September 24th has been declared as #ChutneyDay – and I am stoked to find that a day has been dedicated to one of the most versatile condiments in Indian cuisine. Although I intended to make my favourite chutney – time was against me and I couldn’t. But I shared the story on Facebook & Twitter. And I was all inspired to make it. So, I did so earlier this weekend. And, here’s the back story.
I was 9 when I visited Bangalore for my cousin’s wedding. A typical Chitrapur Saraswat wedding complete with delicious vegetarian fare. That was when I was first introduced to Lashne Chitni (Konkani for garlic chutney). And, I was hooked. I remember getting a bit obsessed with it and pleading with my mom to find the recipe. After that, lashne chitni became a regular fare at our place. And since it was my favourite, and of course because I loved to cook, I’d help my mom and dad make it – scraping the Khopra, watching my mom make the chutney – I was involved at every level. But nothing had me as involved as the eating bit. Amma would make the chutney in bulk and fill a huge jar with it and I would sneak into the kitchen in the afternoons after school and consume spoons full of chutney without any accompaniment and no one would relish it more! We would otherwise eat it with bread and butter or dosa – Ishaaq has also very cleverly used it in an omelette recipe and it is delicious! To this day, every time I visit Amma’s house, I ask her to make the chutney and continue to help her with it.
Lashne Chitni is simple yet a bit strenuous – it involve roasting all the ingredients, except for the garlic and amchur or dry mango powder, and then grinding them together once they are cool enough. You then store it in a jar overnight to let the flavours mingle and voila, you have a garlicky, spicy and super delicious chutney at your disposal.