When I was a kid, every summer vacation, my mom and I would decide on which one of my parents siblings I wanted to visit and plan our trips. I loved visiting my relatives! The train ride, meeting new people on the journey, eating new/different kind of food, and each one was such an adventure.
Once, my uncle took me to all the temples close to the small town of Tirunelveli, the ones that housed beautiful sculptures built by the Southern kings and enthralled me with stories of the Gods and Goddesses. One of the temples had a hole in the wall through which the crash of waves resounded like ‘OM’. I can still remember that moment of being dumb struck by it, so much so that it took a lot of convincing for me to move and make space for others to listen. That was also the trip that I learnt a lot about gardening. My uncle had planted so many vegetable and fruit plants, my favourite among them being the lime tree (my love for lime runs deep). Half way through his gardening lessons, I used to run away to the tree to crush its leaves and sniff in the citrusy smell.
After my 8th grade, I went to Coimbatore to stay with my mother’s sister who had just recently moved there. That is where I learnt the recipe of a coriander tamarind chutney and it is absolutely my favourite! I use it as a side for snacks, idli, dosas or even as a spread in my sandwiches.
My aunt is also the one who taught me how to pickle mangoes or even how to make mysore pak (a sweet made of ghee and gram flour). Each time I stayed with her, she’d entice me to come help her in the kitchen with stories of my grandparents and all the food that they cooked. Such excellent cooks they were! So many times I wish I could taste their food once more.
The recipe is simple and uses 6 ingredients; coriander, garlic, chilies, salt, jaggery, and tamarind.
If you can’t get your hands on tamarind, I recommend using lime and if you don’t have jaggery, use brown sugar. Blend them all together and ta-da!
I have this chutney with everything and I mean everything! Idlis, dosas, sandwiches, samosas, pakodas, and anything else fried.
What are you going to have it with? Find the complete recipe here.