Looking for a great way to cool down this summer? Try making a quick and easy Cilantro Chutney.
This is one of the most popular condiments in India. Many people may recognize it from their favorite Indian restaurant when it is served alongside spicy appetizers like the famous Samosa.
In Sanskrit, cilantro is called Dhanyaka. It is also commonly referred to as Coriander leaves or Chinese parsley.
Cilantro has many medicinal properties. It is well known as an appetite stimulant and digestive aid because it promotes gastric secretions. Its cooling properties are very effective in healing inflammatory Pitta conditions.
Fresh herbal juice preparations are known as ‘Svarasa’ in Ayurveda. Cilantro can be crushed and strained. The remaining pure liquid juice is sipped as a medicine in cases such as allergies, hay fever, sore throat, hyper acidity, urinary tract infections and cystitis.
‘Kalka’ is the Ayurvedic term for a fresh herbal paste applied externally. Cilantro can be pulverized and made into a soothing poultice for skin rashes, burns, and even placed over eyelids for conjunctivitis.
Basic recipe for Cilantro Chutney
Combine in Food Processor:
1 large bunch Cilantro (leaves & stems)
Handful of mint leaves
1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
½ inch fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon natural sugar, honey or agave nectar (adjust to taste)
¼ – ½ cup water for blending
*Optional –1 Serrano Chili, deseeded
Traditionally this chutney is used as a relish to accompany most Indian dishes; however there are many modern variations on this classic condiment. For example:
• Thin out the chutney and add some toasted sesame oil to create a tasty salad dressing.
• Add olive oil and use as a marinade during the summer grilling season.
• Mix chutney with fresh yogurt for a healthier version of chips and dip.
• My personal favorite – I grew up on ‘Cucumber Chutney Sandwiches’ when it was hot outside. Spread one side of the bread with Cilantro Chutney, the other slice with a little butter or cream cheese. Fill with ‘fresh from the garden’ cucumbers and tomatoes. Enjoy with some homemade sun tea!
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