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.
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 patties, pakoras (fritters), and pretty much anything deep-fried 🙂
Cilantro Chutney: A Versatile Sauce
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.
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.
Here’s how I use it: I typically eye-ball quantities and adjust to taste.
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.
Variations of 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.
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.
Some recipes add nuts, garlic, onion, or even tomato as variations. Another popular variation is the coconut-cilantro chutney, which is typically served with Dosas in a south-Indian restaurant.
Treat this recipe like a starting point and customize it to your taste. If you don’t care for the hot-spice, substitute the green chillies with some de-seeded Jalapeno pepper, or omit completely. You can also add a couple of tablespoons of greek yogurt to enjoy a milder flavor. You can add more sugar or honey to it to make it sweet ‘n’ tart. So basically, taste and customize as you go.
I add roasted cumin to this chutney. Roasting the cumin seeds brings out a sweet-earthy flavor in them, which goes really well in this chutney. But, if regular ground cumin is all you have, go for it.
Similarly, honey can be substituted with sugar.
How to Make Cilantro Chutney
Step 1: I add green chillies and peeled ginger to my Blendtec blender.
Fresh lime juice
Step 2: Blend together for 30 seconds
Step 3: Add cilantro leaves, spices and honey, blend again
Step 4: Adjust to taste and consistency
Uses of Cilantro Chutney as a Dipping Sauce for Appetizers
Cilantro chutney pairs well with lots of different appetizers. Here are a few we enjoy the most:
Salmon Cakes or Tikkis
Chicken Shish Kebab
Onion Spinach Pakora
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Cilantro Chutney (Green Chutney)
- 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.