IFR New Finds

New In The Freezer:
Not quite the homemade taste but much better than the bottled stuff that masquerades as chutney. I found Mint Chutney and Coriander Chutney from Deep in my Indian grocer's frozen section. There are four containers, each about half cup, in each carton adding to the convenience factor.


I preferred the mint chutney as it was tangier. The spice level is mild with the mint being slightly more spicy. I am not a fan of packaged ready-to-eat Indian food, frozen or otherwise, but this is something I plan to stock in my freezer. It won't stop me from making my own chutneys but these are a huge time saver!

Update May 31, 2007: I found coconut chutney and concentrate for pani puris. The coconut chutney is reasonably OK. I haven't tried the pani concentrate yet.

New On The Block: Yet another well-written Indian food blog, Evolving Tastes, with beautiful pictures. I've learned a lot from her in the past and I am looking forward to being regaled some more! Especially when it comes to Maharashtrian food. If her twist on the revered sabudana khichadi is anything to go by, I know I am only going to be enthralled!!

39 comments:

Gini said...

What do you use those chutneys in? As dips? Forgive my ignorance, I have never used ground coriander in any dish. Actually I started using coriander only a few yrs ago

musical said...

Manisha,

Good finds, all of them: especially the blog :).

I loved reading the sabudana khichdi post :).

Hope you had a great weekend.

bee said...

manisha, that nasty nirav mint chutney is the bottle (with the funky kala namak smell) can be salvaged by grinding it up with a bunch of coriander. then it's quite good.

Manisha said...

Gini, traditionally chutney is part of every meal. Salt, piece of limboo, chutney and pickle are always served first and on one side of the thali - Anita knows which side. I think it is the left side. My Mom always had a green chutney in the fridge and a dry red chutney in the pantry. I therefore find it hard to not have a stock of chutney!

I use it as a spread: chutney on toast is one of my favorite snacks as well as breakfast. I use it on cucumber-tomato or tomato-egg sandwiches. When I make dudhi parathas or aloo-parathas, we eat it with chutney and yogurt. When I make my own chutney and there isn't enough to have with parathas or on sandwiches, I finish it off by adding it to my meat curries.

I generally don't use ground coriander otherwise. I prefer chopped coriander. You must try the Hyderabadi Marag if you like the flavor of cilantro.

Manisha said...

Musical, the chutneys save time and don't have any of that strange smelling stuff they add to bottled chutneys. ET's blog is sure to be a delight! She's an excellent cook!

Weekend? No the week did not end for me! It just went on and on and on...


Bee, that's a great tip for someone who gets suckered into buying those bottles. I threw mine out as soon as I opened it and smelled it. I would rather do without than have that bottled stuff again. Besides, if I have dhania-patti and I am pulling my blender out, I might as well make my own chutney.

Pelicano said...

Manisha-
Pudina-dhania chutney is my favorite of them all... I eat it with parathas, on sandwiches, with plain rice, most pakoras/bhajjis... I just made a big batch last week and separated it into small containers and froze them...I don't know how it'll emerge from the freezer, but I found such beautiful healthy coriander at the market and i couldn't say no...
Those oranges(with lime juice) that I'm pickling with your lemon recipe are coming out FANTASTIC btw...i look forward to my daily turning so i can lick the spoon!

Gini said...

Paratha with coriander chutney sounds really good and now you have made me really hungry.
I did make the marag from yr blog some time back, but it didn't turn out right. It was a while ago and I remember adding water where I wasn't supposed to do. I think I get it from my mother. She would add sugar to the upma instead of rava in her mad scramble in the morning (not all the time, sometimes :)). You didn't want to be near her after that happened...

Will give the marag one more try.

Manisha said...

Pel, I do that quite often. I freeze it in ice-trays and once frozen, I store the chutney cubes in freezer bags. When I know I am going to do that I add more green chillies and more ginger than I normally would as I find that it loses some flavor on freezing. Right now I have a whole bunch of green chilli and ginger paste frozen as ice-cubes. It's very convenient.

I guess cilantro is flourishing! My Indian grocer gets his from Miami and I have a fresh lot, too!


Gini, I am sorry marag didn't work out for you. :-( It's the only recipe I think of when I buy lamb! I have a leg of lamb I bought yesterday and three lovely bunches of cilantro. So no prizes for guessing what I am going to be cooking soon!

