Green Onion Chutney – The Ultimate Indian Side Dish

A very good Green Onion Chutney. It has a zingy flavour with a mixture of sweet and sour from the lime and sugar, and fresh herbs from the coriander and mint, the chillies add the final kick. Best eaten fresh. I’d say within an hour or two. But may keep for a few hours longer in the fridge. It is great as part of a small set of raitas, pickles, salads, and chutneys when serving Indian nibbles like pakora.
It’s particularly easy to make. I have a small food processor and find it essential for this. Just put everything in the processor and blitz, I use the Pulse feature. If you have the patience then you could chop it all finely by hand, but for me, life’s too short.
 
This chutney works with almost any curry, pakora, poppadoms etc. It’s particularly nice with Kheema.
Ingredients
  • Large handful mint leaves
  • Large handful coriander leaves
  • 2 fresh green chillies roughly chopped (I leave the seeds in)
  • 1 small (about 75g) onion roughly chopped
  • 1½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
Method
  1. Tip it all into a food processor and blitz on pulse; you might need to scrape it off the sides a couple of times. Doesn’t want to be too smooth in my opinion. Some texture is required otherwise you will just make a paste.

Red Cabbage – An Easy Autumn Classic

Red Cabbage is another autumn/winter favourite.

It’s a very useful side dish which has many virtues:
  • it can be made a few hours in advance
  • it can be spiced up and made as “festive” as you like. A thin slice of orange peel might make a festive flavour.
  • it is easy to do and hard to go wrong
  • it’s quick and simple to cook.
You must use eating apples as they will keep their shape when cooked. Cooking apples, like Bramleys, will just go to mush so should be avoided.
Ingredients
  • knob of butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced or chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 x 600g red cabbage, shredded finely using a food processor (white core discarded)
  • 3 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 3 eating apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
Method
  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large lidded saucepan.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onion and fry gently until softened.
  3. Then stir in the spices. Add the cabbage and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until glossy.
  4. Stir in the sugar, apples and red wine vinegar. Cover with a lid and let it cook gently for 30 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust salt/sugar/vinegar, and cook longer if needed, as you prefer.

Pakora – The Best Indian Streetfood

This Pakora is lovely, and can easily be made in advance and reheated. Made by deep frying. If you are reheating then this can be done by heating in a hot oven, or refrying to crisp and heat up. The Pakora freeze well too, and like all of these things, I think this helps the flavour.
Ingredients
  • 250g chickpea (besan) flour
  • 50g self-raising flour
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½-1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (vary this according to how many bits of green chilli you will use and how hot you like it)
  • 250-300ml cold water
  • 300g potatoes, coarsely grated. You need to squeeze the water out of the grated potatoes.
  • 300g onions either all grated or very very finely chopped, or you can leave some in longer pieces to make the finished pakora a bit more gnarly if you like. But you really need to grate at least some of the onion to get the flavour.
  • 100g fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 or more fresh green chilli, with or without the seeds depending on preference.
Method
  1. Mix the flours, salt and spices in a large bowl.
  2. Add water till you get the thickness of double cream
  3. Add everything else and mix it in. (If the mixture is too wet add a bit more chickpea flour and mix it in)
  4. Using a deep fat fryer at about 180C fry the pakora in batches. My fryer is small so I find I can only do 2-3 at a time. It takes 3-4 minutes per cook and I usually try and flip them over halfway.
You can veg this up in lots of different ways. I’ve made with courgette rather than potato and it’s been lovely. You can substitute some of the potatoes with whole frozen peas.
Serve with some salad and dips/sauces/yoghurts/raita/chutney/pickles etc. Let’s be honest, what’s wrong with a bit of tomato ketchup on its own or even mixed with some greek yoghurt. Green onion chutney is a winner too.