Updated: May 20
I would walk by Akasa Boutique Homestay every morning and eventually got to know the young couple that owned the property. Karan and Tanushree Singh invited me for lunch one afternoon and I was completely blown away with this walnut chutney that he served with the Himachali siddu. He was generous enough to share the recipe with me. Walnuts grow abundantly in north India on the lower slopes of the great Himalian range, especially in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. This video shows the walnut harvest process, one that we can see is quite labor intensive. This is one of the major crops in the region and it is no wonder the locals use walnuts abundantly in their cuisine. This chutney Is divine and also quite unique from the regular chutneys found in India. Creamy from the ground walnuts, a hint of delicate spice to awaken the palate and herbs and a dash of lime for some freshness. They complimented the siddu beautifully.
This chutney will also be wonderful on grilled meats, fritters or pakoras, or almost anywhere you need a condiment to bring the food alive.
Akasa Boutique Homestay is a quaint stone built house just past Shanag village. It rests on the crook of a hairpin bend with spectacular views of the valley and snow capped peaks. There is a small cafe tucked away at the back that has amazing food. What makes this boutique home stay wonderful are its hosts and wonderful cuisine.
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1 cup walnuts
1 large onion, chunked
1-2 green chilies
1/4 cup mint
1/4 cup cilantro
5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoons ginger paste
Juice of 1 lime
Salt, to taste
2-3 tablespoons water
Walnuts, for garnish
Mint, for garnish
Toast the walnuts light on a dry frying pan till lightly colored and aromatic. Set aside to cool.
Roast the onions and green chilies in the same pan till lightly charred. Set aside to cool.
Add most of the walnuts, keeping 2 tablespoons aside, and all the other ingredients to a blender and purée.
Chop the remaining walnuts into small pieces and mix in. Taste for salt chili and lime. Serve garnished with a half walnut and some mint.