This recipe is for that delicious green sauce that you get as a condiment at Indian restaurants, which is actually called green chutney, cilantro chutney, or coriander chutney, but many people in the U.S. think of chutney specifically as a thick, gooey concoction, or simply don’t know the sauce’s name.
The lovely green sauce is often served at a restaurant with your basket of papadum, but also can be lavishly spooned onto your main entree, or rice, or a host of other things. And it’s tingly tangy presence takes dishes made at home from pedestrian to sublime. We like to top a dish with this sauce, and then top the sauce with our easy homemade almond yogurt or our even easier countertop yogurt (made with either coconut milk or almond milk).
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Now, it’s true that necessity is the mother of invention. Specifically, one of us had recently come home from a stay at the hospital, and was in no shape (or mood, it has to be said) to cook. Plus, they needed to be sure to get plenty of good protein. Welcome to the Tasty Bite universe of microwavable pouches of Indian dishes. One of those with some brown rice (pre-cooked in our Instant Pot and stored in the fridge) made a perfect fast, and very easy, lunch or dinner – or heck, lunch and dinner (or even breakfast!)
But for some reason, after coming out of the hospital, somebody found these once perfect meals to be a bit bland (ok, it was me), and to be missing something. In fact, these suddenly picky tastebuds felt that it needed something to spice it up. Something…. something..wait..wait! That’s it! It needed that green sauce that comes with your meal at an Indian restaurant!
First, of course, we looked around at the various stores in the area that delivered (we are on full-on lockdown here), but neither the major grocery stores (King Soopers and Safeway), nor the specialty stores (Natural Grocers and Sprouts) had anything even remotely resembling the elusive green elixir. We couldn’t even find a suitable one on Amazon.
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And now back to our recipe!
But wait..what’s this? Why, it’s Costco to the rescue! Specifically, we had in our pantry one of those huge jars of Hatch Valley 505 green chile sauce that they sell at Costco.
Well, a basic cilantro chutney recipe calls for green chiles and..you guessed it… cilantro. And while we didn’t have any fresh cilantro on hand, we did have this handy (and fridge-stable) cilantro paste! Woohoo! We were in business!
It turns out that it’s not always easy to find vegan cilantro paste (as we found out when we put up the wrong picture, and an astute reader let us know!), here are the ingredients for Inca’s Food brand cilantro paste, which you can get Amazon here.
Green chutney is, at its most very basic, simply the green chiles (or green chile sauce as in our case), cilantro, a bit of lemon juice, and salt. Some recipes also call for ginger, turmeric, and even mint. But we are going for quick and easy here.
And while you can blend all the ingredients, resulting in a uniform pea-green thick sauce, we actually prefer it stirred (with apologies to James Bond), as you can see from our picture. Either way is fine!
This recipe is definitely one that goes by taste, and so taste it you must. Therefore these measurement are just guidelines, as you may prefer more or less cilantro, salt, etc..
Quick and Easy Green Cilantro Chutney
1 cup Hatch Valley 505 green chile sauce, or other green chile sauce
1/4 to 1/3 cup cilantro paste
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Put everything in a container and stir, or, if you prefer, blend everything together in a blender.
Store in the refrigerator.
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