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Fenugreek chutney from Andhra Pradesh (Menthukura pachadi)

The variety of chutneys in India is mind-boggling; it can be a book by itself. The varieties change from household to household, with the season as new vegetables become available and from region to region. Almost everything you can see in the vegetable can be turned into a delicious chutney. In addition, meats are also made into chutneys in the southern states like Kerala and the Northeastern states of Meghalaya. Fresh goat, chicken, fish dried fish, and shrimp are made into delectable chutneys that grace every table.

A well-curated dining table is always filled with chutneys and pickles. These flavour bombs add a lovely pop to the dishes on the table.

This chutney is a lovely combination of mild spice and earthy-bitter fenugreek leaves. The flavour is strong but pleasing and it accents the food very well. I love serving this chutney with South Indian dishes like dosas or idlis, but it also pairs well with other North Indian dishes.

This is another cookbook from Chandra Padmanabhan that I adore. The recipes are varied across the southern states of India, and each turns out very well. The recipes, like this one, are authentic and wonderfully flavoured. This cookbook is for those who want to go beyond the ordinary and enjoy very localized cuisines from the South.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


2 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon pigeon peas (toor dal)

1/2 teaspoon husked black gram dal (urad dal)

3-4 dried red chillies, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon ginger paste

4 garlic cloves, minced

15 curry leaves

2 cups packed fresh fenugreek leaves

1 large tomato, finely diced

Salt, to taste

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves

3-4 tablespoons water

To temper:

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

A large pinch of asafoetida

1 dried red chilli

Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot or wok. Add the pigeon peas and black gram and fry for 1 minute till the lentils are lightly coloured. Add the red chillies and cumin seeds and fry for 20 more seconds.

Add the ginger, garlic, and curry leaves and fry for 1 minute until the ginger no longer smells raw. Add the fenugreek leaves and cook for 2 minutes until the fenugreek leaves are soft. Add the tomatoes and salt and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to break down. Remove from the heat and cool.

Add the mix to a blender with the cilantro and water. Purèe to a smooth chutney. You want the chutney to be thick, so do not make it runny. Scoop the chutney into a serving bowl.

Heat the oil in a small pot. Add the mustard seeds; they will pop in 20 seconds. Add the asafoetida and red chilli and swirl around. Pour over the chutney and serve.

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