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October 09 COTM: "Indian" Relishes, Chutneys and Pickles

yamalam Oct 1, 2009 05:19 AM

Welcome to the October 2009 Chow Cookbook of the Month featuring:

Classic Indian Cooking, by Julie Sahni
&
Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking

Please post your full-length reviews of *Relish, Chutney and Pickle* recipes here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the book or author and page number, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

This thread will encompass the following chapters-

Jaffrey, "Relishes, Chutneys and Pickles"
Sahni, "Traditional Accompaniments to an Indian Meal"

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

  1. Channa Oct 2, 2009 09:01 AM

    Last night I made Hot Lemon Pickle (Sahni, page 449). You can see the recipe here, as well:

    http://www.foodsville.com/recipes/vie...

    I used the ingredients listed, but changed the technique -- I was trying to hurry the maturation. Otherwise, I'd keep tasting to see how they're getting on, and there'd be nothing left on the 15th day when they should finally be ready.

    My procedure: Top and tail the lemons, then cut into small chunks, removing any obvious seeds. Chuck them into a microwave-safe bowl. Roast mustard seeds and fenugreek, and add them (whole) to the lemons, along with the salt. Cover bowl and nuke, stirring often, until juices begin to come out. (I used 70% power) When juices start to thicken and rinds can be easily pierced, remove from MW.

    Heat oil (not too hot) and add remaining spices. Cook, stirring, until there's a rich, spicy aroma, then mix into lemons. Fill jar, and let cool before covering. Store in fridge.

    True to form, I've tasted them several times already. I even ate some first thing this morning. That was an eye-opener, wow!

    So . . . the flavour is lovely. There's a slight bitterness, but I think (hope) that will go away. It's more of a lemon-peel bitterness than a fenugreek bitterness, if that makes any sense. The spicing is nice, but they are rather hot, so if you have qualms about heat, then hold back some chilli powder until you've tasted them. There's a thick layer of oil on top -- I should think that wouldn't be the case with the original instructions, as lemon juice wouldn't have been released. I may pour off some oil. I don't think that would cause spoilage. Not at the rate I'm eating them.

    If I were to make the 15-day version, I think I'd still cook the ground spices (chilli, turmeric, asafoetida) in oil to release their flavours, rather than dry-roasting them. There's something about that technique that brings out their best. I might add some whole fennel seeds, as well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Channa
      Channa Oct 3, 2009 03:01 PM

      Here's a photo of the Hot Lemon Pickle on Day 2:

       
      1. re: Channa
        p
        padkimao Oct 5, 2009 07:32 AM

        Looks beautiful. I'm excited to learn that pickles are easier to make than I had assumed. I think I see a lime pickle in my future.

    2. s
      smtucker Oct 3, 2009 06:32 AM

      Yogurt with cucumber and mint
      Jaffrey, page 210

      This was simple to throw together, if you have everything in the fridge ready to go. I am picking the last of the mint from the garden so this seemed like a good way to use it. I had Fage yogurt which is probably a little too smooth for Indian chutneys. You simply add shredded cucumber, fresh mint, ground, roasted cumin seeds, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and mix. It was bitter upon tasting, but by the time it was served two hours later, the flavors had melded nicely. I didn't enjoy this yogurt dip as much as I had assumed that I would, however it was a nice counterpoint to the koftas.

      Served with cocktail koftas [Jaffrey, page 47], Cauliflower with fennel and mustard seeds [Jaffrey, page 146], Lentils with Garlic Butter [Sahni page 332], and plain, easy to cook rice [Jaffrey, page 192.]

      3 Replies
      1. re: smtucker
        nomadchowwoman Oct 11, 2009 04:16 PM

        Always make this when serving an Indian meal--easy, refreshing, and, to us, pretty delicious as a cool counterpoint to the other spicier things on the menu.

        1. re: smtucker
          Gio Oct 18, 2009 08:38 AM

          Cucumber and Yogurt Salad, Pg. 343
          Classic Indian Cooking, Julie Sahni

          Another similar recipe with the inclusion of a tomato.

