Cilantro Chutney (Green Chutney)

September 6, 2018 (Updated: June 20, 2020) By Aneesha |

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosures.

Fresh!  Vibrant!  Flavorful!  That’s how I would describe Cilantro Chutney, an extremely popular dipping sauce from the Indian subcontinent.  This irresistible mildly spicy sauce is made with fresh cilantro, green chillies, ginger, lime juice, and seasoned with salt, cumin and a touch of honey.

Cilantro Chutney in a mason jar

Cilantro Chutney: A Versatile Sauce

Also, known as Coriander Chutney or Dhaniya Chutney or Hari Chutney, this dipping sauce goes great with samosa, chaat, tandoori chicken, seekh or shish kebab, salmon cakes or pattiespakoras (fritters), and pretty much anything deep-fried or grilled 🙂

If there’s one thing you’ll always, and I mean ALWAYS, find in my fridge, it’s Cilantro Chutney.  It is my go-to flavor-booster for dips, appetizers, marinades for vegetables & meat, sandwich spreads, salads dressings and more.

How to Use Cilantro Chutney

Salad Dressing:  A couple of tablespoons of chutney mixed with a tablespoon or so of extra-virgin olive oil makes a delicious & quick salad dressing for your greens.

Marinade:  Add a couple of tablespoons of greek yogurt to about a tablespoon of chutney, add a teaspoon of garam masala and marinate chicken or lamb in it.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes for best results, or, grill/broil right away.

Sandwich Spread:  Mix a teaspoon of this sauce with a tablespoon of cream cheese and spread it on your bread.  Top it with pepper-jack or Jalapeno cheese,  slices of cucumber, or deli slices, a few greens and add a big flavor-punch to your  lunch.

Dipping Sauce for Appetizers:  Think samosas, kebabs and fritters, you’ll love the zesty contrast this chutney provides to your yummy appetizers.

Chutney served in a white spoon

Ingredients & Customization Notes

Treat this recipe like a starting point and customize it to your taste.  Here are the ingredients and notes regarding commonly used substitutes:

  • Cilantro: The star of the show in this recipe. I would recommend buying fresh cilantro the day you want to make this chutney. Fresher the better. Wash it 2-3 times to get rid of any sand or stones, then spread it on paper towels to dry it well. (Scroll down for Cilantro buying and cleaning tips)
  • Green Chilies: I prefer to use 2 Serrano or 1 Jalapeno pepper in this recipe. I leave the ribs and seeds intact, but you can remove them to make it mild. If you like your chutney spicier, substitute those with 4-5 Thai bird eye chilies.
  • Ginger: Ginger adds a nice peppery zing to this chutney that is unmatched. Fresh ginger gives the best results in this recipe. You can substitute that with 1/4 teaspoon dried ground ginger, but the flavor will be slightly different.
  • Lime: Lime not only adds a lovely citrusy flavor here, it also helps preserve the green color. Freshly squeezed lime juice really enhances the taste of this chutney. I wouldn’t recommend using concentrated juice in this recipe.
  • Seasoning:
    • Salt helps tie in all the flavors in this chutney. I love using Himalyan Pink salt or sea salt in this recipe. And as always, adjust it to your preference after taste testing.
    • Roasted ground cumin: Roasting the cumin seeds brings out a sweet-earthy flavor in them, which goes really well in this chutney.  For that, simply toast 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds in the microwave for 1 minute and cool for 5 minutes.
    • Chaat masala: This is another seasoning which really enhances the taste of this chutney. It’s an Indian spice blend that adds a pleasant zing. If you don’t have it, a few extra drop of lime juice is a good substitute.
  • Honey: Honey adds a wonderful contrast to the tangy and spicy flavors and gives it an Umami quality. Agave nectar is a good substitute to make it vegan. Plain simple sugar will do the trick too.

Cilantro Buying and Cleaning Tips

  • When buying fresh cilantro, the bundle should look vibrant green and should be able to hold straight when held upright.  If it droops, it’s not fresh and will affect the taste of the chutney. For best results, I recommend buying it the day you want to make this chutney.
  • Remove the woody part of the cilantro stems as they give a bitter aftertaste to the chutney. The light green stems are ok to use for chutney
  • Always rinse your greens 3 times to clean them thoroughly. This process removes any sand or small stones that get caught in the bundle.

How to Make Cilantro Chutney

Step 1: Add green chiles, ginger, lime juice and water to the blender. Blend it till smooth.  This gives a head-start to the blender, so you don’t have to add more water later.

