, she mentions the fields! Sarson ka saag – yummy winter green!

    Oleander is nice too, but too common.

  21. Oh…the moon and stars! I forgot about that…they’ll keep for a few years you know..2-3…Such a nice little unobtrusive plant to give away huh? lol too cool to pass up…
    What’s a flycatcher? Monkey? Snake? :-)

    I totally believe in using edible or useful plants in landscaping; some are visually spectacular out of the context of crop-rows; for example: cannabis sativa is very…oh, nevermind.

    Manisha, i used to have a similar problem when i named a cat “Mildew”….especially when i called out her name looking for her…they must have thought i was extremely obsessed with my bathroom…

    Musical- I am picturing you (which is difficult since, in the only photo I’ve seen, you were rather young) running through the blooming mustard fields of Punjab in slo-mo… and then Anita calls out to you from behind, “Hey Musical, you’re going the wrong way! The abandoned tequila truck is this way!”

    Wow! I’m on a roll today! ;-)

    You are! (on a roll…)

    I am not going to fall for the, “what’s a flycatcher – monkey?” thing. I know you’d like me to say ‘monkey’ or ‘snakes’ :-) You found out about nenya, and zamudaud and you don’t know flycatcher? Yeah, right.

    The Moon and the Stars will definitely be planted lovingly by the father on his return. The seson for planting this year is past. Who knows, I may even try and see if it might want to wander on my new terraces?? ;)

    Mildew – nice name. Pistachio – very nice for a squirrel!

    Sorry, Musical. Pel doesn’t know you don’t drink? More for me!

  22. Bee- I didn’t mean to leave you out! I have a flower-pot with mint in it too! ;-)

  23. I never said anything about Musical drinking… :-)

    Just making sure :) …and yes, those cannabis plants, they used to grow wild in the garden when I was a little girl. They are pretty – at least that is how I explained it…
    ;)

  24. Anita, just saw your post, the mint chutney looks fabulous and will be a great addition to the Green Blog Project! Pl leave me a comment on my blog if you would like to participate and I will add it to the roundup.

    Sure Mandira. I have linked to the event post!

  25. Anita,

    i know kaner is too common :-D but lovely still. i mentioned this because i have a lot of childhood memories attached with the pink kaner tree in our courtyard! but frangipani is lovely and smells divine…..more of my teenage time flower ;)

    Pel, you have some fertile imagination! and what made you name a cat “mildew”-thats blasphemy! Though i love’s Manisha’s squirrel’s name: Pistachio-suits a squirrel so well :-D

    Ahh…you were talking about Nerium oleander…that I really like, even though even that is very common. There is another larger shrub, also called kaner/ oleander, with yellow and kesari flowers – actually even that is pretty – just used too wild-ly! :)

  26. i have never tasted this one.. yogurt and mint are long time pals but i guess now i have to tintroduce them to the walnuts which are galore here.my mint hasn’t resusticated as yet.

    I store (small amounts :( ) my walnuts in the fridge – they go rancid very quickly in the Delhi summer. This chutney is very different – the walnuts keep it together in a creamy way and everyone wonders how you the pudina to be so creamy!

  27. What’s wrong with Musical Drinking? I do it all the time. :lol: And now I might even do it to that maiyya song that Pel found. Darn! There goes my place in heaven!

    I don’t want to start feeding the wild animals around us since we are too close to the Open Space (undeveloped land where there are coyotes, deer, snakes, mountain lions, and God knows what else!).

    Besides, it feels good to just yell every so often. It is a good release, I think! But I can’t take credit for Pistachio – he was already named that when we got here. Mildew…now that’s a case study for a psychologist!!

    Mandira, your round-up was great!!

    Not that song, Manisha. Forget about your place in heaven, you won’t be feeling all that great over here! Despite the drink. :)

    Pistachio is such a nice word and a great name for a squirrel (and, miracle of miracles, it ties into this post!)…you must have been opening that window a lot this past week for the ‘good release’ an’ all! ;)

  28. anita, i just prepared your u.p. potato curry – the one whose picture people like to steal. i’ve rechristened it “batata bliss”. bad alliteration, i know, but that’s all i can manage to say with my mouth full.