Try Nabeela's original recipe, made in the pressure cooker, and see if that works for you.

Sugar instead of rava?! NO! In my home, most house guests add salt to their tea. My sugar-bowl is usually empty since we don't add sugar to milk, tea or coffee. So they open my cabinets, find the salt container and help themselves to 2-3 teaspoonfuls.
:-7

evolvingtastes said...

My my, what an endorsement, Manisha. Thank you very much.

musical, thanks for your compliments. I have been eyeing some recipes from your blog too.

musical said...

"The week did not end for me".....

Manisha, glad to find friends sailing in the same boat.....

Thought i would sher this chutney bit with you:

If you get the fresh Pudina, try making the chutney with anardana, pudina leaves, lil' lime juice and a bit of chopped red onions.....very typically Punju :).

Some even add a bit of sugar and mirchi.

I have recently developed this habit of freezing chutneys after a large scale preparation! Call me lazy, but it works for me.....thankfully coz' i get fresh mint and cilantro in the grocery store across the road. Though seriously i wish the local desi store here would stock more Deep products-some of them are really good.

haven't tried the Nirav brand chutney that Bee mentioned.....i'll have to look carefully though.

musical said...

Hey Manisha, now i know you won't call me lazy for freezing chutneys :).....just read your reply to Pel's comment. Truly heartening dear :). and i freeze them as cubes too.....even coconut chutney!!

Mythili said...

Yayyy!! Finally I can leave a comment here. Now let me go read what she wrote.

Mythili said...

Mint chutney... hmm good good. Let me see if my local India Grocery store has that available. And oooo what an amazing blog that is..Thanks Manish for introducing us to the blog :)

indosungod said...

Manisha, since you have given it a seal of approval I might venture and buy some of the ready made chutney from Deep. I did not have a good experience the first time I bought them. Anyway be ready for the rotten eggs/tomatoes that may come your way if they don't taste good.

indosungod said...

that sounds like I bought Deep before, have tried other brands but not Deep.

Anita said...

Yes, left side of the thali is where the chutneys and all other accompaniments go. Otherwise there is a chance of the pickle being mistaken for the subzi :-D

I tried freezing chutney once - it made my freezer trays turn all green! I should get green trays for this! But I just freeze, chopped dhaniya, whole green chillies, and ginger as is. For use, one has to remember not thaw dhaniya and green chillies at all, and only thaw the ginger for a few minuted and grate. Voila, fresh grated ginger.

Actually, since my green grocer is just a 5 min walk :-)(less, if I buy from the raehdiwala), I freeze for emergency purposes only - when I run out of these essentials! There are usually some tomatoes also in my freezer.

Richa said...

good find, will try the chutney. I also like the tamarind-date chutney (deep) and liven it up by adding fresh roasted & ground jeera pwd, it tastes so good.

Pelicano said...

Anita, are you bragging once again about the guy who comes peddling by on his bike almost daily, selling heaps of seasonal greens? Because if you are, and you are attempting to make some of us GREEN with envy, it's working. :-)

Manisha- that ice-cube tray idea is the best!!...that way I don't have to use up all my little storage containers..and I have a whole collection of vintage ALUMINUM ice-cube trays (you catch that Anita?)..that, of course, wouldn't stain... :-) You actually let all those folks put salt in their coffee? evil...pure evil... ;-)

Pelicano said...

I'm guilty of double comments! :-)

Musical... I copied down that very intriguing pudina chutney recipe that you set free... thanks! (I'll be forced to add the chiles though, as I'll die without a daily dose...)

Anita said...

Actually, Pel, that chappie on the bike sells only coriander, mint, lemons and ginger. I was bragging about the cart-puller who stocks fresh vegetables and stands at the street corner.

But I don't buy from him; I walk down farther (a 5 min walk) to my friendly neighbourhood Mother Dairy Fruit and vegetable shop. And what is there to brag?! These are all over the (third) world. :-)

[I hate to use that 'third' world term - what the *#$ is it supposed to mean?!]

What I would like to brag about is that I don't keep frozen chutney in my freezer 'cause I have fresh mint in my garden outside! [I know, I know, so does Manisha. But spring has not quite sprung in parts of the first world... ;-)]

Manisha said...