Green chilies and ginger in the blender jar
Green chilies and peeled ginger in the blender
Squeeze fresh lime juice in the blender to make Cilantro Chutney
Squeezing fresh Lime juice (can use lemon)
Adding water to blender for making Cilantro Chutney
Adding water to the blender
Ginger, chilies blended together with water
Blend for 30-45 seconds

Step 2: Trim off about 2 inches of the cilantro stem ends.  Wash it 2-3 times and drain it well.  Add cilantro and the remaining ingredients to the blender and blend for 30 seconds.

Fresh Cilantro leaves added to the blender for cilantro chutney
Washed and drained Cilantro in the blender
Adding Spices to the blender
Adding spices and blend

Step 3: Adjust seasoning and consistency.  Store chutney in refrigerator for up to a week.

Smooth consistency of Cilantro Chutney

Great as a Dipping Sauce for Appetizers

Cilantro chutney pairs well with lots of different appetizers.  Here are a few we enjoy the most:

Can you Freeze Cilantro Chutney

This chutney freezes really well.  There are times, when I make a large batch and freeze it in ice-cube trays.  I transfer the frozen chutney cubes to a ziplock bag, and that saves me a ton of effort and time. 

It comes in real handy for impromptu pani-puri cravings, or a quick marinade for dinner.

To re-use, thaw the chutney overnight in the refrigerator, or use the ‘frozen vegetable’ setting in your microwave. Carefully monitor this as the time may vary for different microwaves.

Tips for a Delicious Cilantro Chutney

  • When buying fresh cilantro, the bundle should look vibrant green and should be able to hold straight when held upright.  If it droops, it’s not fresh and will affect the taste of the chutney. I recommend buying it the day you want to make this chutney.
  • Remove the woody part of the cilantro stems as they give a bitter aftertaste to the chutney.
  • Always rinse your greens 3 times to clean them thoroughly.
  • Use fresh lime (or lemon) in this recipe, it doesn’t taste the same with the concentrate.
  • To freeze this chutney, I add it to ice-cube trays and freeze.  After a day, I transfer the frozen chutney cubes to a ziplock bag. That that saves me a ton of effort and time. Read notes for thawing and re-use instructions.

Variations of Cilantro Chutney

  • Mint-Cilantro Chutney: This is one of those recipes, in which every household adds their own spin.  Growing up, I always saw my mom make a mint-cilantro chutney.  She adds a handful of fresh mint leaves and dried red chili pepper in addition to my list of ingredients.
  • Cilantro Coconut Chutney: Another popular variation is the coconut-cilantro chutney, which is typically served with Idli and Dosas in a south-Indian restaurant.
  • Sweet & Spicy Chutney: My mom-in-law’s recipe is very similar to mine, except that she added more sugar and green chillies to hers to make it taste sweet ‘n’ spicy.
  • Yogurt-Cilantro Chutney: You can also add a couple of tablespoons of greek yogurt to this chutney while blending. It goes really well with Indian grilled proteins.
Cilantro Chutney Pin for pinterest

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below! For more quick & easy recipes, FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram,  Pinterest and Youtube.

Cilantro chutney in a spoon

Cilantro Chutney (Green Chutney)

Cilantro Chutney is an irresistible mildly spicy sauce, made with fresh cilantro, green chillies, ginger, lime juice, salt, cumin and honey.
4.43 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Blending Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 6kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 inch fresh ginger peeled
  • 2 green chillies tops cut off
  • 1 Juice of a lime (about 1.5-2 tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup water adjust for desired consistency
  • 2 cups cilantro washed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chaat masala
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional, but highly recommended) Use agave for vegan option

Instructions

  • Add green chiles, ginger, lime juice and water to the blender.  Blend it till smooth.  This gives a head-start to the blender, so you don’t have to add more water later. 
  • Trim off about 2 inches of the cilantro stem ends.  Wash it 2-3 times and drain it well.  Add cilantro and the remaining ingredients to the blender and blend for 30 seconds. 
  • Adjust seasoning and consistency.  Store chutney in refrigerator for up to a week.

Notes & Recipe Tips

Tips for a delicious chutney:
  • When buying fresh cilantro, the bundle should look vibrant green and should be able to hold straight when held upright.  If it droops, it’s not fresh and will affect the taste of the chutney.
  • Remove the woody part of the cilantro stems as they give a bitter aftertaste to the chutney.
  • Always rinse your greens 3 times to clean them thoroughly.
  • Use fresh lime (or lemon) in this recipe, it doesn’t taste the same with the concentrate.
  • To freeze this chutney, I freeze it in ice-cube trays.  After a day, I transfer the frozen chutney cubes to a ziplock bag. That that saves me a ton of effort and time. Read notes above for re-use instructions.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 6kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 10mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Cilantro Chutney, Green chutney
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

You Might Also Like