Monday, May 10, 2010

Grab some mint!

Remember that mint I had in the refrigerator? Well, it was beginning to turn black and so before every leaf turned black, I decided to use it.

Mint is a beautiful aromatic herb that grows easily (can spread like a weed!) and has multiple uses. Most of us get a taste of mint early in the morning when we brush our teeth and swish some mouthwash. Then some of us get a taste of it again during the day when we pop a chewing gum into our mouths. Some others get a taste of mint in their after-dinner dessert in the from of mint thins. Mint has medicinal values too. If you have a tummy ache, eat some mint! Hey, they put mint into cough depressants too. And if you are like me, you LOVE good old mint chutney.

So that is exactly what I decided to make. A simple, sexy mint chutney. I learned this from my mom. Extremely simple, as most of my cooking is and very quick, again, as most of my cooking is. The most time consuming part would probably be the step where you have to pluck out the leaves from the stem. If it were upto me, I would skip this step-- I mean, why not just use the entire herb with the leaves and the stems? But then, this is again one of those things that I do just coz my mom taught me to..........

Mint leaves plucked out from the stems. Some of the black leaves discarded along with the stems.

Next I sliced up 1/4 of an onion (you could substitute this with a shallot)-- too much of this would be too harsh. Plus a couple cloves of garlic. You don't want to overpower the mint flavor and aroma with the onion and garlic. Then I put the mint (washed of course), onion, garlic, some salt to taste, a couple green chillies into the food processor. Added some lemon juice and switched on the food processor. There, that probably took about a couple minutes. Super quick! Transferred this into a container.

Then I put 1-2 teaspoons of oil into my little wok (a cute little wok that I bought in India the last time I visited) and heated it and then splattered some mustard seeds. Poured this into the beautiful green mint chutney. And voila! the mint chutney was ready.

 My cute little wok that I use to splatter mustard (& cumin) seeds.

Pouring the mustard seeds into the chutney

 Mint Chutney! (Mix it up before eating)

This mint chutney again has multiple uses. Could be eaten with samosas--- oooh yummy! Or make sandwiches with cucumber and mint chutney. Great picnic item! I also make a very delicious mint-pilaf with this chutney. Darn simple. Give it a little stir in a pan and add rice (preferably basmati) into it. Mix it up, add some extra salt if needed and cook it all up. So delicious!

The next time you see some mint, grab it and then create something delicious out of it!


Priya said...

This is a wonderful idea!Guess what- made use of the other leaves-coriander, which was also turning black.Combined mint, coriander,yogurt, garlic, onion,lemon juice and followed your preparation.Used it as a marinade for baking catfish.The taste was out of this world!Thanks Appi.

Dreamer said...

Wow, Priya! That sounds amazing! I bet it was yummy! I am going to try it too. Tnx!!