          Two cucumbers, a ripe tomato, a green chili (I left the seeds and ribs in) plain yogurt and sour cream (omitted) a bit of roasted/ground cumin, a bit of chopped mint and a pinch of salt. The yogurt and sour cream are combined, the vegetables are prepped: cucumbers grated, tomato cored and shredded, chili minced - and set aside till ready to serve then everything is mixed together with the salt added last. One word: Spicy. Also flavorful. However, I thought the tomato was completely lost. I'll be making this again but will probably use the Jaffrey recipe just to taste the difference.

          1. re: Gio
            s
            smtucker Jun 19, 2012 06:06 PM

            Cucumber and Yogurt Salad, page 343
            Sahni

            I made a half recipe tonight. I did drain the yogurt for several hours, and also omitted the sour cream. Our serrano pepper was not very hot, so our yogurt salad was quite mild. It was the perfect match for our lamb dish.

            Served with Minced lamb with mint [Jaffrey page 59], Stuffed Summer Squash [Plenty page 69], sitting on fresh Boston lettuce with some diced tomatoes.

        2. Gio Oct 4, 2009 06:21 AM

          Tomato, Onion, and Cilantro Relish, Pg. 215
          Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey

          Ms Jaffrey's intro note states that "This tasty relish compliments almost all Indian meals," and I can believe that. It's a combination of Onion and tomatoes cut into a small dice with cilantro, salt, lemon juice, cayenne, and cumin seeds all mixed together. It's fresh tasting, sprightly with the lemon jc and cayenne and refreshing. Along with this relish I made the Cilantro Chutney on pg. 218. I served both with the Turkey kebabs on pg. 104, a broccoli dish from a Julie Sahni on-line recipe, and steamed Basmati rice.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Gio
            alanbarnes Oct 4, 2009 11:51 AM

            Talk about convergent evolution. First time I made this recipe I hadn't really thought through what the final product was going to look and taste like. Tomatoes, onions, cilantro - duh, it's pico de gallo!!!

            1. re: alanbarnes
              Gio Oct 5, 2009 06:31 AM

              That's funny, Alan. I thought the same. I had a red onion to use up and I automatically used that one as I usually do for the PDG.

            2. re: Gio
              nomadchowwoman Oct 11, 2009 04:18 PM

              I loved this when I first made it--and, yes, it is like a pico de gallo, albeit with an Indian kick!

            3. Gio Oct 4, 2009 06:42 AM

              Cilantro Chutney, Pg. 218
              Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey

              Cilantro chutney.... not exactly my idea of a chutney as all the ingredients are whirred in a FP to create a paste, but considering that chutney originated in India, I guess it's a variation on a theme.

              I had to use the miniFP's big brother for this. Into the FP container go 3 cups of cilantro leaves, 1 fresh hot green chili (jalapeño, actually used 2 small ones leaving the seeds and ribs in), 1 1/1T Lemon jc, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t ground, 1 1/2t roasted cumin seeds, FGblack pepper. Process till a paste forms then turn out into a small glass, or other nonmetallic bowl.

              Boy oh boy was this Hot! She says they eat only 1 -2 teaspoons of the stuff and I can see why. It's to be used like we use mustard!! After I tasted it to see if it needed anything else, I had to have a spoonful of yogurt to get rid of the burn, but when eaten with the other components of the meal the heat seemed to be mitigated a bit. Even so, I'll issue a caveat because of heat but don't be put off entirely because you can elect to remove the seeds and ribs of the chili to tame down the heat.

              18 Replies
              1. re: Gio
                alanbarnes Oct 4, 2009 11:45 AM

                Love, love, LOVE this stuff. If the ingredients are at hand, I'll make it (along with cucumber raita as described by smtucker) every single time I make an Indian meal. Talk about eating more deep green vegetables - this stuff is just loaded with nutrition. And flavor.

                I use serrano peppers, but remove the seeds and membranes. It usually isn't that hot (at least to my taste), so you may have just gotten some insanely hot chiles.

                Note: it's just as easy to make a lot of this stuff as a little, and it freezes well. Just scoop out tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet, pop it in the freezer, and once they're frozen put the little scoops in a zip-top bag for later use.

                1. re: alanbarnes
                  Gio Oct 5, 2009 06:34 AM

                  Oh...thanks for the freezing tip! I hadn't thought of doubling or tripling the recipe. That's a good idea since DH went gaga over it. I'm going to copy your idea of making a raita to go along with the chutney. Thanks for that too.

                  These recipes are my first venture into Indian cooking and I must say, I'm liking both the ease of preprartion and the result.

