Indian Coconut-Cilantro Chutney

I was wrong about chutney just like I was wrong about Dean. (And when I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong.) A year or so ago, I thought chutney was just another way of saying mango salsa. And just a month ago, I thought Dean was a really good-looking, semi-brok…

I was wrong about chutney just like I was wrong about Dean. (And when I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong.) A year or so ago, I thought chutney was just another way of saying mango salsa. And just a month ago, I thought Dean was a really good-looking, semi-broken but ultimately sincere and decent-hearted man.

But now I know that there is a whole wide world of chutneys out there, one for all of us perhaps, and most importantly: that I am a fool because of course Dean is a shallow if not normal person with little self control and even less emotional maturity. If you guys don't know what I'm talking about, good for you! I've long justified watching The Bachelor / Bachelorette because I think it does reveal interesting, nuanced things about people / what strangers want for people, but I think what it has mostly, sadly revealed is how tricked we all are by good looks. (On the recommendation of one of my blog readers, I read a large chunk of Timothy Caulfield's Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything?, which quotes Nancy Etcoff's Survival of the Prettiest: "We face a world where 'lookism' is one of the most pervasive but denied of prejudices." Pervasive but denied of! Totally. Because it's one of those things we all think we "know about already" so we think we won't fall victim to it, and yet here I am in 2017 and I thought Dean was some kind of 25-year-old diamond in the rough who by some strange accident ended up as a contestant on The Bachelor.)
Back to chutney, I've made a lot of them this past year, almost all hailing from Madhur Jaffrey, and yet the one I'm about to share with you is a variation from Samin Nosrat's Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, which seems to combine everything I ever wanted in a chutney, plus some coconut for good measure. (Note: shredding fresh coconut is a crazy intense chore. If you know of an Indian grocer, you'll almost certainly be able to find bags of the stuff there in the frozen section. Alternatively, I've used coconut flour and that works great too.)

The reason I love chutneys is because I don't cook a lot of meat and so we end up eating a lot of rice-and-egg-type meals. If you go ahead and add chutney to that, along with maybe some sautéed spinach, feta, and whole milk yogurt, you've got yourself a truly delicious, special meal. Plus, there is usually leftover chutney, which you can eat with all sorts of things, like scrambled eggs on a corn tortilla or roasted potatoes or as a condiment on your grilled cheese, etc.

As for lookism, I do see one upshot to our extreme human-nature-based vulnerability here: more variety of people in media. (Remember when everyone freaked out about Kate Moss because she was only 5' 6 and had a gap in her teeth? LOLOLOL.) OK, bye. Enjoy your chutney!
I LOOK LIKE A NICE PERSON. SO I PROBABLY AM.
Indian Coconut-Cilantro Chutney adapted from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup fresh or frozen shredded coconut (or 1/3 cup coconut flour, but beware that this stuff is crazy absorbent so you'll need to add more water, anywhere from 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves
1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
12 or so fresh mint leaves
1/2 jalapeno pepper, stemmed (Obviously, go for the whole thing if you're feeling it.)
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1-2 tablespoons whole milk yogurt
1-2 tablespoons water
salt

NOTE: I know you could use pre-ground cumin here, but for me, toasting the seeds and then grinding them myself in a mortar and pestle seems to do something very tiny for my soul. I always think I'll skip the added step and then I don't and then I'm glad.

Place the cumin seeds in a small dry skillet and set over medium heat. Swirl the pan constantly to ensure even toasting. Toast until the first few seeds begin to pop and emit a savory aroma, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Immediately dump the seeds into a mortar or a spice grinder. Grind finely with a pinch of salt.

Pulse the lime juice, coconut, and garlic together in a blender or food processor for 2 minutes until no large chunks remain. Add the cumin, cilantro, mint leaves, jalapeño, sugar, yogurt and pinch of salt and continue blending for another 2 to 3 minutes. If your blender is getting stuck and the mixture seems too thick, add a tablespoon or more of water. Taste and adjust for salt. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Keeps for about five days to a week in the refrigerator.

Northern Thai Rice Noodle Soup with Pork Ribs, Dried Cotton Flowers, and Tomatoes (Khanom Jin Nam Ngiao)

Now that you know how to make prepare rice vermicelli (khanom jin) from dried noodles, let’s embark on a project. This northern Thai classic dish, khanom jin nam ngiao (ขนมจีนน้ำเงี้ยว) is probably better suited for a weekend than a weeknight, ho…

Now that you know how to make prepare rice vermicelli (khanom jin) from dried noodles, let’s embark on a project. This northern Thai classic dish, khanom jin nam ngiao (ขนมจีนน้ำเงี้ยว) is probably better suited for a weekend than a weeknight, however. It’s not hard to make by any means (the paste is easy and much […] The post Northern Thai Rice Noodle Soup with Pork Ribs, Dried Cotton Flowers, and Tomatoes (Khanom Jin Nam Ngiao) appeared first on SheSimmers.

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