Garlic chutney for the soul

Amidst all the newfound food pictures and futuristic ways of serving ‘superfoods’ I see on Instagram these days, there is a room of my own that I want to constantly visit, and that’s my kind of food. Some place where my mum or a sweet neighbour in my native place gets me a warm plate of pear millet roti laden with ghee, radish sabzi, and a wee bit of red garlic chutney. You see, all the new styles of serving and eating food sometimes bewilder me as I find myself stuck to what I ate as a child.

Now, how do we actually create those childhood flavours from your mum’s kitchen alive again? You can’t. But I want to die trying. On hectic days that is most of my days, I’m too tired to cook for myself. When my cravings go unheard, I decide to shut all business and cook my heart out.

This chutney takes me back to my mother, who lives in a different state than mine. My mother did it all for us, but she certainly didn’t make us strong enough to live without her food; it’s our biggest weakness. But unlike my brothers, I don’t get to enjoy it whenever I want, so making her recipes in my kitchen does make me feel better. This is one such recipes that does that to me.

Recipe: Lasan ki chutney/Garlic chutney {Jaisalmer style}

Method: Grind garlic cloves and green chillies (more garlic of course). You can hand-pound it too. And, you can add a piece or two of dried red chilly to this as well (I usually skip it). Now, heat a pan. Add some ghee. Once hot, add in some asafoetida, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, red chilli powder (at least one tsp as you want your chutney to be hot), and coriander powder. Give it a quick mix and add in the ground paste of garlic and green chillies. Now, add in some salt, two tbsp of water (to cook the garlic), kachri powder (a regional ingredient found in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan; but you can skip it if you don’t have it), and a hint of mango powder. Now stir it every few seconds and once the water is all absorbed, switch off the flame. It’s best to be had with Bajri ki roti (pearl millet). Also, this will not go stale so soon; store it in the fridge and reheat it till the ghee melts well.

Next week, I shall be with her, and it’s going to be the best winter week, you guys. Family bliss, winter food and loads of cuddles are on my way. See you soon, Ma.


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