Spicy Cilantro Dip (Chutney)
Green Chutney sandwiches were a staple snack while growing up in India. Chutney sandwiches to India are what PBJ sandwiches are to America. Almost every street in Bombay had a vendor selling these super amazing veggie stuffed chutney sandwiches. I could eat this for breakfast-lunch-dinner…may I add everyday!
What I really devoured was the spicy green chutney. This is a ubiquitous accompaniment with almost any savory Indian snack. It’s incredible how this recipe is re-created in different parts of India with slight variation in ingredients. This minor change can really transform the flavor of the chutney, where I come from we used peanuts as the secondary ingredient. I swapped the peanuts for almonds since they are way more nutritious. Fresh cilantro is however the main ingredient and what gives it this super amazing luscious glowing green color.
Over a period of years I have tasted and tried to recreate several versions of this cilantro dip, this one is by far my most favorite.
Even though cilantro is the primary ingredient of this dip, fresh garlic and rock salt are really what attribute immensely to its flavor.
Garlic is such an essential ingredient in Indian cooking. Raw garlic can have a robust after taste but in this case the other ingredients help to tone that down. I never ever use garlic paste from the jar and would not recommend it for this or any other recipe. Garlic is known to have great health benefits:
- Provides a boost to the immune system
- Compounds in Garlic can help lower blood pressure
- Improves cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease
- Known to have anti-cancer properties
Himalayan Rock Salt
I recently met someone who avoids salt completely because of slightly high blood pressure. It got me thinking about salt in general and what food would taste like without it. Personally, I do like some steamed veggies without salt but no salt at all in the diet seemed like an extreme measure. I am no health expert but do believe that we need some amount of sodium to maintain fluid levels in the body. Lack of sodium can result in the body overheating after any kind of intense activity and in turn lead to dehydration. However, I do agree that the salt we typically use (table salt) is so overly processed and washed out of it’s naturally occurring minerals. It could lead to increased blood pressure due to lack of magnesium to counter balance its high sodium content.
Himalayan rock salt or the real unrefined salt has this really beautiful muted coral and pinkish tone as a result of its natural nutrient composition. Rock salt has several benefits:
- Promotes digestion
- Has antioxidants and anti-aging properties
- Improves metabolism
- It has cleansing and exfoliating properties (used in body scrubs)
Both Garlic and Rock Salt infuse complex flavors to this super simple recipe.
I typically make a batch of this dip that lasts for about two weeks in the fridge and eat it with:
- Grilled Chicken
- Chicken/Vegetable Kabab’s
- Lotus Root Burgers
- Spread on toasted Paleo Bread
- 1 Bunch Cilantro
- 3 Spicy Green Peppers
- 8 Almonds
- 1/2 Tsp Rock Salt
- 1 Lime Juice
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tbsp Water
- Rinse the cilantro in water
- Grind all the ingredients in a food processor
- Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator
- Consume within 2 weeks