I remember one day, not too long after marriage, when my husband and I were eating breakfast at my parents' house. We were eating idlis and hubby started talking about "palli chutney." Now, if you speak Tamil, you shouldn't have a problem understanding why I had an absolutely shocked and disgusted expression on my face.
See, palli in Tamil means a gecko... It's one of those little green lizard-like creatures that crawls on the walls and makes noise in India. So, when hubby mentioned "palli chutney", I was inferring that someone must have gotten the brilliant idea to turn these creatures into a chutney. If that wasn't disgusting enough, people would actually eat this stuff??!!
Turns out, he had been exposed to it via an Andhraite friend of his. The name was apparently in Telugu and means peanut chutney! Of course he just sat there and enjoyed the facial contortions from my mother and myself. After taking his sweet time, he finally explained what he meant. First, a sigh of relief and then I spent a while trying to chase him down to smack him. Men!! Anyone else have antics like this going on??
What's all the buildup about? Well, I had some mint lying around in the fridge and wanted to make it into a chutney. So, I thought, why not combine it with peanuts and see how it comes out? It's really good and hubby simply loves it!
Peanuts - 1/2 cup, roasted
Mint leaves - 1 cup, loosely packed
Garlic - 2 cloves, roughly chopped
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Tamarind - small almond size
Red chillies - 6-8, or to taste
Salt to taste
Oil as needed
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 6-8 leaves
1. Heat a little bit of oil in a pan. Once hot, add the red chillies, urad dal, tamarind, and garlic. Fry until the chillies darken slightly and the garlic starts to turn slightly golden at the edges.
2. Now, add the mint leaves and fry until the leaves wilt and shrink down.
3. Cool the mixture and grind to smooth paste along with the roasted peanuts and water as required to achieve a chutney consistency.
4. Heat oil for seasoning. Add the seasoning ingredients, allow to splutter and pour over the prepared chutney. Serve with idli, dosai, etc.
So, what did we think? Well, this is like peanut chutney with a kiss of mint to it. Extremely light and refreshing. We had it with dosai, but it would be great with tiffin items. Enjoy!