The chutney that is served in the film Midnight's Children would be made fresh every day, by hand: a stunning hit of fresh herbs spiked with green chiles and tart with lime juice. In India there are as many recipes for these kinds of homemade chutneys as there are cooks.
This is a very flexible and easy recipe from Vimla Mehta, my mother. A delicious family favorite. This chutney can be assembled in a flash, using a food processor, or ingredients can be minced by hand.
Green chutney is always a welcome addition to a meal — with rice, as a dip for deep-fried pakoras or Indian breads, or as a condiment sauce for grilled meat or fish.
<p><strong>*Note: </strong>If unavailable, use 2 more green chiles.</p>
- 2 Cups cilantro leaves and fine stems
- 1 Cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
- 2 -4 green cayenne chiles, chopped coarsely
- 1/2 -1 teaspoon dried red chili powder*
- 3 medium-sized cloves garlic , peeled and chopped
- 1 Tablespoon pomegranate seeds
- 1 Teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 Teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 -1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 Cup plain, whole-milk drained yogurt (optional)
Place the cilantro and mint in the bowl of a food processor along with all ingredients except for the lime juice and yogurt. Process to a coarse paste.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let sit until ready to serve.
Shortly before serving, add the lime juice, tasting as you do so, and mix well. Season with additional salt, to taste. (Adding the lime juice at the last moment keeps the green color and the flavors sharp. If you want to smooth out the flavor and add richness, stir in the yogurt.)