Mighty Chutney—Powerhouse of Flavour And Micronutrients
Chutney is more than just a side dish. That fragrant dollop of chutney is loaded with enormous health benefits. Let’s find out what nutrients truly make it beneficial along with four chutney recipes.
Indian food is incomplete without a dash of sweet, sour, or spicy chutney. Be it dosa, chapati, biryani, pulao, or paratha, the Indian platter is always accompanied with complementary chutneys. The word chutney came from the Sanskrit word ‘chaatni’ which means ‘to lick’. The oldest known chutney in the ancient Indian wellness practice is ‘chyawanprash’ an amla paste (Indian gooseberry). There is much folklore about how the chutney came into existence in contemporary India.
Mint, tamarind, and coriander chutney are very common in every Indian household as a variety of dishes are paired with chutneys such as naan, paneer starters, and even south Indian platter. Chutneys are also eaten with several street foods like chaat, kachoris, momos, sandwiches, etc. Legend has it that in the 17th century when Mughal emperor Shah Jahan fell ill, his physician or hakim recommended him to eat spicy and easy-to-digest dishes. Considering this a part of the emperor's treatment plant, combining fresh herbs like mint and coriander took place. Thus, spicy mint and coriander chutney was invented.
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Hyderabad-based senior nutritionist at URLife Shereen Begum shares 4 unique chutney recipes that one must try to avail health benefits.
1. Besan Chutney
Chutney has the charm to transform any meal into a finger-licking delight. Apart from interesting flavours, chutney brings in antioxidants, protein, and loads of fibre. For instance, besan or chickpea flour is an excellent source of protein, Vitamin B, iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. Consuming besan chutney can:
- Boosts metabolism
- Provides good fats in the body
- Helps in relieving constipation
- Makes bones stronger
- Lowers cholesterol
- 2 tbsp besan / gram flour
- 2 cups water
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds, dried red chilli (broken)
- ½ jeera/cumin, urad dal, chana dal
- Curry leaves
- 1/2 onion
- 1 chilli, tomato (finely chopped)
- ¼ turmeric
- ½ salt
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves (finely chopped)
Step 1 : Firstly, in a large bowl take 2 tbsp besan and mix in 2 cup of water.
Step 2 : Whisk well making sure there are no lumps, Keep aside.
Step 3 : In a large kadai, heat 3 tbsp oil. Splutter mustard seeds, cumin, urad dal, chana dal, dry chillies and few curry leaves. Next, add onion and saute slightly.
Step 4 : Add ginger and chilli. Add tomatoes and saute till everything shrinks and becomes soft.
Step 5 : Keep the flame on low. Add turmeric and salt. Saute for a minute till the raw aroma disappears.
Step 6 : Add prepared besan mixture, keep stirring continuously until the mixture combines well and thickens slightly.
Step 7 : Now, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Adjust consistency by adding water, if required.
Step 8 : Add coriander leaves and mix well. Enjoy with poori, chapati dosa or idli.
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2. Gongura Chutney
Gongura or red sorrel leaves is an excellent source of folate and Vitamin A, C, and B6. It is also loaded with iron, antioxidants, calcium and zinc.
- Prevents liver and increases the quality of blood
- Reduces hypertension
- Prevents cancer
- Improves digestion and immunity
- Decreases chances of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
- Manages diabetes
- 200g fresh gongura leaves
- 4 clove garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 1 regular dries red chilli
- 1 tbsp salt to taste
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp peanuts roasted
- 2 tbsp jaggery powder
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
Step 1 : Separate gongura leaves from the twigs. Wash leaves properly. Chop gongura leaves and keep aside.
Step 2 : Pound the jaggery or grind to make powdered or smaller pieces. This will make it easier to mix.
Step 3 : Finely chop the onion and garlic and keep aside.
Step 4 : Heat oil in the pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds; Let the seeds splutter. Add garlic and let it turn golden yellow. Break the chilli in two pieces and add to the pan.
Step 5 : Add onion and salt. Stir till onions turn golden brown; Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, and jaggery powder. Add the leaves. Mix well and cover for 5 mins or till the leaves have wilted off nicely.
Step 6 : Add the roasted peanuts on the top. Mix well. Serve hot with steamed rice or chapati. Enjoy!
Related story: Gongura Pechadi
3. Ridge Gourd (Turai) Chutney
Ridge gourd or turai has many health benefits. It is rich in essential components like dietary fibres, water content, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, magnesium and Vitamin B6. It is naturally low in calorie content, unhealthy saturated fats and cholesterol.
- Promotes weight loss
- Relieves constipation
- Protects liver function
- Manages diabetes symptoms
- Revitalises skin texture
- Lowers body heat
- Enhances vision
- 1 cup ridge gourd chopped
- 1/2 cup tomato chopped, onion chopped
- 1 inch ginger , 3 nos. garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoon oil
- Curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon red chilly powder
- 1 green chilly
Step 1 : In a pan heat oil and add everything and saute well. Add Ridge gourd chopped 1 cup, onion chopped 1/2 cup, tomato chopped 1/2 cup green chilly 1 ginger 1inch garlic 3 numbers; and Add salt.
Step 2 : Cover it and cook for five minutes. Add turmeric powder chilli powder and hing.
Step 3 : Cool it and grind coarsely. Serve with hot idly or dosa.
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4. Curry Leaves Chutney
Curry leaves are rich in Vitamin A, B, C and B2. Curry leaves are also said to be a good source of iron and calcium. Because of this reason, curry leaves are used as part of folklore medicine to treat calcium deficiency. Curry leaves can also be used for weight loss, treating dysentery, constipation and diarrhoea.
- Relieves morning sickness and nausea
- Eliminates bacteria
- Good for diabetics
- Good for eyesight
- Reduce stress
- Hair growth
- Improves memory
- 1 cup fresh curry leaves
- 1 cup coconut powder
- 5 red dry chillies
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1/2 size tamarind
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
Step 1 : Wash and dry curry leaves.Take a pan and add oil and fry until crispy. Set aside.
Step 2 :Fry whole red dry chillies, set aside.
Step 3 : In a mixture jar add fried curry patta, red chillies, coconut powder, garlic, tamarind and salt and grind without adding water. It will become like a coarse powder.
Step 4 : Store in an airtight bottle. Best with plain dal-rice,dosa or on sandwiches.
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