                  1. re: alanbarnes
                    Scrofula Oct 6, 2009 08:09 PM

                    This stuff works great as a sandwich spread -- on its own, with butter, or even with more substantial sandwich fillings. This is true of a lot of Indian chutneys and pickles, but particularly dhania chutney.

                    1. re: Scrofula
                      s
                      sweetTooth Oct 8, 2009 12:44 PM

                      I am having a ball reading all yawls posts this month. I am Indian and an avid cook. I live in the US now and so do quite a bit of non-Indian cooking too. I've been noting so many ideas for meal ideas combining elements of Indian and non-Indian cuisines. Thanks!
                      Gio, I wanted to point out that chutney in India typically means an intense paste of some kind. It could also mean an intense sauce -like a tamarind chutney, or even a dry powdered condiment. The cooked fruit chutney is but one small sub-type and probably got popularized in the west during the colonial times.
                      Alan, freezing coriander chutney is a great tip. I am doing it more these days now that I have a little toddler underfoot.
                      Scrofula, yup chutney makes a wonderful sandwich spread, especially with sliced tomatoes and cucumber. Recently I added some to a cold quinoa salad along with chopped apples, raisins and edamame. And a few weeks ago, used it in lieu of a salsa in a soft taco with rajas filling. I think that time I'd added a small clove of garlic to the chutney. In India it is also common to add a little peeled raw mango, when it is in season, in place of the lemon juice. In summer I sub some of the cilantro with mint for a variation. I always use Thai chilies though. To me the vegetal taste from jalapeno tastes incongruous in a cilantro chutney.

                      1. re: sweetTooth
                        s
                        smtucker Oct 8, 2009 01:37 PM

                        What a pleasure to read your post.

                        My Indian market sells little bags marked "green chilis" which don't quite look Thai, but certainly aren't jalapenos either. Whatever they are, they have a wonderful flavor and are just hot enough for us to stand up and notice.

                        1. re: smtucker
                          greedygirl Oct 9, 2009 03:16 AM

                          I always use cayenne chillis, which are the finger-like ones. They're the "default" chilli over here, as people tend to cook more Indian food than anything else when it comes to spicy cuisines.

                        2. re: sweetTooth
                          Gio Oct 9, 2009 03:33 AM

                          Many thanks, sweetTooth, for your advice. I have Thai chilis in the freezer and shall use them from now on. There were so many jalapeños here that I just wanted to use them up. Also, in my mind cilantro and jalapeños go together. But probably in an Indian chutney, as you say. I hope you continue to be a part of this month's cooking adventure with us.

                          1. re: Gio
                            s
                            sweetTooth Oct 9, 2009 10:46 AM

                            Yeah, to be honest I use the chilies from my Indian grocer, but when I don't want to go out of my way for them, I substitute Thai chilies from a regular supermarket.
                            Gio, I know you did not take it the wrong way when I said that jalapenos don't work for me. But just wanted to clarify that I am all for first and foremost using what needs to be used; second I am all for experimentation and mingling elements from one cuisine into the other and third, I think a lot of people get too hung up on authenticity. That said, food, especially the kind you grew up eating, is so much about memories tied to it. Perhaps that is why jalapenos in a cilantro chutney tastes incongruous to *me* - because I'd never tasted one growing up. :-)
                            And oh yes, I'll be trolling this month's threads for more ideas, so keep them coming you guys!

                            1. re: sweetTooth
                              Gio Oct 9, 2009 11:18 AM

                              sweetTooth, I didn't take your remarks the wrong way at all. In fact I just re-read my previous post and noticed that I left out a word. (I am the world's worst typist and have to edit and re-edit 100 times.) I should have typed, "in my mind cilantro and jalapeños go together. But probably {NOT} in an Indian chutney, as you say."

                              Please do follow along. I love reading your clarifications and advice.

                              1. re: Gio
                                luckyfatima Oct 12, 2009 12:52 AM

                                I have to say that my home made green chutney recipe calls for bell pepper to add body, plus Indian long green chiles. But when I am in the USA I make the same green chutney with jalapenos and I love the flavor. The jalapenos give good body to the chutney since they are fleshy and I use a 1-2 of the Indian green chiles for more heat. I don't think jalapenos distort the flavor at all.

