The beauty with Indian chutneys goes way beyond the endless variety of them, where they’re used with particular foods and the wonderful flavours they contribute. Wet chutneys seem to be more familiar to those of us that know a little about Indian food, but a dry chutney like this shengdana lehsun may be new to some. This chutney comes from the Indian state of Maharashtra; the state in which the capital of Mumbai is located. Quite often it’s simply sprinkled over cooked rice with a good drizzle of ghee (clarified butter); a delicious dish I’m sure I’d like. It’s more like a dry crumble that has toasted coconut and peanuts as a base with an unmistakable garlic presence.
I’ve used a recipe by Petrina Verma Sarkar, an avid food-lover and journalist, but I made a few of my own changes to it. Firstly I roasted my garlic cloves rather than using them raw, so there’s a slight caramelised garlic flavour permeating through rather than an intense and very sharp and pungent bite. Don’t be put off by the quantity of garlic. It isn’t excessive and it works. Also, to add a little tang and very slight moisture I added a little tamarind chutney.
Not only is this chutney great with various Indian-style dishes, it’s also nice sprinkled over salads, cooked vegetables or even meats and some seafoods.
Recipes where I’ve used shengdana lehsun chutney
Makes 2 cups
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the garlic cloves onto a small baking tray, pour over the peanut oil and toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, turning once during cooking.
Put the roasted peanuts into a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add the remaining ingredients, including the roasted garlic, and pulse until incorporated. Store in a sealed container.