Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cilantro Chutney

You know what they say about the importance of food presentation...wait, what is it they say?

This zingy green sauce is often served with Afghani food. It's sort of a Central Asian version of pesto, though it does not contain oil. It's easy to make and keeps well. It's great on grilled meat, or anything really. You will need a blender or food processor.

1 large bunch cilantro or 2 smaller bunches
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
3 garlic cloves
4 walnuts
1 c. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. salt
1-2 Tbsp. sugar, to taste

Chop the cliantro, hot pepper, garlic, and wanuts in a food processor, until very fine. Add vinegar, salt, and sugar to taste. Alternately, combine all ingredients in a blender at once and blend until fine. Makes a watery chutney that tastes best after it sits for a couple of hours. Store in a tightly closed container in the fridge--should last for several weeks.

You can add some lemon or lime juice, but do not substitute it entirely for the vinegar, which gives an important sharp flavor to the sauce. The spiciness can be scaled up or down, depending on the type of peppers used and how many of them you include.

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