Not much of a story behind this one, just that as I was in the midst of making those delicious rava idlis the other day, I realized that I didn't have much of the red bell pepper chutney that I'd made a few days earlier to accompany them. The red bell pepper chutney is decidedly South Indian in flavor, but I thought that a tangier North Indian chutney would also go along great with the idlis. The tang here comes from the lime juice and the chaat masala, while the cashews add just a bit of creaminess and some texture. This went surprisingly well with the idlis, so I imagine that it would be great with dosa or uttapam along with samosas, pakoras or similar fried snacks. It would also make for a delectable sandwich spread for some cucumber tea sandwiches. Check out this wonderful recipe for "Indo-British" finger sandwiches from The Gastronomic Nomad and serve this chutney with them!
Chaat masala, in case you aren't familiar with it, is a spice mixture made of dried mango powder (amchoor powder), cumin, black salt, coriander, dried ginger and other spices. It has a distinctive smell and a tangy taste and perks up many different types of chaat (snack food...often sold in streets) and salads in India. Check it out in my Corn & Pomegranate Chaat or in this wonderful Crispy Spicy Okra Salad adapted from Suvir Saran. And don't forget to try it in this awesome chutney!
MINT & CASHEW CHUTNEY
Makes 1/2 cup
1/4 of a large onion, chopped into large chunks
1/2 of a large tomato, chopped into large chunks
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 of a Thai bird's eye chili or 1-2 Indian green chilies
Juice of 2 small limes
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
1 stem of fresh coriander (leaves and stem)
1/8 cup (approximate) water
Salt, to taste
Sugar, to taste
Chaat masala, to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 cup cashews, whole
1. In a blender, grind the onion, tomato, garlic, ginger, chili and lime juice to a coarse paste.
2. Add the mint leaves, coriander, water, salt, sugar, chaat masala and cashews and grind again.
3. Pour into a little bowl and mix well. Add additional salt, sugar or chaat masala to taste if need be.