After a years worth of feeling intimidated at every page turn, coupled with (lets be honest) sheer laziness, I am finally working my way through the Benares cookbook by Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar. The intimidating factor is really the presentation of the food, no matter what I try I can't smear, dollop, tear or generally place sauce on a plate in a Michelin kind of way.
Benares remains one of my favourite restaurants, all the food is divine including the condiments, however geographically so out of reach for me now that I figured the only way back to those divine plates of perfectly spiced deliciousness was to tackle them head on myself. I have been pleasantly surprised with the results that I have achieved in terms of taste, though the presentation skills are still to be honed. Here is but one example of Me Vs Michelin - this is Basil Chicken Tikka with Tomatoes - see if you can tell the difference!
Say no more.
Regardless of my presentation skills the recipes are really very good. There is currently a lack of side dish or condiment recipes for spicy meals on the blog so I thought I would share something relatively easy to start off with and a great accompaniment to an Indian meal, mint and coriander chutney. Make this just before you serve the meal, when fresh it really bursts with unbeatable flavour, it doesn't keep too well but once you have tried it I guarantee it won't last long anyway!
Ingredients Serves 4-6
200g mint leaves
100g coriander leaves and stalks
1 green chilli, roughly chopped
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons lemonjuice
2cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
200g natural yogurt
1 tbsp chaat masala
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp amchoor powder (dried mango powder) optional
Place the mint,coriander, green chilli, red onion, lemon juice and ginger in a food processor and blend until very smooth. Transfer this to a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients - yogurt, chaat masala, sea salt, chilli powder and amchoor if using. And you're done! Easy and simply delicious.
As mentioned previously this chutney is best made as close to meal time as possible but will keep for up to two days in the fridge.
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