Cilantro and mint are two of the most nutritious herbs in the universe. And one of these two is the most-used herb in the world. Can you guess? Fresh herbs add complex and refreshing flavors to a recipe and increase its nutrition quotient. Both cilantro and mint offer health benefits ranging from improving digestion to preventing cancer. Fresh, homemade chutneys and dressings (like this Cilantro-Ginger Dressing) are virtually calorie-free unlike packaged ones from stores. In fact, packaged condiments including dressings contain a ton of chemicals and excess of salt, sugar, and fat. The worst deal is that they don't taste refreshing like the ones made at home, virtually in few minutes.
This chutney is a staple in everyday Indian food, especially during summer months likely due to mint's cooling effect. It is very popular with savory snack foods such as samosa, tikki (burger-like potato patties), and pakoras (fritters).
Fresh herbs--cilantro and mint--form the backbone of this chutney; make sure to pick the freshest bunch. The true Indian version of this chutney uses raw mango to give a tarty flavor. In upstate NY, I improvised by using ripe mango instead of raw. This added a bit of sweetness and a bit of body to the chutney. I also tried this cilantro-mint chutney with fresh pineapple instead of mango. It tasted great, but slightly different--more tropical. So take your pick between these two fruits. You can also replace these tropical fruits with Granny Smith apple or ripe pear.
Cumin seeds can be replaced with ground cumin in equal or lesser quantity depending on how much you want cumin to show up in cilantro-mint chutney. I have used about half as much mint as cilantro. Adding equal amount of mint resulted in a bit heavy, slightly bitter flavor. But if you like mint to show up robustly, add more to taste.
This chutney works great in sandwiches, buddha bowls, and pretty much anything Indian. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days in refrigerator. Enjoy!
If you guessed Cilantro as the most used global herb, you are right!
- 1/2 cup cilantro (packed)
- 3 tbsp mint leaves (around 10-11 mint leaves)
- 1 tsp fresh ginger (roughly chopped)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp whole cumin (can sub with ground cumin)
- 1/2 cup mango* (ripe, cubed)
- 1 jalapeño pepper** ( sub with green chillies or Serrano pepper)
- 6 tbsp water
- 2 tsp maple syrup (can sub with 1 tsp of sugar)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
- Wash cilantro and mint leaves well under running water. Both herbs should be completely dirt- and grit-free. Wash ginger and jalapeño pepper as well.
- Add all ingredients to a blender (or food processor) and blend on high till well mixed. Enjoy!