    The taste of that curry belies its simplicity of preparation! I’ll pass on the ‘thank you’ to Shaku, affectionately shortened by Manisha here. So quick you’ll probably never want to reach for frozen anything! ;)

  29. Store your nuts in the fridge. They last longer that way.
    :lol:

    I have walnuts, sliced almonds, regular almonds, pine nuts and all my dried fruits – apricots, mixed berries, blueberries, prunes – in one crisper. And I also have some flours there. They last much longer.

    Lots of yelling occured this week! And I didn’t feel so bad when I saw my friend do it all the time to her huge poodle. He jumps out of his skin, stares up at her with an innocent look, which only gets him one more Hey! and then runs for his life. He’s a pup and chewed up her entire sprinkler system last summer. Now he’s into all the young plants.

    I wish I could store all the nuts there! :lol:
    Not enough space…still I make room for some, as also the maida and sooji in just that one fridge. My maid always complains that my fridge is too stuffed. It stocks milk for a day’s need, veggies for about a week’s, and the rest is for all this junk – yeast and chocolates and all kinds of syrups and preserves (home made ones, the others have enough sugar to not spoil ever!)) and saffron and ghati masala and refrigerator pickles…and of course, some nuts too.

  30. Oh…I hear you Anita…Like Manisha, I have one crisper that contains nuts, dried fruit, unsalted butter and cheeses (right now feta and Philly/cream-)and then an entire shelf for cold-stored pickles and pastes/sauces…I have various jars of syrups stuck here and there…another crisper for root veggies and greens, ginger etc…I only buy enough produce for a few days and keep a list of them tacked up so I know what needs to be used before it spoils…It’d be ideal to have two refrigerators: one for long storage, the other for short. I’m not even mentioning the oil-achaars in the cabinet nearby. Too many pickles!

    Okay, so your giant refrigerators have more than one crisper!! I have just the one crisper in just the one fridge – and veggies get priority. The shelf space is getting taken over by rest of the stuff with little available for doodh-dahi and cooked stuffed. It does have a non-so-small freezer into which go all the cheeses, and the khoya, and of course all the home-frozen veggies that I mentioned, as also a big pack of frozen mango pulp (from the two mango trees in my parents’ backyard. Yummilicious!).

    And the achaars – (like you) I make more than we can consume!! I have so many, I don’t remember! But I made a new disciplinary rule for myself last year: any achaar I haven’t opened in a year goes to my maid! ( I need the jars and the shelf space for new ones!). And not more than 2 kg of mango achaar this year. Okay, maybe three. :)

  31. Dear Anita,
    Interesting recipe – would be nice to try a chutney with walnut in it. Yes, the yogurt cools the chutney and enhances the taste as well. The idea of using the mortar is exciting, even today there are households, though this is becoming a rare sight, which use the mortar – definetely tastier. Nostalgia…ummm.

  32. Oh…those mangoes… my favorite fruit and your parents have two in their backyard, along with a forest of fragrant-flowered trees that I can’t grow here…you win! :-D The smaller fridge can be a blessing: it keeps one more disciplined and “on top of things”; we tend to “lose” things in our fridges, which of course, upon eventual discovery, have turned into inedible mini-gardens. Back when I had free reign over my own kitchen, I had a small, vintage chalk-board (real slate!) hung on the wall and marked in three columns to keep track of produce, leftovers, and a cooking to-do list- a totally ideal anti-waste system! As it is, I still use masking tape to label and date everything, and maintain a running inventory of the deep-freeze contents, much to the annoyance of the messy, disorganized relative I am temporarily living with. :-)
    I, too, plan to be a bit less wild with achaar-making this year. I can think of at least one missed opportunity for lessening my load, but the courier would definitely have been using a few choice words by the time delivery was made! My biggest problem is rhubarb: There are two plants here and every spring(late spring/ early summer) I go crazy making cakes, pies and crisps…and then I chop and freeze tons of it for the cold months. I never use much of what I freeze; cheries, then plums and peaches, then apples and pumpkins come into season and all thoughts of rhubarb float away with the falling leaves…and then the southern citrus crop hits the stores in winter…and then here we are again on the brink of sprouting rhubarb! More and more I am attracted to the Japanese approach of using only what’s in season…pickles for winter of course! :-D
    However, enough mangoes to freeze would always be an exception! Enjoy them- I’m envious as hell!