                                I also freeze green chutney to use when needed and agree that it freezes very well.

                    2. re: Gio
                      beetlebug Oct 8, 2009 08:48 AM

                      Loved the cilantro chutney. I used two whole jalapenos and it didn't have too much heat. I grew duddy peppers this year due to our never ending rainy cool summer. But, I loved how fresh tasting this tasted. I was adding it to the turkey kebabs as well as to my basmati rice.

                      1. re: beetlebug
                        Gio Oct 8, 2009 10:24 AM

                        After my initial shock over the heat of this chutney I actually liked it too. Used it the next day for lunch with one of the koftas in a pita pocket... with a little mayo . Delicious.
                        My jalapeños must have been extra hot....

                        1. re: Gio
                          s
                          sweetTooth Oct 9, 2009 10:34 AM

                          Oooh! Your mayo & cilantro chutney combo reminded me of this - aioli for asparagus! Combine mayo + chutney + finely zested lemon or orange. Use as a dip for steamed or roasted asparagus spears. Use some mint in chutney in spring/summer.

                          1. re: sweetTooth
                            nomadchowwoman Oct 16, 2009 08:31 AM

                            mmmmmm, sounds great. on a lamb sandwich, as well.

                          2. re: Gio
                            alanbarnes Oct 9, 2009 10:44 AM

                            There's a new Indian grocery near my house, and the lady who owns it suggests mixing coriander chutney with yogurt, so you're not straying far from the traditional path. (Not that you'd care, but FWIW.)

                            1. re: alanbarnes
                              s
                              sweetTooth Oct 9, 2009 11:44 AM

                              Yes! The cilantro chutney and yogurt combo is awesome, even if you don't mix them together. Serve some hot sabudana khichdi or sabudana vada with these two and maybe a pot of masala chai. Heaven!

                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                Gio Oct 11, 2009 06:46 PM

                                Harrumph Alan... Are you implying I take liberties with recipes?? Guess I'm busted. I know that to relieve heat-in-mouth use a lactose something ot other.... ergo, yogurt. But now that you mentioned the combination, I like that idea. Thanks.

                          3. re: Gio
                            Gio Oct 23, 2009 05:18 AM

                            Cilantro Chutney, Pg. 218
                            Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey

                            Made this again last night but changed it up a bit. Three cups of cilantro leaves are called for but I used 1 1/2c cilantro, 1c of mint leaves and 1/2 cup parsley leaves. Roasted cumin seeds, 2 T lemon juice, 1 jalapeño with seeds and ribs removed, and a pinch of salt were combined with the herbs in a MP and whirred till a paste formed. After putting the paste into a small bowl I added about 3T yogurt and 2T mayo and blended. This was much less potent but had a lemony-herby flavor that was a nice accompaniment to the Turkey Kebabs. The mayo and yogurt seemed to mellow everything out.

                          4. Channa Oct 4, 2009 02:45 PM

                            Spinach and Yogurt Salad (Palak Raita)
                            Sahni, page 344

                            I really liked this! Chopped, cooked spinach mixed with yoghurt, sour cream, ground cumin, ground coriander, black and red pepper, and salt.

                            Even though I used nonfat Dannon yoghurt, the sour cream made it rich and creamy. The texture was like whipped cream, not the runny raitas often found at Indian restaurants.

                            I served it with potato parathas, as Sahni suggested, and it was lovely. I think it might be a good dip for poppadoms or even Wheat Thins, and perhaps as a sauce on poached or roast salmon.

                             
                            1. s
                              Sugarshoc Oct 6, 2009 06:47 PM

                              p. 436 Fresh Mint Relish (Podina Chutney)

                              This was so easy to make. I made it to accompany the Mughalai Korma on p. 206 and it really went well with it. I also rubbed some of it with olive oil onto some sweet potatoes before I roasted them. It gave the sweet potatoes such a great flavor.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Sugarshoc
                                MMRuth Oct 7, 2009 06:49 AM

                                I made this from Sahni's book as well, and served it with the same dish. I made about 2/3 of the recipe, given the amount of mint I had. After whizzing it all together, I decided it needed a little more mint - perhaps I didn't pack my loosely packed leaves enough. I did add a little more salt after tasting it. It really is a refreshing chutney to serve with the Mughalai Korma. The recipe says that it keeps a week, refrigerated, but we didn't have any left.

