Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Peanut Chutney

Chutneys are a delicious Indian condiment. The word “chutney” is actually a British term derived from the Hindi word “chatni”, meaning, “to crush”.Chutneys come in a wide range of bold and exciting flavors ranging from spicy to sweet, savory, tangy and even sour. They also vary in textures depending upon the ingredients used and their preparation. There are two main types of chutneys: fresh and preserved and they can either be wet or dry in nature.The first Indian chutneys to reach the West appeared as luxury imports in England and France during the late 1600s. They were mostly mango chutneys put up in sticky syrups and shipped in ceramic pots.Here I am going to share with you the recipe of an very easy Peanut chutney.Yes you heard me right,he is a good cook himself and my husband always says his signature dish is puliyodarai rice.To mention a few facts about peanuts,India is the second largest producer of peanuts in the world after China.Peanuts account for two-thirds of all snack nuts consumed in the USA and Americans spend almost $800 million a year on peanut butter.
Peanuts - 1 cup
Red chillies - 2-3
Salt as per taste
Walnut-sized ball of tamarind
Oil - 2 tsps
1)Heat a griddle till it is hot,on a medium flame. Roast the peanuts and dry red chillies (stirring frequently) on this griddle with 2 tsps of oil till they give off a gentle cooked aroma.
2)Allow to cool completely and then grind the peanuts,chillies with salt and tamarind to a coarse paste.Add enough water so that you get the desired consistency.

1)Take care to use seedless tamarind or remove the seeds.Another option is soak the tamarind in a bowl just covered with hot water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes or till soft. Then squeeze the tamarind (while still in the water) with your fingers,to release the pulp from it. Squeeze till you get most of the pulp off and into the water. Now strain the liquid to remove pith and any seeds. Tamarind juice is now ready to use.
2)Peanut Chutney tastes especially good with Idlis (steamed South Indian rice cakes) and Dosas (crispy savory South Indian rice pancakes).
3)To check if the peanuts are done just tap them and they should break open.

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