    Have you had Indian mangoes? They are the best (spoken like a true Indian :) ). And the fruit from the aforementioned trees is truly the best I have ever had. They are a cross between the Alphonso and another mango from the south – and it is an improvement on the Alphonso (even if everyone from Maharashtra is going to be up in arms at that comment!). But I can speak – I have had both. Whenever friends visit, there is always some frozen pulp in the freezer! Behind the blue cheese (which is going to last forever, freezer burn not withstanding) and the khoya. :) I use it in mango milkshakes, ice cream, and have also made muffins with fresh fruit! But blueberry muffins will always remain my favourite.

    I have never cooked (or tasted) rhubarb. It looks so beautiful. I wonder when would be the best time to grow it here, probably winter. If two plants produce such an overload for you, all I need is just one maybe! Is it a perennial?

    I agree about the freezer size – a small one is plenty – just an occasional reminder of the season past. That is how my 2 kilos of cauliflower and 10 kilos of peas (unshelled weight) lasts thru till next winter. I barely manage to finish before they are in season again.

    You want pickle? :lol:

  33. All limbs up. Anything better than the Hapoos? No!

    My intro to rhubarb was at hot lunch in Primary School in Nairobi. We would get some yukky smelling soup, some terrible mashed potatoes, and rhubarb pie for dessert. It was like eating smelly armpits. No jokes. I would almost throw up each time but we were forced to finish everything because children in Ethiopia don’t get enough to eat. My 9 year old mind always wondered how those kids would get the food I ate but never mind…

    I changed my mind about rhubarb when a friend who is an avid gardener and a nutritionist brought rhubarb crumble for a summer party we had on my patio last year. It was simply delicious. I first ate it the same way I used to eat hot lunch in primary school – deep inhale, hold breath, chew, chew, chew, swallow, exhale through mouth, couple of inhale-exhales through the mouth, huge gulp of water and only then breathe normally again. But there was no after-taste, so I was brave enough to try it and it was really really good. Maybe I need to do the same thing with jackfruit. :D

    Japanese approach? It’s what we did in India, too. Veggies were bought almost on a daily basis from the vendors who lined the streets. It gave my maid an excuse to go out every day. The veggies we ate were always seasonal.

    I have a smaller fridge. :D But only because the huge fridge took too long to be delivered. Now, it’s extra storage that no-one wants to go down and get stuff from. So I keep the booze there. :D

    That is the problem with you Maharashtrians who want little to do with mangoes from other parts of the country! :) You are missing out withthat short mango season of yours. Hapoos is so overrated. Really. I like so many mangoes – each of them has a wonderfully unique taste. The delicious Sindhooris that start of the season followed by the Safedas, so juicy and just slightly tart – both from Southern India (Andhra?). Later come the Dussehri, Chausa and the green Langda ends the season. (And too many others that even I don’t know of!) I wouldn’t skip any. Hapoos is good. Not better :) If you come to Delhi in July, I’ll have you indulge in the mangoes from my Mum’s trees, and the Langda. Bliss! Also, the mangoes from my Mum’s trees are organic, self-ripened, not plucked prematurely and then ripened with chemicals. That may have something to do with it as well. Truce! ;)

  34. Well, that’s motivation for a visit to the basement! LMAO…. You kill me when you write like that! Smelly armpits indeed! Although I suppose it is a bit of an acquired taste….the plant is native to China actually… I believe they and the Thais use it, not for sweets (not traditionally anyway), but for making sour soup stock… green guavas will work too… Anita, rhubarb has a texture a bit like celery… except it’s quite tart, and doesn’t taste like celery! :-D It has a subtle flavour….rather unique, very much like every green has it’s own subtle flavour…except celery! :-D And fennel… those two both contain essential oils…those tricky (and occasionally deadly) Umbelliferae/Apiaceae!! Well, because of that lack of strong flavour, rhubarb is usually combined with something else- if not another fruit (such as strawberries), then with cinnamon and vanilla. Although, it isn’t bad on its own… we grew up taking rhubarb stalks (the leaves contain oxalic acid- like arbi- but the stalks are fine) and ate them dipped in sugar…I still do that now and then. Ours is about 12″ high right now.