EvolvingTastes, welcome once again! Every word I said is true!

Musical, I am ready for last week to end but now this week has taken over. I have never made chutney with onions so this is one I am going to make very soon!! Well, I still make and prefer my own chutneys but Deep is a great quick fix. I'd stay away from that bottled stuff. I think it's quite awful.

Mythili, where have you been?! Your photo blog is simply beautiful. Send some of those flowers over to the Flower Fest, please!

ISG, I have a strong protection against virtual rotten eggs; it's called a very thick hide. When it comes to tomatoes, please render them to the specifications of one of these recipes and I will gladly accept all incoming tomatoes. :D Let me say it again though, I think these chutneys were great for pre-packaged frozen stuff. I will still make my own chutneys, given the time and ingredients.

Green, Anita?! I freeze them in beige plastic trays that I have had for 7 years now and that the previous owner of my old house had for at least 10 years before that! No green discoloring. For that matter, Medha has frozen that awful thing called Kool-Aid in them, too and it hasn't stained them.

I tried freezing fresh dhania-patti and mint once. I read that you should put it in an ice -cube tray and then cover it with water. And then use the ice-cube. But it just looked so pathetic after the ice melted in the pan, that I never did it again. I do without or I pay exorbitant rates (almost $1) for a measly bunch.

Out here, folks freeze whole ginger as well as grated ginger. I use so much ginger that I don't much care for the lessened flavor once it has been frozen. I pay anywhere from $0.99/lb (Indian and Asian stores) to $3.99/lb (usually at the regular supermarkets). The latter hurts but it's the price I pay for being picky about my ginger.


Richa, I have eyed a tamarind-date chutney - not sure which brand it is - but since it's in a bottle, I haven't bought it. Also, since I usually have both tamarind and dates, I make my own. Worth trying you think?

Pel, that's my trick now to get people to leave sooner than they want to. I put the salt out and hide the sugar. ;-) Things have been quiet this year but last year I had visitors for at least a week each in 7 months of the year. Some were back to back. :-@ This summer, I am thinking of returning the favor.

Double-teeble, all allowed. I don't count the number of submits used. :-7

Anita, that term became not so kosher several years ago. Instead there is a more politically correct term: developing nations, which means the same thing. Poor, low per capita income, poor infrastructure, etc. :->

And I use the mint from my yard only tentatively cos it's not organic. I have used weed killers in my lawn so while I haven't died (yet) from using some in tea, I am not sure about using it in chutneys and the likes. But I also wonder where the mint I buy is grown...

Anita said...

Too bad about the pesticides...

All the more reason to get a nice pot, fill it with good soil,and get a few sprigs of your favourite mint, use the leaves in this chutney , plant the stems, and watch it grow!

[God, please let that link link - fingers crossed...nahi to naak cut jayegi]

Mythili said...

Manisha,
I already decided to participate in the Flower Fest for 'T' with Tulips and W with White lilies :)

I know the current alphabet is 'P' and I will certainly shoot some flower before the deadline (4/18 !!! ??? mommyyyy )

heh heh

Richa said...

definitely!
I use it in bhel, sev puri and the like. As I said earlier, once you liven it up a bit, it is pretty good.
Speaking of frozen foods deep lilva kachori and palak paneer samosa is a hit with my family & friends.
You can give it a try, if not already done so.

Richa said...

oh, forgot to add, I bake the stuff, no need to deep fry, it comes out pretty good.

Pelicano said...

WOW ANITA!! Ya dun did a hyperlink in the comments!!! Or, did I miss your first one? Well, conratulations anyway... have a drink! A toast to Anita! [applause]
That third world thing...you know...some things are lost and some things are gained...I'm going to keep it at that, because I could go on in fine detail...and this might not be the place or time.
Manisha, I find the produce is cheaper and often better quality in the smaller "Asian" markets as well...plus I'd rather patronize a small business vs. a corporation... I was reading somewhere in some culture that to signal an obvious "departure hint" (that's my term, check with my lawyer for public use) a cold roast or cold something is served. It just came to me. No need for jumping-jacks.
I'm not sure if commercial mint is treated with any pesticides... I seem to recall that the whole mint family exudes a natural insect repellent, which is why I intersperse various pots of it between the maters... doesn't deter one of my cats from snacking though...
Anita, you should try this chutney; it looks really good! ;-)

Anita said...

