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Roasted peanut chutney (Moongfalli chatni)

India is a land of chutneys. They are made from everything, including meat. Chutneys can be spicy, mild, or sweet and are essential to any table. The thought that goes into selecting the right chutney for any meal is an indicator of how much the host cares about her guests. Although you do get a large number of chutneys commercially, the best ones are always the homemade ones with recipes that have been passed down from generation. There are also a number of small cooperatives in India that specialize in making chutneys (and pickles) from traditional recipes. These are also amazing products and help the cooperative immensely.

The author contributes this recipe to the "prasadam" or temple cuisine of Madhya Pradesh. However, peanut chutneys are very common throughout central India, where peanuts are a major crop.

The chutney is creamy, and the flavours are elegant. This is not a spicy chutney, although you can adjust the spice levels to suit your palate. The creaminess and perfect balance of spices and tamarind. coconut and green chillies is what sets it apart. I love this chutney with the Cheelas or other dosas.

Yamuna Devi's cookbook is probably the first cookbook I bought when I moved to the US 30 years ago for my Ph.D. Over the years, I have cooked almost half the recipes, it is the cookbook that taught me technique, and flavour profiles and always gave me a wonderful meal. This vegetarian cookbook is essential on any shelf, it is the bible of Indian vegetarian cuisine.

For more recipes from this amazing cookbook, click here.


1 cup + for garnish, roasted peanuts without skin

1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted

1/2 cup shredded coconut, wet or desiccated

1 tablespoon tamarind extract

3-4 green chillies, or to taste

1 tablespoon peanut oil

Salt, to taste

1 tablespoon jaggery

Water, as needed

Add all the ingredients to a small blender and purée until you have a thick chutney. Add just enough water to allow the chutney to slide down the sides of the blender. You want a very thick chutney, almost the consistency of peanut butter. Taste for salt, spice, and tartness, and adjust as needed.

If you would like a chunkier chutney with small bits of peanuts, add 3/4 of the peanuts at the start and purée until very smooth. Add the remaining peanuts and blitz until they are chunky in nature.

Serve in a bowl at room temperature, garnished with a few peanuts.

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