Thursday, November 24, 2011

Spring Onion Chutney

We eat Idlis four times a week. Sometimes it’s idli and uttapam. But mostly, it’s just Idlis. And before you jump to conclusions about this being a byproduct of my South-Indian lineage, let me enlighten you. This is all Sid’s doing. Yes the Punjabi boy loves idlis and absolutely cannot do without them. His face lights up every time I tell him we are having idlis for breakfast… and yes, that’s almost 4 times a week!

Sid is a creature of habit. He hates experimenting, loves his dal-chawal and wouldn’t ever try anything new in a restaurant unless forced by me! So the chutney with the idlis is almost always the same – his favorite peanut chutney. It’s a very simple chutney consisting of roasted peanuts, salt, green chillies and water. And dare I add even a little bit of tamarind or ginger or garlic for that extra zing, his nose will promptly crinkle up with displeasure! But for me it really gets boring. I have never been too fond of peanut/groundnut chutney.

So the other day, when we made Idlis (again), I decided I had had enough. Sid could have his regular chutney but I wanted something that tingled my taste buds. No coconut in the freezer that day… and then I looked at this bunch of spring onions that had been lying for a couple of days with no interesting dish in sight. So I thought… why not? No harm in trying. And here is the Spring Onion Chutney I came up with. It was tangy, spicy and incredibly delicious! Goes perfectly with idlis, dosas and uthappams.


Fresh Spring Onions – 1 bunch
Tamarind – 1 small ball, pulp extracted OR Tamarind pulp – 1 tsp
Green Chillies – 4
Salt – to taste
Sugar – ½ tsp

For the tempering:
Vegetable Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Split Black gram/Urad dal – 1 tsp
Split Bengal gram/Channa Dal – 1 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing – ½ tsp

Soak the tamarind in a small bowl of warm water for about 10min. Then squeeze out the pulp/water and throw the fibrous parts away. Wash the spring onions and chop them roughly. Add the chopped spring onions with greens, the tamarind, green chillies, salt and sugar to the blender or mixer jar and pulse till it forms a smooth paste. Add about a tablespoon of water if you think it’s too thick and pulse again. Scoop out this chutney into a bowl. 

Now for the tempering. Heat oil in a small tempering ladle or kadhai. Once it starts to smoke, reduce flame and add the mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal and hing. Once the tempering ingredients turn a nice golden brown, turn off the heat and add to the chutney. Stir and serve!

The way I like it:
This spicy, tangy, sweet and sour chutney goes extremely well with dosas, idlis and uthappams. Also great as an accompaniment with rotis and rice.

This recipe is my entry to Priya’s  Big Chutney Chow Down. Do check it out for a treasure trove of dips, chutneys, relishes and the like.