This two decade old recipe passed down by my mother yields a spicy, lemony Indian Cilantro-Mint Chutney. Toss all of the ingredients in a blender and it's ready to go in less than 5 minutes, no oil and no cooking! This vegan chutney is incredibly versatile and works with sandwiches, meat, marinades, sides, and several Indian dishes.
There's nothing quite like mom's cooking! I love using Masala and Chai as an archive of all of my mother's authentic Indian cooking. Honestly, sometimes I prefer her home Indian cooking versus restaurants. I said what I said.
Her "green" chutney has always been one of the constants in our household for decades. She makes it fresh just about every two weeks and it's usually demolished within days. I can't tell you the amount of times I went digging in the fridge and said "Ma, where the chutney at??" and she'd tell me it was finished.
Indian food is honestly incomplete without chutney or achaar. This cilantro-mint chutney goes with absolutely everything! I'm sure you've seen it served with your food at an Indian restaurant like samosas, kati rolls, or dosas. It also goes well with any protein, sandwiches, buddha bowls, etc. I mean, you can really put it on anything.
Why this Recipe?
Every family has their own version of green chutney. This chutney in particular may have a few more ingredients than you see on others but it's so well-balanced. It's spicy, creamy, citrusy, herby.
- This chutney is fully vegan! This cilantro-mint chutney has no yogurt. My mother uses an ingredient unique from other coriander chutneys - she adds a bit of avocado.
- It requires absolutely no cooking. Toss everything into a blender and it's ready to go.
- Cilantro-mint chutney can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. The chutney can also be frozen for up to two months.
- It's oil-free and gluten-free.
What is Green Chutney?
Let's start with defining chutney.
Chutney encompasses various forms of sauces or condiments in Indian cuisine. They're used as dips, dressings, spread, marinades, or accompaniments to main dishes, sides, and appetizers. Chutneys are made from a wide variety of ingredients, such as tomatoes, herbs, tamarind, coconut, etc. Some of the most popular chutneys are mango chutney, cilantro-mint chutney, and coconut chutney.
Green Chutney is an Indian condiment that's green in color thanks to the star ingredients - cilantro and mint leaves. It's blended with spices, chilis, ginger, garlic, lemon, and usually something like avocado or yogurt for creaminess.
It's also known as hari chutney, cilantro-mint chutney, coriander chutney, and dhuniya podina chutney. Green Chutney is enjoyed across the Indian subcontinent and the diaspora in chaat and other appetizers, as a dip, as a spread, and as a side.
Every Indian household has their own recipe for some chutney with an herby base. The reason I say "green" chutney is because traditionally most recipes just use cilantro and mint.
My mom's secret is she adds a bit of avocado instead of yogurt for extra creaminess. Traditionally, my mom uses a salt called "kala namak" which translates to "black salt". Himalayan black salt isn't something that everyone readily has available in their pantries, so Himalayan pink salt is the best substitute.
- Herbs - The two main ingredients here are the cilantro and mint at about a 1:2 ratio. It's really important to clean your cilantro in case there are any other random mix ins and to cut off excess stems so the chutney isn't overly fibrous.
- Spices - I love making the chutney with just a tinge of spice, I think it's a necessary layer to the flavor! If you don't like it spicy, you can omit or reduce the amount of cayenne and scrape out the seeds of the serranos. You can also use powdered cumin instead of cumin seeds. If you don't have Himalayan salt, use regular salt to taste.
- Ginger garlic paste - This is a common bottled ingredient that you can get at grocery stores but you can make fresh ginger garlic paste at home with just ginger, garlic, and a splash of oil.
- Citrus - Lemon or lime juice helps brighten the herbs and keep it fresh.
- Avocado - The avocado makes the chutney incredibly creamy but you can substitute this with a bit of yogurt.
How to Make Cilantro Mint Chutney
This chutney is so simple, everything just goes into a blender and there's nothing more complicated than that.
