Start Cooking with more Flavor: 5 Chutney Recipes

Cooking in an Ayurvedic way does not need to be intimidating.  You don’t need to chant for hours over your stew pot, and you don’t need to know all the details about the doshas to begin to cook for yourself in a healthy way.  (Though of course those things won’t hurt 🙂 ) We can tap in to how the food we eat is going to affect our body and mind through a simple diagnostic technique – taste.

Ayurveda talks about 6 tastes – sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent.  Some of these are more obvious than others.  Each of these tastes affects our body and mind in different subtle ways.  Some of the tastes are more nourishing and building (sweet) and others cleansing and lightening to the body (pungent, bitter, stringent) and others also great for stimulating digestion (sour and salty.)

chakra

In the west, most of our condiments tend to add a lot of flavor, but also bog down digestion – thinking jams, ketchup, and mayo for a simple few.  There are some simple Indian-inspired condiments which add so much flavor to almost any dish, that help us to get a more varied flavor profile – more ‘tastes’ – into out diet to help stimulate or cool digestion.  A more flavorful diet helps us feel satisfied, and curbs cravings as well.

Here are five simple chutneys you can try to inspire your cooking and encourage your exploration of taste.

Cilantro Chutney

Cooling: astringent, sweet, bitter

1 tsp cumin seeds

3 T sesame seeds

1/4 c flaked coconut

1 bunch of cilantro

1 inch peeled fresh ginger

About 2 T water

1 T lime juice

1 T raw honey

1/2 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients together.  Toasting the coconut lightly before blending adds another layer of interesting flavor. Excellent on kitchari, or any spicy curry in Summer.

cil

Tamarind Chutney

Neutral: Sour, Sweet

2/3 c Raisins, soaked in 3/4 c hot water for 5 minutes

1/2 chopped jalepeno

3 T chopped cilantro

1 T chopped fresh mint

1/3 c tamarind concentrate

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp raw honey

Puree all ingredients until smooth.  For more spice increase the jalepeno. Sour will be the dominant flavor. Really aids in digestion – traditionally served with fried food, though excellent on kitchari.

tamarind

Mango Chutney

Cooling: sweet, pungent

I recommend you use Ataulfo mangoes.  They are super melty and sweet, from Mexico and South America are closely related to Indian varieties.

2 Ataulfo Mangoes (squishier the better!)

1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 T lime juice

1/8 tsp turmeric, adds to the golden color

2 tsp maple syrup, or 1 tsp raw honey

pinch of cayenne

pinch of salt

Peel and take out the core of the mango.  Either chop finely and simply stir all the ingredients together, or for a very smooth chutney, blend together.  Sweet and spicy.

Ginger Chutney

Heating: Pungent, Sweet

1 cup grated fresh ginger

1 1/2 c water

1 T lime zest

1/2 c apple sauce

1/2 tsp ginger powder

Combine all ingredients and simmer over med-low heat for 15 minutes, until reduced.  Stir continuously to prevent sticking and burning.  It’s quite spicy, so a little goes a long way! Stimulates digestion. Serve alongside any curry, or even apple pie!

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Cucumber Raita

Cooling: Sweet, Astringent, Sour

1 c plain yogurt

1/2 c cubed cucumber, peeled

3 T chopped fresh cilantro

1 T chopped scallions

pinch of turmeric powder

pinch ginger powder

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients. Serve alongside spicy dishes to aid in cooling them down, or even top tacos with this!

Love, Adena

Adena Rose Harford is a NAMA Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and AyurYoga Specialist helping women adopt a healthy lifestyle, make changes in diet, improve fertility and feel good during their period. Her 7-day Ayurvedic Cleanse Course is available online.  If you’re interested in learning more about Ayurveda, follow Adena Rose Ayurveda on Facebook for Ayurvedic tips, recipes and remedies.

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