Cilantro Mint Chutney –
This Tart-Sweet & Spicy Condiment Makes the Meal
London, 1969. Eating lunch at Le Cordon Bleu Restaurant on Marylebone Lane, across the street from their cooking school, I enjoyed Cilantro Mint Chutney for the very first time. It came on a condiment stand with my order of “curry” for lunch. I thought it was mine to enjoy. Though, I guess I was enjoying too much of it. For suddenly a waitress removed the chutney from my table, never to be seen again. Out of sight, though not out of mind. Its bright, spicy, tart-sweet taste had made the meal unforgettable.
That delicious chutney became the final bit of encouragement I needed to fill out the form to attend London’s Cordon Bleu School of Cookery. After a year working as a secretary in Northern California, I returned to London and the Cordon Bleu enrolling in their Certificate course. While there, I did learn to make the chutney. Although I’ve since lost the recipe, the unusual ingredient it contained—apricot jam—I’ve remembered over all these many years.
Reinventing Cilantro Mint Chutney
A month ago I prepared an Indian luncheon for an Ayurveda workshop. Having included Cilantro Mint Chutney (along with Tamarind Chutney, Rhubarb Chutney with Apples, Dates & Ginger, and Raita) on the menu, I needed a recipe.
After researching and working with a few different recipes, I was close to recreating the chutney I remembered. The breakthrough came after blending in a small amount of lightly sweetened apricot spread. Yes. I now had a recipe for a Cilantro Mint Chutney with a flavorful balance of tart, sweet, spicy and fabulous.
8 Ways to enjoy Cilantro Mint Chutney with Chili and Lime
- Alongside any Indian meal or snack
- A condiment with roasted or grilled foods
- A dip with vegetables and/or chips
- A sauce with a quinoa or grain bowl
- Mixed into plain yogurt for a summery Raita
- Swirled into soup
- Spread on sandwiches or wraps
- Thinned with olive oil as a dressing for pasta salad
BTW, what’s chutney?
Boldly flavored, cooked or raw condiments known as chutneys, accompany Indian meals. For me, they transform even the simplest Indian meal into a feast. Ayurveda (which originated in India) recommends including all six tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent—in every meal. Chutneys with their wide range of flavors and ingredients provide a most delicious way to do so.
Cilantro Mint Chutney with Chili & Lime
An easy to make vegan condiment, dip sauce or spread.
Thank you both Madhur Jaffrey and London’s Le Cordon Bleu School of Cookery for inspiring this recipe.
- For mild chutney, remove the seeds from the chilies.
- For medium-hot chutney, remove the seeds from half the chili(es).
- For hot chutney, include all the seeds.
Makes ¾ cup Printer-Friendly Recipe
Total Time 15 minutes
- 1-2 Serrano Chilies (½ ounce), stemmed and seeded or not according to your desired level of heat
- 2 packed cups fresh cilantro, both leaves and fine stems
- ¾ cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons low sugar apricot spread/jam
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons water
- Drop the chili(es) through the feed tube of a running food processor until coarsely chopped.
- Add the cilantro and mint. Process until coarsely chopped.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Process until semi-smooth, with a loose, pesto-like consistency.
- Store Cilantro Mint Chutney tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.