    Anita- there’s a species listed in wiki that’s native to the Himalayas! It’s called “noble rhubarb” or “sikkim”… check it out! But i think the “garden rhubarb” wouldn’t have any problem growing in your area…and oh yeah…one plant is enough…it’s a very tough perrenial— buck-wheat is a relative… plus we have a local wild relative here (gorgeous plant) called “bur-dock”… it has these little spherical seed-pods with hooks that stick onto clothes or hair; I throw em at people i like! :-)

  35. Oh! I forgot to mention…i just made some of the green stuff above our heads… marvelous!!! Except……..[looks half-ashamed] I added THREE little bitty teensy-weensy slices of fresh garlic… :-D Oh, and I did the pistachio variation as I’ve been thinking of them more than walnuts lately for some reason.

    You are such a cheat (and you should be ashamed!)…While Pistachios are great… I resorted to them once when I was out of walnuts and was craving this chutney. They were purrfect! But garlic! :-( I love garlic…but don’t want to try in this – this will stay true to its roots in Kashmiri Pandit cuisine. No onions, no garlic, no tomatoes! :)

  36. Prepared and polished off the bowl!

    Thanks :).

    Well done!

  37. No onions, no garlic, no juicy maters… :-( I suppose a ratatouille is out of the question… Well… [heaves a sigh of assent] I suppose next time I make it, which will probably be soon, I’ll make it as is… not even a tiny little hing baghar???

    heeng? :o NO! :roll:
    Stick with the recipe – Kashmiri. Pandit. Not French.
    :D

  38. He! He! Really sets you off, dern’t it?! :lol: My husband prefers Langda. You forgot the Rajapuri, Totapuri and whatever-else-puri. The Andhra mango is Banganapalli. Then there are those really hairy ones we make sasav with.

    We get other types here that are insipid, Kent being one of the better cultivars. But Hapoos is best-est.

    Garlic won’t do. What about a touch of ginger? :evil:

    Today is finally the day for ginger. Yay!

    ‘Best-est’ is no word… :P

    And D likes Langda!

    You guys lose out by not importing Indian mangoes. The (lone) one I tried there had such a rubbery texture (like the Totapuri, big thumbs down in our family) that I decided to wait till I was back home.

    What did you do with your ginger – ginger ale finally?

  39. Happy Ginger Day! [claps and sings la-la-la-la-la]

    No hing either…[pouts] well…….. at least it has chiles…..and, since you didn’t really specify which kind of chile to use…… :-D ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….I’m gonna try it next time with [drum-roll]………….chipotles!!!! :-D

    Now, that I can accept. With all the music and the singing, I have to allow it! :D

  40. Mint-walnut combo looks very interesting. I have to try this sometime. Thanks

    Do try, Shilpa. “It’s different”!

  41. I didn’t do nothing. I got sick. Still am. :-(

    Hang in there…have some ginger tea, meanwhile! :-)

  42. Oh Manisha, I hope you feel better; I was wondering where you disappeared to. That stuff you made from ginger could help…?

    Anita- it will be the first Mexican-Kashmiri pandit crossing…or have you already begun fiddling with tortillas and mole…

    Mole – that is one sauce I would love to get on my chicken…Can I use ordinary milk chocolate or semi-sweet morsels? Just the thought of including chilli and chocolate in one dish is heavenly!

  43. The best mole I have had is in Manitou Springs at The Loop. Their margaritas (grande, baby!) were excellente, too! Their mole had an almost methi-like very slightly bitter taste and they claimed it had some 16 different Mexican herbs, seeds and spices. I haven’t had mole like that anywhere else.

    You need dark, bitter and unspiced chocolate to make mole. I can look for Mexican chocolate for you, if you want. :)

    Pel, I felt so sick that I couldn’t do anything. Today has also been really exhausting. I can’t handle the smell of food or to be around food. Now it looks like I have passed it on to D. :( Either that or it’s his way of saying he needs some TLC now. D’s convinced I brought this home from the farms we trespassed on. :lol:

    When you get that chocolate will you also find a way to send it to me – without me getting hauled to the Indian Customs!

    I cannot believe I was in Denver for over a year and no one mentioned mole! Thank God I knew about Margaritas!

