Saturday, 1 May 2010

Carrot Chutney/Carrot Dip

Carrot chutney
Carrot is not just a beautiful looking vegetable with its orange colour but is also a versatile vegetable. It can be used to make savoury and sweet dishes and even cakes!! Carrot is a must have in my kitchen. Surprisingly, until I got married I was not a big fan of carrot. As I almost always had rasam rice with vegetables I found carrot’s sweetness actually destroyed the flavour from the spices. But my take on carrot now is so different. I make carrot poriyal (karamudhu in Iyengar language), carrot halwa and many other tiffin with it. As I keep saying the more colourful your meal is the more healthy it is. Most of the goodness of carrot is attributed to its beta-carotene content. This makes it very good to help prevent several cancers including lung cancer. Most kids would have heard their mom say carrots are good for eyesight and this is due to its vitamin A content. It is also said to help prevent stroke and reduce blood sugar.
I always keep looking out for different chutney varieties as they just make life a bit easier when I am busy. I particularly like chutneys which is also healthy and this is one such nutrition packed chutney. Some of you may find it wiered to think of carrot chutney but trust me, it is good.
2 carrots grated
Handful of roasted peanuts
1 tomato
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tablespoons coconut powder
1 green chilly
1 dry red chilly
1 tablespoon grated ginger
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt as required
½ teaspoon mustard seeds for tempering
Take about 1 teaspoon cooking oil and add turmeric powder, asafoetida and chopped tomatoes once hot. Allow the tomatoes to cook well and add the carrots and cook. Add green chilly and ginger and once the carrot is cooked add curry leaves and cook for a minute. Once it cools down grind it along with roasted peanuts and coconut. Season with salt. Add one teaspoon oil in a pan, put the mustard seeds and add it to the ground chutney after it splutters. If you wish, you could skip the coconut from the recipe.
I find it easier and quicker to roast the peanuts in microwave by heating for a minute and then stirring and cooking another 2 minutes. Repeat this until you hear the nuts cracking (it is more their skin cracking) and stop at this point. Remember it will be crispy only after it cools. The duration of roasting will depend on the quantity you take. It is a good idea to keep some roasted nuts ready as it makes a good snack as well.

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