Route 79 : Mint Sauce

The effects of feeling hungry on the way home


February 16 2004

Mint Sauce

This should actually be called "mint chutney". It is one of my favourite accompaniments to any Indian dish - especially fried savoury snacks like samosas, pakoras etc. It's really easy to make and will keep in the fridge for around 5 days if covered with clingfilm or in an airtight container. My Dad taught me how to make this - and I remember when we used to live in the Midlands when I was a child - we used to grow fresh mint and coriander in the back garden! It was my job to go get the leaves and stalks for my Dad when he wanted to make the mint chutney! (Be careful if you grow mint in your garden - it gets everywhere - best to grow it in a shallow, wide bucket submerged in the soil so that it doesn't spread!)

What you need is:

A smallish bunch of fresh mint: pluck the leaves and wash them.
A smallish bunch of fresh coriander - stalks and leaves together - washed.
One "tangy" or "sour" apple - e.g. "Granny Smith's" - halved and de-seeded.
One medium-size onion chopped into a few pieces. (Red onion is best.)
A couple of small fresh green chillies - with top stalk removed. (Remove seeds if you like.)
A few dashes of lemon juice.
A generous dollop/long-squirt of brown sauce.
Some salt and pepper.
A teaspoon of sugar.

You will especially love plucking the mint leaves from their stalks - the smell left behind on your hands and fingers is just heavenly!

Put all the ingredients (except the sugar) into a food-blender like in the picture below and zap it all up using pulse bursts until it's pureed. Use a long spoon to stir the mixture about if the blades of the blender have difficulty "grabbing" the chunks of ingredient. When it's pureed to a thick-ish consistency - transfer to a small bowl and stir in a teaspoon of sugar or tomato ketchup - tasting and adding more if necessary until you feel that the taste is just right. Put it in the fridge so that it sets slightly - and serve with any Indian dish or fried savoury snack! Very tasty!

If you wish to create a mint sauce which looks like the stuff that you get in the condiment carousel at Indian restaurants when you have crispy poppadoms or onion bhajis as a starter - you should get some plain natural yoghurt - put a couple of tablespoons into a small dish and and stir in a couple of dollops of the above mint chutney and stir it all around until the consistency is thin and liquidy to your liking. No need for food colourings or any other additives. Enjoy!

Have you tried this? Even if you haven't - let me know what you think!
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