- Prep the herbs. Remove all the mint leaves from the stems and toss the stems. The stems are incredibly bitter and fibrous and will ruin the chutney. The cilantro stems are okay to use, but if it's really stem heavy then cut some off.
- Toss all the ingredients into a blender. Blend, blend, blend! Use a high quality blender, like a Vitamix. The chutney may come out a bit textured depending on how well your blender can break down the fibers. If you want it less fibrous, add more avocado or yogurt.
- Taste and adjust. Be careful when opening up the blender, the spice will waft into your eyes. Give the chutney a taste and adjust for salt, spice, and lemon as needed.
- Serve with food!
What to Serve with Cilantro-Mint Chutney
You can find several recipes right here on Masala and Chai to pair this chutney with! I'm not joking when I say this chutney is ridiculously versatile.
- Paneer Aloo Samosas
- Chutney Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Mango-Tamarind Cauliflower Wings
- Indian-Style Tea Sandwiches
- Chutney Cheese Brioche Rolls
- Samosa Chaat
- Chicken Seekh Kebabs
- Chickpea Fries
- Dahi Vada
- Seekh Kebab Rolls
Tips for making the best Chutney
Making the chutney could not be any easier, but here's a few tips to make it the best it can be!
- The right consistency. The key is making sure the chutney is not too watery so that it's thick enough to spread. I recommend adding all the lemon juice first and only add as much water as you need to break it down.
- Blending a thick mixture. It's best to pulse the herbs a few times so that they start to blend. Open up the blender every now and then to scrape down the sides. Then leave the blender going for a few minutes until it's smooth.
- Taste as you go. Keep tasting the chutney and adjust per your liking.
- Do not strain. Do not for any reason strain your chutney. If the chutney doesn't come out right, use it as a marinade for protein.
- The color gets darker. The chutney will initially be a bright green and will continue to darken in color as the days go by. This is totally fine, and it'll still be just as delicious. Add a bit of yogurt if you'd like to lighten the color.
Once you get the recipe down, you'll know the exact measurements you need to keep making this over and over!
After blending, store the chutney in a sanitized airtight mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks.
Cilantro mint chutney is one of the few chutneys that freezes really well for up to 2-3 months. Here's how to do it:
- After blending the chutney, scoop the chutney into ice cube trays.
- Transfer the trays in the freezer for 3-4 hours, or until frozen solid.
- Transfer the ice cubes into a freezer bag and label the date it was frozen.
- When ready to use, simply defrost the desired amount of ice cubes at room temperature.
More Indian Recipes to try
- Prep the cilantro and mint. If working with bunches of cilantro from a grocery store, cut ½ inch off of the end of the stems but leave the rest intact. Remove any dead leaves/sticks, thicker sticks, or other plants that may have grown in with the cilantro. For the mint, remove all leaves from the stems. Wash the herbs and strain out any water.
- Add all the ingredients to a high powered blender except for the water. Pulse several times while slowly adding water until the herbs starts to break down. Be sure to pause a few times to scrape down the sides and push the herbs down towards the blades. Blend for 5-7 minutes with the lid on until the mixture is smooth and thick. At this point, taste and adjust it for salt, lemon, and spice levels.
- Set a 16oz mason jar onto a plate to catch any chutney that falls out of the blender. Pour the mixture into the mason jar. Add about a tablespoon of water to the blender to rinse out any chutney and pour into the mason jar. Close the mason jar tightly and give it a few shakes.
- Spice Level: This chutney is meant to have a bit of a kick to it, but it should be very tolerable. Be careful with how much spice you're adding, add it slowly and taste it at each interval.
- Serrano Peppers: You can substitute serrano peppers for Thai chili peppers. If you don't have whole peppers, double the amount of cayenne and don't omit the avocado.
- Avocado: If you find yourself without a ripe avocado, substitute for 1tbsp of plain Greek yogurt.
- Salt: The amount of salt may seem like a lot, but this is what I tracked until I got the taste right for myself. If you're not sure, add it in slowly and keep tasting it until you like it.
- Mint: Remove all mint stems. They will make your chutney bitter and won't blend well.