  44. Mustard fields and DDLJ :-D

    You may find it hard to believe but I have not seen that movie…I know it is hip to love Bollywood masala, but I frankly need more to justify three hours and the steep prices at the multiplexes [running for cover]. And SRK movies are all the same (more brickbats!) :D I love Kajol, though. And I love watching SRK being interviewed – he is really witty! Unlike most stars.

  45. I’d tell you I could send some excellent recipes for mole (mole poblano would be the correct name, as there are others, such as mole verde made from pumpkin seeds, and mole negro which is a very complicated list if ingredients, in which the chiles and chile seeds are roasted black), but truthfully, I found mine on recipesource. com… and the recipe I tried was excellent- I’ve eaten it all over… and Colorado does indeed have many authentic restaurants and grocers… You could use unsweetened chocolate to make it, but Mexican unsweetened chocolate is generally preferred, and some recipes use the equally special Mexican drinking chocolate(which contains sugar, almonds, and cinnamon) One recipe I have has 21 ingredients, the other, 38!!! You could substitute the lard with oil… Perhaps, since Maneesh and I BOTH live in areas with a high Mexican population… :-)

    …and this information is supposed to make me feel better??? What good is a recipe without the ingredients? I don’t think I could find these in INA even if I agreed to pay the exotic prices. :-(

  46. And Manisha…I’m giving you a half-hijacking ticket! I was trying to be so subtle when I mentioned mole…. [pouts]

  47. Do you have those dried-up whole shrimps staring at you from plastic bags in Colorado too? And there’s the raw sugar called piloncillo…or something like that…it looks like very dark gur…

  48. BTW Anita- mole has no direct English equivalent….cooking sauce would be close, but there are others not called mole in the Mexican repetoire…such as adobo- which actually is a forerunner of mole poblano… poblano meaning puebla or pueblo- style… “of the common people who live in villages”…mole comes from the Aztec word molli, which means a sauce employing chiles… this particular “sauce” was according to legend, “…[invented in the] 16th century [by] the nuns of the convent of Santa Rosa in the city of Puebla, [who] heard that the archbishop was coming to visit them. They went into a panic because the convent had nothing suitable to offer such a distinguished visitor, but after a while they rallied, prayed and- with heavenly guidance- began to grind and chop everything edible that they had in the kitchen. Into the mix went (among other things) many kinds of chile, almonds, tomatoes, onions, garlic, bread, tortillas, bananas, sesame seeds, sugar, raisins, lard, toasted avocado leaves and innumerable herbs and spices. All were finely ground and cooked for hours. The final touch was a small quantity of chocolate, which gave the mole its subtle flavour…”

    Top that length Maneeshy-baby! :-D

    I have poured over many an mole poblano recipe…it only makes the regret more painful…I almost put it in the “Five-Things-to-Eat-Before-You-Die” meme, but we were supposed to write about things we had tasted.

  49. Length? I was counting the number of submits! Can’t top either! But my secret lies in in quality, and it might be what others try to emulate through quantity… :lol: Although one lowlife did complain at my blog that my comments on other people’s blogs were a tad too long. Get a life! Stop reading Anita’s blog, I told them. And, Pel, you didn’t have a blog then else I would have sent them your address :evil:

    So I sent a certain someone who shall remain unnamed this recipe for poblano mole. It’s a Rick Bayless recipe. I tell you I gotta love that iVillage Cooking Forum and they do love me in return but they have no qualms about reproducing recipes word for word from cookbooks!

    I don’t think the chocolate and chillies should be a problem if carted over in someone’s suitcases. :idea:

    I have everything but the chillies and the chocolate :lol: Now what remains to be done is to find that suitcase that is making the trip to Delhi..
    :-D

  50. Those dried-up whole shrimps stare at me longingly from plastic bags at the Asian market nearby. A friend who has connections in a nearby city told me that a very good Mexican store will soon be opening there. I can’t wait!

    I used to get piloncillo in Dominick’s (Safeway) in Chicagoland. I’ve never cooked with it. Have you, Pel? There used to be this one shelf filled with Mexican spices and chillies. (I don’t spell it chile. Anita, when are you going to set everyone straight about the spelling of chilli?) I buy my dried mint from that shelf. As well as black peppercorns.

    Have you tried any of the mole sauces that come in those jars, Pel? I’ve only looked at them longingly and then gone and got my fix at a local Mexican restaurant.

