Sunday, June 8, 2014

Healthy & Spicy, Fibre rich Green Indian Chutneys

Chutney is a dish most popularly used along with tiffins and meals all over India. In modern culture, sauce and jam are trying to take over the place of chutneys. But still, most people like the age old chutneys like idli chutney, pudina(mint leaves) chutney, Dhaniya(coriander leaves) chutney, ginger chutney etc.

All above chutneys and many more chutneys have their own special tastes and are healthy also. There are many blogs dealing with these chutneys.

But, I am presently concerned with some green, healthy chutneys most of which may not be known to the modern generation and which may not be found on internet.  These chutneys are made from the fibre (skin) of green vegetables and leaves which are beneficial for better blood circulation of the body. These skins and leaves contain fibre, calcium, potassium and iron much needed for our body.

Most of us throw away the skins of bottle gourd, ridge gourd and outer leaves of cabbage, etc. which should not be thrown away like that. They contain rich fibre useful for our body. Consuming as much of fibre as possible is essential for our health. Starch, proteins and oils stick to our body cells and cause indigestion and gastric problems. Consumption of fibre prevents these smooth substances from hampering our digestion and creating fat. Fibre rich food makes the circulation flow freely and controls indigestion and accumulation of sticky material in the body. So try to intake as much fibre as possible by consuming some vegetables and fruits along with their skins and by using some edible vegetable skins in preparation of chutneys.

I am giving some easy tips to prepare such fibre rich green chutneys in the following paragraphs.

Ridge Gourd chutney
Wash the ridge gourd and peel the skin with a peeler. The skin peels may be cut into medium pieces so as to be smaller than the grinding jar size. If you want, you can make chutney of the entire gourd. In that case, you may not peel skin separately. You can cut the whole gourd into small pieces along with its skin. But, if you are making curry of the gourd and do not know about utilising the skins, this is the method for utilising them by making chutney. You keep ready some red dry chillies (3 to 4 chillies for skins of half kg. gourd), mustard seeds and cummins.

Now light the stove and place hollow pan (kadai) on the flame. Pour one tablespoon oil and heat it. Then add the chillies and mustard, cumin seeds and fry till mustard splits. Next, add the cut pieces of gourd or gourd skin and fry for some time say 1 or 2 minutes. Then remove the pan from flame and leave it to cool. After 2, 3 minutes you can grind it. Put the fried material into the jar, add salt, turmeric powder and  5 to 10 grams of tamarind as per your likings and grind the mixture into paste adding some water. One minute is enough for grinding. A little bit roughness is good for health. Now your chutney is ready to serve. Remove it into a bowl having a lid. You can store it for 2, 3 days in your fridge as per your consumption.

Bottle Gourd Chutney  
Use the same procedure as above. Cut the gourd along with skins or peel the skin separately to make curry with the inner material and chutney with the outer skins. It is advisable to add some pieces of the inner material also to the skins (say 100 grams or so) for good taste of chutney. Then fry in the frying pan as above alongwith red dry chillies, mustard and cumins. Fry for 1 or 2 minutes and cool and grind in the mixie along with tamarind, turmeric powder and salt. This chutney may consume less water than Ridge gourd. Remove into a bowl and serve as per needs as you can store it for 2, 3 days.

Cabbage Chutney
Wash the outer leaves of cabbage by separating them from the whole cabbage upto three or four layers. The remaining cabbage does not need washing. Now cut the leaves into small pieces and also some portion of the cabbage to meet requirements. The balance cabbage may be prepared curry as usual. The cut pieces for making chutney should be fried as per above mentioned procedure along with red chillies, mustard, cumins. Then cool and grind in the mixie adding salt, turmeric, tamarind. Your chutney is ready for serving.

Spinach or other leafy vegetables in same group
These whole leaf vegetables are also good for making chutneys. Remove the roots portion of these leafy plants and wash. Then cut them into pieces. Quantity will depend upon your likes and tastes. Chillies also can be increased or decreased according to requirement. Fry the cut pieces of these leafy vegetables as per same procedure as above along with chillies, mustard, cumins. When you fry them, the quantity reduces to one-fourth or so. Then cool the material and grind along with salt, turmeric and tamarind as above chutneys.

For full details of preparation along with images, you may visit my hub at by clicking here

All these chutneys are very healthy besides being very tasty and spicy. You can use them with breakfast, tiffin or meals items.

How to eat the chutneys?
Just like you use sauce or jam, use these chutneys in lieu of them or along with them as extra dish. What you do is simple take a loaf of bread, burger or donut, etc. and touch the chutney with it so that some chutney sticks to it. Then swallow the loaf like anything else. You will feel the difference. A spicy taste will enter into your mouth enhancing your appetite. You will definitely enjoy the taste. Not only for these western food stuffs, but many Indian breakfast stuffs like Idli, Dosa, Vada, Upma, Puri, Paratha, etc. all can be enjoyed with these chutneys joyfully. I and my family members enjoy it very much with our breakfast Idlis very often. It tastes so good, you can't imagine.

For those who eat rice, mix the chutney, one or two spoonfuls into a plate of well cooked rice, so that the chutney mixes fully into the whole rice evenly. Now eat the rice with spoon just like you eat biryani, lemon rice, tomato rice, etc. It will be very good in taste.

Important Points to note

  • The quantity of chillies, salt and tamarind, etc. depend upon the quantity of chutney prepared.
  • Water for grinding may be added in two trips so as to make the chutney as solid or liquid as per your choice and for better grinding also.
  • Take care that items do not get too much fried or burnt while frying. The vegetable skins, leaves etc should not get fully cooked or fried. They should be less than half fried so that natural elements of fibre and leaves remain intact to secure health benefits.
  • Do not grind for more time. First grind for 30 seconds, then add water and grind for 30 seconds. It can be enough.
  • The ground paste should contain some rough particles in it to be healthy. So do not grind excess.