August 18, 2011

Rajasthani garlic chutney

Our home smells great today. I just made dal bati with the boldest lahsun-ki- chutney (garlic chutney) for lunch. The perfect compliments bati dal garlic chutney, are the weekend staples in any rajasthani home like mine. Though i'll confess , our global diet these days lends an empty slot for this favorite food from the rugged land of warriors, only once a month. I 'll share the circle of my rajasthani plate soon but today i wish to highlight this fiery , fully packed chutney recipe.

This chutney is made mostly in winters as large quantities of garlic in it keep you warm. But like rest of the things which are year round now, garlic chutney is a must must in any rajasthani's pantry. History has it that lahsun ki chutney formed the working lunch of peasants in rajasthan, along with bajra ki roti /millet bread and onions.

My aunt makes the best garlic chutney back home in India and this is a recipe adapted from her's.

2 pods of whole garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup oil for frying, canola or vegetable
2 tsp red chilli powder ( or to your taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
Salt to taste

Break open the pod and peel the garlic cloves, rinse and pat dry. Take all the cloves and pound till pasty in a mortar and pestle. Traditionally, at my grandparents we had this black groovy flat stone with a cylindrical pestle to grind the garlic. I did not have a pestle to pound or grind here and thus, I chopped the garlic small .. added salt for its abrasive qualities..kept chopping finer and finer, smashing the garlic with my knife in between. Soon to find the chunky garlic turned pasty. For all those too busy for all this, bank on your food processor or masala grinder :)

Next heat oil in a shallow non stick pan, crackle the cumin seeds. Add the powdered spices and stir. Before the spices start burning, sprinkle some water to deglaze and let a film of oil surface over the gravy. Add the garlic paste next and keep stiring. Lower the flame. The garlic paste which was smooth will soon turn grainy as it cooks in about 10-15 minutes.

Cook the chutney in gravy  for about 20-25 minutes on mild heat, taking care that the garlic does not burn at all. The idea is to cook slow and low with a hearty pinch of love and passion. Dont bother if the passion is messy- let it splitter splutter like mine did. LOL

Turn off the heat and store in a air tight container when cooled . The chutney can stand in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks straight.

Serve with dal bati/bajra roti or well i have it with any and everything for that matter :)

And this is also your step closer to making Indian curries with the chilly garlic paste already prepared.

NOTE : I have received comments where everyone is allured by the color of the chutney. I thought its worth posting that the color is truly dependent on the red chilli powder that you use. The red chilli powder that i used here is specific to a region called Sirohi in Rajasthan, India. I am sure their are other regions famous for their chilli powders as well  but for the ease of universal availability, try using good quality kashmiri red chilli powder from your next door superstores. I think that should get you the crimson hue certainly.

I am sending this to the event : "Herbs and Flowers - Garlic" hosted on blogs:  Zesty palette and  PJ's blog


  1. I am loving the fiery red! And missing your dal baati!

  2. me too... I still remember the taste of ur Rajasthani food !! will try this one for sure..

  3. A fantastic, devilish, lip smacking chutney!!! Bookmarked & cant wait to try this out...!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  4. Wow what a beautiful colour ....looks fab

  5. The color of the chutney looks fiery n nice. I should try this sometime

  6. Your kitchen must have smelt beautiful with all that fragrant garlic. I have some bought tomato chutney in the fridge but will try and make this next time. Thanks!

  7. WOW, the colour of that chutney is amazing. I'll definitely be giving this one a go.

  8. Looks absolutely amazing ~ A real winner!

  9. This looks unbelievable. I think I'm going to bookmark this for a later date. I can almost smell it through my screen. :)

  10. Wow .. I love garlic chutney and this seems to be an interesting way. Thx for linking to the event.



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