Kalyani and I have known each other for a very, very long time. She was that protector everybody needs. Especially if you have nosy siblings who go about snooping in your precious secret diary!
She is someone I can call any time of the day or night and pour my heart out. Most times she’d listen patiently. But there have been times she has hung up on me. Times I have been completely out of line with her. And I hang my head in shame for that.
But I know, she forgives. But never forgets. So every time she gets a chance, she reminds me that I have a daughter too!
That’s my Mother. Kalyani. Whose recipes I share here. The do-gooder. The pillar of strength for our family. She is just like this chutney – smooth with things around her, sweet and a mix of tang when it comes to handling people. And the memory of her mint-like freshness. Especially when she came out of the shower smelling like Pears soap. I use Pears too, especially when I miss my Mother. It makes me smell like her. Feel like her.
Its important you use the ingredients mentioned, and NOT substitute jaggery/gur with sugar or tamarind with lemon juice. That will make it an altogether different chutney. And you know how unkind I am to people who tamper with a good recipe!
250 grams bunch of fresh mint, leaves torn, stems discarded (use the stems to plant in moist soil for new leaves to sprout)
Handful of green chillies (the real hot ones)
100 grams good-quality jaggery/gur
2 heaped tablespoons tamarind pulp (I use from the jar available in desi grocery stores)
In a blender add the mint leaves, green chillies, jaggery, tamarind pulp and salt. Give it a whizz, add very little water to get a smooth chutney consistency. Give it a taste test and add jaggery or tamarind or salt if needed.
This chutney will be dark in color, almost like a dark knight coming to kiss your soft face. And the taste will be a burst of mint (of course!) and sweet and sour. With adequate heat. We have the Mint and Tamarind Chutney with Kebabs or Pakoras. Its awesome with some dal-chawal too.
Mix together some minced red onion, chopped mint and coriander leaves, freshly grated grated ginger, chopped green chillies to the lean ground beef. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, pound well and keep for 10 minutes.
Serve hot with my Mum’s Mint and Tamarind Chutney.