    Ahhh…. yes, friends with connections – those come very handy over here too. But I don’t seem to have any :-( withthe connections, I mean. Of course, I have some friends!

    Yes people, what is this chili stuff (thanks for the opportunity, Manisha. I also get to dispense wisdom! ;-) ). Chile is the dish made with many spices and beans and meat…for example, ‘chile verde’, ‘chili con carne’… The spice, called mirchi in India, is better spelled ‘chilli.’ Pel, it is your language creating all this confusion – the British knew their chili from their chilli. First Columbus ‘discovers’ America – :lol: all the while he thought he had reached India – then he saw the chilli and thought it must be the Indian pepper!! He was so off on all accounts that it is embarrassing that anyone should be celebrating Columbus Day (not to forget that a lot of people were thriving in the Americas before that ‘discovery!’)

    And then to add to the confusion the chilli became the chili pepper!! Whatever, dude! It’s neither chili nor pepper! :lol:

    And here is the link I was looking for!

  51. So we spell it correctly but we say it wrong. Where’s the justice?!

  52. A new picture of petrea! Beautiful!

    Though you could have used it for Q. It’s also called Queen’s Wreath.

  53. [...] something special to moisten all of this dryness. Anita’s very delicious and very versatile Walnut and Mint Chutney(of A Mad Tea Party) seemed like the answer -and it was!…. except I used pistachios… [...]

  54. What a lovely post! I always look forward to the blooming fields of mustard flowers in Northern California each spring. So lovely. And your photos of flowers are gorgeous.

  55. LOL!!! I really missed a lot! I spell it chile because that be the original word… and chile con carne means hot peppers with meat… or chile relleno- stuffed chile… but you don’t see me getting all my feathers ruffled do you?… how is it that kala mirchi has two words, but mirchi is one? And y’all had kala mirchi first? It’s the same in Thailand with prik (chiles) and prik Thai (peppercorns)… at least you don’t have to deal with sweet/bell peppers on top of it! :-D

  56. There is a movement in the CHILE afficionado circles to begin using the word chile…all alone…not chile pepper, not hot pepper, just chile…to edge the language use toward some sense of reason…and I am simply, reasonably and whole-heartedly following suit… so there! :-D

  57. After that’s done, then we need to do something about sweet peppers and black pepper….black pepper should stay I think….capsicum works for me! or god mirchi…. :-)

  58. Beautiful pictures and a lovely post! I have to try growing mint at home to. I have lots of herbs in my garden but I mint is missing! WHY?

  59. [...] sauce. Or you could also serve them on their own, as a variation of the tikki, with a coriander or mint chutney. Which is what I did with the other [...]

  60. Hi Anita,
    I just made your version of the mint-walnut chutney. It was really good. :-)
    I am relatively new to the world of food-blogging. I just love your blog. You have so many great recipes that I have bookmarked .
    I will keep coming back for more.

    TBC

    I am so happy you tried and liked this chutney.

    Welcome to food-blogging…I’m off to check what you have for us!

  61. [...] in the mornings. Therefore, the mustard family gets to reign for a few more weeks. I have mentioned mustard fields and I have talked about Punjab…but I haven’t yet talked about the favorite winter greens [...]

  62. Hi Anita,
    Have included your Chutney as a model recipe in the One page cookbook at http://ramkicooks.blogspot.com/.

    /Thanks for the recipe

  63. [...] with some water and salt, removed to a serving dish; mixed with some yoghurt we had my Kashmiri Pudna Chatin, a tasty dip.  While the maid chopped the onions I fried some of my home made potato chips.  She [...]

  64. [...] lost the mint this summer, and blamed it on Sanjay, the gardener.  It really was his fault.  As summer [...]

  65. [...] lost the mint this summer, and blamed it on Sanjay, the gardener.  It really was his fault.  As summer [...]

  66. Ur blog looks so lively and fresh just like fresh mint!!

    I am Kashmiri by birth so have enjoyed poodun doon chateny a lot. Married to Gujrati and got some sweet sour flavour added. I add anardana(dried pomegranate ) or tamrind or lemon sometimes. And then crushed dates or jaggary for sweetness. My husband loves that one!

  67. Btw u may try almonds instead of walnuts. That also tastes awesome :)

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