                                Onion and Roasted Tomato Relish, (Sahni, p. 433)

                                Sahni says this is her favorite relish. I wasn't wowed by it - basically thin slices of red onion that are washed in several changes of water, combined with the pulp of a skinned, roasted tomato. However, I think that perhaps my tomato was not roasted enough - I roasted it for 15 minutes, without reading further that it should be really soft, which my (large) roasted tomato was not. So, I'll definitely try it again, and hope for more of a smokey flavour.

                                 
                              2. MMRuth Oct 7, 2009 06:56 AM

                                Hot Hyderabad Tomato Relish (Sahni, p. 441)

                                Now, this was a tomato chutney that I loved Cumin seeds are added to hot oil, the garlic and whoe chilies, then tomato wedges, chopped galic cloves, red pepper and paprika. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes, then cook uncovered for about an hour until you have a "thick pulpy sauce", and serve at room temperature. Apparently this freezes well, and keeps in the fridge for a week. I served this with Lamb Fillets Braised in Yogurt Cardamom Sauce.

                                 
                                1 Reply
                                1. re: MMRuth
                                  MMRuth Oct 18, 2009 12:09 PM

                                  I made this again a week ago to go with another lamb dish in a cream sauce and we liked it just as much the second time around.

                                2. Channa Oct 9, 2009 10:00 AM

                                  Shredded Carrot and Mustard Seed Relish (Koosmali)
                                  Sahni, page 435

                                  Disappointing! Shredded carrots are lightly cooked with black mustard seeds and green chilli slices. Curry leaves (or fresh cilantro/coriander sprigs) are tucked inside the relish, then it's refrigerated. I like all the ingredients, but felt it didn't add much to the meal. In fact, I finally stirred it into yoghurt as a raita, and much preferred it that way.

                                   
                                  1. luckyfatima Oct 12, 2009 12:56 AM

                                    Walnut chutney from the Kashmir section of Madhur Jaffrey's Taste of India

                                    This is a simple and beautiful chutney. Just grind walnuts, salt, and red chile powder together and stir into yoghurt. Delicious.

                                    It reminds me of a Maharashtrian recipe I had at a friend's house that was the same exact thing but with peanuts (and a dash of sugar?) instead of walnuts. A different flavor not with the peanuts, but also awesome.

                                    I love simple but delicious items like this.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: luckyfatima
                                      oakjoan Oct 13, 2009 12:27 PM

                                      Wow, lf, this chutney sounds terrific... and I have some walnuts! Wahooooo.

                                      I agree about the simple items that turn out to be delicious. I'd put a dipping sauce (off-topic since it's Chinese) of soy, rice vinegar, pressed garlic and sesame oil in that category.

                                      Also Nigella's salad of sliced red onions, cilantro, lemon juice and salt. Funny, I didn't see Gio's post below before I wrote this. Sounds familiar.

                                    2. Gio Oct 13, 2009 06:07 AM

                                      Onion Relish, Pg. 221
                                      Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey

                                      1 chopped onion (large red), a little salt, 4t lemon juice, 1/4t (1/2t) paprika (Penzey's Hungarian Half-Sharp), 1/8t (1/2t) cayenne pepper. I added a couple of Ts of apple cider vinegar per Julie Sahni's Raw Onion Relish recipe. Stir all together and let sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors blend. As I waited for the first phase of my main dish to cook every now and then I stirred the onions in the marinade. I couldn't stop picking at those onions.... almost ate the whole bowl before we went to table. Really addictive and a good accompaniment for the Minced Lamb with Peas.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Gio
                                        Gio Oct 18, 2009 08:07 AM

                                        Raw Onion Relish, Pg. 431
                                        Classic Indian Cooking, Julie Sahni

                                        This almost the very same recipe as Jaffrey's except there's a choice between lemon juice and apple cider vinegar... I chose the vinegar, and the quanty of onions is more in this one.

                                        3 red onions are sliced thinly (I cut the onions in half first then sliced half moons). The sliced onions are washed in "several changes of water" but instead of squeezing them as the recipes instructs, I blotted them with a few paper towels. Into a bowl go a minced green chili (2), a sprinkle of vinegar and a little salt to be mixed and served. I do like to make the relishes and the yogurt salads first so the flavors can meld a bit before serving.

