#ChutneyDay: Of Saving That Zing!

I have always been the person who prefers pickles over chutneys, but at the same time one cannot deny the place that a chutney occupies in the thaali of every Indian. Growing up I have always preferred the mint-coriander (dhaniya-pudhina) chutney, and I think owe to that to my lack of knowledge of chutneys, in general.

Since I started working with Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, I was exposed to a whole new array of knowledge about the Indian cuisine and the enthusiasm was infectious.

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Sil-batta – traditional way of making chutney

Firstly, like many others, I was intrigued to know what triggered her to celebrate Indian Food Observance Days, and she said, “Indian traditional culinary practices evolved and transformed over time as our cuisine evolved. Ingredients, their uses, cooking methods, food combinations, a seasonal food calendar, Indian dietetics, and dining etiquette have all been built into a system of traditional practices with a sound reason behind them. But we are losing touch with them. Indian Food Observance Days suggested by me follow the Indian seasonal food calendar. Pickles would have been put down in April, masalas would be ground in May, mutton would be eaten in the winter. A day dedicated to any of these classically Indian experiences means, we will stop and make that pickle or grind that masala like our predecessors would have and follow a cycle that’s existed for centuries! I love the idea of coming together around food. These days will make us stop to think about something we love to eat or someone that cooks for us, something we can savour…  and it makes us smile.”

Now that made the concept easier to understand, you see, as we are heading towards the future, our disconnect with our past is only widening day by day and with the loss of each generation we are on the verge of losing our culture and food due to our lack of knowledge about it. So, after shooting videos of home-chefs who came to APB Cook Studio to make their region’s favourite chutneys and share it with a larger audience through the platform of social media, to tasting various chutneys from across the country, prepared by students of Sheila Raheja Institute of Hotel Management, in Mumbai, I decided it was time that I make a small contribution too.

As we are heading towards the future, our disconnect with our past is only widening day by day and with the loss of each generation we are on the verge of losing our culture and food due to our lack of knowledge about it.

Now this is a chutney which find’s it’s roots in my tiny room in Delhi, during my college days, when I over-enthusiastically picked up a huge batch of garlic and fresh green chillies and in order to ensure that they don’t get spoilt, I invented a chutney in 10 minutes! It is only later that my naani informed me that what I’ve made, if dried in the sun will turn itself into the famous pahadi namak! Well, let’s just say that, that is exactly what I intended to do, maybe? Haha!

Anyway, here’s what you need:

  • 100gms of Garlic
  • 80gms of Green chillies
  • Salt as per taste
  • Roasted cumin powder
  • 1 fresh lemon

How to make it?

  • Grind it all together!….thats it! and then squeeze lemon on top.

Now ain’t that easy?

Here’s to chutneys that brighten up the most boring meal, add spice, tang or zing to a feast and can even evoke the taste of home in a faraway land! Happy #ChutneyDay to all.

 

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