Pel, did something go wrong the first time?? :-D :-D

But it's a royal pain - inserting links in the comments - I don't know how this girl does it every time she leaves a comment (sometimes she inserts 3 or more links - :eye roll: ) :-) We don't call her TLO for nothing!

Pelicano said...

T.....L.....O.....?????

The Lady Opulent?

True Living Oracle?...

Tough Little Overlord?... hmmmmm................................

Tequila-Lapping Ostrich?

Anita said...

All of the above! :-)))

Manisha said...

Anita, that walnut-mint-dahi chatin sounds delicious. Haven't made it yet. This weekend probably. I am going to try to make it to the Farmer's Market and I think I'll pick up a mint sapling if there are any.

Mythili, I am so glad you sent in your entry to the Flower Fest. My computer is finally stable and I am able to access all my drives so my entry is late but I will get it in.

Richa, I've had baked kachoris at a friend's place. They were decent. Better than them being fried!

Pel, just put the salt out instead of sugar and watch them disappear! ;-> But you know even though it was exhausting, I really enjoyed the time spent with all our visitors. Until they all showed up, I didn't know that we knew SO many people!!

Inserting links is not a big deal, Anita. It's similar to how you draw lines in your plans. :-D

At least he didn't say The Lady Obese or The Lady Overweight, which is what I feel like currently. My fault entirely! But I did go for a walk yesterday and the day before I did workout with some gorgeous hunk on FitTV. So what if my belly kept getting in the way. :-D

Anita said...

Arrey, you don't need a sapling. Just find the best tasting mint, and pot the stout stems, using the leaves for the chutney. That's how I grew mine!

And inserting links is a big deal - and I need a lesson on using Flicker from the blog...let me try to figure it out first...then I'll cry 'help!'

Pelicano said...

Inserting links? oh...easy... just don't forget any of the little characters in the string... :-)

Manisha---I went for a walk this morning; After I dropped off the little bunny to a handsome wildlife expert I decided to take the camera and go see if the skunk cabbages were blooming in a one of the county parks...it didn't seem like exercise at all, not when the scenery is good. Exercise AND posting material... thanks for the inspiration!

Amrapali said...

you should try lamxi brand chutney; it is in a bottle but taste quite good. Also,have you heard of Maaza? That is a great drink for the summer!

Manisha said...

Didn't make it to the Farmers Market cos of a sick child who had to be brought home early from a slumber party. Yes, many plans had to be quickly doused ;-) So your blog will be Flickring soon, Anita?

And what a walk it was, Pel! I have never seen skunk cabbages before! I did take some time off this weekend to go Picture shopping with my friend though. :-D

Amrapali, which chutney did you like? I have tried a couple of their chutneys and was very disappointed. Some of their pickles are very good, though. Maaza? Oh yes. My husband brought home 2doz bottle of Lychee Juice recently. We also used to get their mango juice. Since moving to Colorado though, we drink more water. :-D And, welcome to IFR!

Vanishree's Corner said...

Hi,
I like your blog very much.
If you are interested in link exchange than please leave a comment on http://vanishreerajamarthandan.blogspot.com/
Happy Blogging :)

Roopa said...

Hi Manisha,
Thanks for stopping by Kitchenaromas! I am very much in town, watching the weather change every five seconds :) When I first moved to Colorado from CA, I was told "if you don't like the weather here, wait five minutes" and so far that has almost been my experience ;)

I have a feeling we might even go to the same Indian grocer - the one on South Boulder Rd - Krishna Groceries? Is that where you found these super handy chutneys? I hope to return to blogging soon!
- Roopa

Manisha said...

Vanishree, welcome to IFR!

Roopa, great to hear from you again! You are so right about CO weather and that is what I love about it. Ice over Easter, snow thereafter, cold and then take today: a glorious summer day!

And yes, I found these chutneys at Krishna Groceries.I thought you were further up in Fort Collins for some reason. I'll catch up with you again soon! I am heading out for a long bike ride now!

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Cyberman said...

Have you ever seen somebody lick the chutney spoon in an Indian Restaurant and put it back? This would never have happened under the Tories.