                                        There's very little difference between the two relishes. They were both nice and spicy.

                                      2. nomadchowwoman Oct 16, 2009 08:41 AM

                                        JAFFREY, Yogurt with walnuts and cilantro, p. 210

                                        Inspired by Lucky Fatima's review of walnut chutney, I decided to stray from my standard raita, Jaffrey's w/cucumber and mint, and try this one. Couldn't be easier: chopped cilantro, finely chopped green chili, sliced scallion, salt, pepper, and yogurt, stirred, and then 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

                                        This was quite different from the usual, but tasty. Would be a great spread or dip for pita bread or chips, maybe even on a lamb sandwich. The nuts gave my guests a pleasant surprise; they both rematked upon it. Next time, I might add a bit of ground toasted cumin seed.
                                        Since I have some shelled, roasted pistachios right now, I'm going to try a variation, substituting crushed pistachios for the walnuts, for my next COTM meal.

                                        10 Replies
                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                          luckyfatima Oct 16, 2009 08:58 AM

                                          This looks great. What a beautiful raita.

                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                            oakjoan Oct 18, 2009 12:28 PM

                                            This sounds wonderful nomadchow. I'm making veg meal tonight for guests and this will fit right in.

                                            1. re: oakjoan
                                              oakjoan Oct 19, 2009 10:58 PM

                                              Made the Cilantro/Walnut/Yoghurt Chutney last night for friends. A lovely addition.

                                              The interesting thing was that I served a squash soup and one person put a dollop of the chutney in that. I thought that might be weird, but it was actually very good.

                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                nomadchowwoman Oct 20, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                You know, that sounds great to me. But that recipe struck me as something that could be very versatile.

                                            2. re: nomadchowwoman
                                              k
                                              Karen_Schaffer Oct 21, 2009 09:44 PM

                                              Huh, there's no recipe on 210 in my book. Instead, it's the introduction to the Techniques chapter. Do I have a different edition? This seems to be the 1983 U.S. version.

                                              1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                Gio Oct 22, 2009 05:11 AM

                                                Karen - I have the Barron's edition published in 2003 and the recipe for Yogurt with Walnuts and Cilantro is on page 211.....

                                                1. re: Gio
                                                  k
                                                  Karen_Schaffer Oct 22, 2009 09:06 AM

                                                  Thanks. She must have expanded the book (no surprise) for that edition. Well, hope the rest of the page numbers I've been citing match up! Or at least that the recipes are still in the revised edition. I may have to get me a copy of this book (I'm using a library copy right now, which is falling apart and I will report it to the library when I take it back. They may be getting a new copy soon as well!).

                                              2. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                JungMann Oct 22, 2009 11:42 AM

                                                This raita is one of my favorite simple recipes from the book. It is such a switch-up from what one expects and is the perfect use of the excess of walnuts I often find myself with in the Fall. I will have to try it on a shawarma --- as you suggest, that might be a terrific combination.

                                                1. re: JungMann
                                                  nomadchowwoman Oct 22, 2009 11:57 AM

                                                  I will too, next time I make it.

                                                2. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                  Caitlin McGrath Oct 22, 2009 01:55 PM

                                                  Count me in as another fan. I've never had a raita like this, with nuts in place of fruit/vegetables, and the walnuts worked great. Loved the texture they gave it, too. I was a nice complement to my lentil and green bean dishes, and agree it would work with a variety of foods or as a dip.

                                                3. k
                                                  Karen_Schaffer Oct 21, 2009 09:53 PM

                                                  Gujerati Carrot Salad
                                                  Jaffrey, p. 165

                                                  Love this! Shred carrots, toss with a little salt. Then heat oil, fry some black mustard seeds until they pop, them pour over the carrots. Optionally add lemon juice, but I didn't.

                                                  It was great! The fried mustard seed gave the carrots a roasted, almost popcorn-like flavor. It's possible I cooked the mustard seeds too long, because I threw them in pan right away instead of letting the oil heat first. So maybe they weren't supposed to taste quite so toasty, but even if it was a mistake, we loved it! This could be a great salad for any meal, not just Indian ones.

                                                  I should note that I used some tasty, fresh, sweet carrots that I got at the farmers market. Sometimes the bagged carrots from the store are just too harsh and soapy tasting.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                    luckyfatima Oct 22, 2009 12:08 AM

                                                    This sounds simple and yummy. I think I will try this out.

                                                    As long as the mustard seeds didn't burn and turn extremely bitter, they should be okay.

                                                    1. re: luckyfatima
                                                      k
                                                      Karen_Schaffer Oct 22, 2009 09:12 AM

                                                      The mustard seeds had a very toasted, popcorn-like flavor, but were definitely not burnt or bitter. The dish was astonishingly tasty for such a simple combination of ingredients.

                                                      Do you find a lot of taste difference between black, brown, and yellow mustard seeds? I asked a friendly passerby at the Indian shop yesterday about the black versus the brown. She said she liked the black ones because they're larger than the brown, so they provide a more toothsome texture, but didn't think there is a big flavor difference.

                                                      1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                        luckyfatima Oct 22, 2009 10:23 AM

                                                        I don't usually cook with mustard seeds , so I don't know much about them. A small packet is like a year's supply for me. I buy the black, though. In black, there are two sizes, large and small, and someone told me once that the larger black ones are superior quality to the small black ones, so I buy the larger of the black kind.

                                                        I actually think you fry-toasted the mustard seeds perfectly since they came out the way you described.

                                                    2. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                      m
                                                      Mark P Nov 1, 2009 12:46 PM

                                                      Gujerati Carrot Salad
                                                      3 stars (on a 5 star scale)
                                                      Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 217

                                                      Not particularly good. In fact, the first time I cooked it, I burnt the mustard seeds (it's impossible to tell visually, but I could taste it) and the dish was so bad (though still edible) (2 stars) that I vowed to give it another try. I tried it again and didn't burn the mustard seeds. The flavor combination was interesting--lemon, carrot, and mustard seeds--and a bit better than before but still not something I'd make again. I tried both attempts at room temperature and chilled.

                                                      The recipe is easy and fast. Grating the carrots takes the most time, but that's not much.

                                                      Regarding the pictures, because both were of servings from the bottom of the bowl, they show more mustard seeds than the other servings.

                                                      Pictures: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....
                                                      There is also an additional comment there too.

                                                      [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

                                                    3. m
                                                      Mark P Nov 1, 2009 12:47 PM

                                                      Yogurt with Eggplant (Baigan ka raita)
                                                      4 stars (on a 5 star scale)
                                                      Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 212

                                                      An easy to make dish of mashed eggplant in yogurt. I like the refreshing coolness of the combination of the yogurt, scallions, and mint. It's better chilled, which implies that one needs to let the mashed eggplant cool for a long time, enough so that after mixing with the eggplant, the result is still cool.

                                                      I tried eating it with pita chips, but felt the flavor of the chips I had overwhelmed the dish. It's much better eating it with a fork or spoon.

                                                      Picture: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....

                                                      [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

                                                      1. m
                                                        Mark P Nov 1, 2009 01:04 PM

                                                        I don't have the book in front of me; I'm not sure if this is the right section to post in. I figure if the other carrot salad postings are here, this probably is right.

                                                        Carrot and Onion Salad (Gajar aur pyaz ka salad)
                                                        2 stars (on a 5 star scale)
                                                        Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey, p. 217

                                                        Disappointing. The onion overpowers the rest of the flavors. It's so strong the salad is hard to eat. Maybe I shouldn't have used a red onion. (The recipe didn't specify. I used a red onion simply because most Indian recipes use red onions. This cookbook, sadly, never mentions anywhere what type of onions to use.) Or maybe I should've used four carrots, not three. The recipe calls for three carrots, "about half a pound," and I guess I chose smaller carrots because it turns out I should've used four to get half a pound. On the other hand, in an attempt to make the salad more palatable, I tried removing the onions; the result was simply not interesting. Adding the onions gradually back makes the salad remain not interesting until a particular point at which it switched instantly to having too much onion pungency. There was no middle ground.

                                                        Random remark: What the heck does "bring to a boil again. Boil rapidly for 2 seconds only" mean?! It's impossible to be so accurate with two seconds whereas defining boiling is much less precise. (Maybe this is an error in my edition of the book? oakjoan quotes a two minute boiling time.)

                                                        Pictures: http://indian-cooking-recipe-reviews....

                                                        [I've been cooking my way through this book for quite a while.]

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