Mint is a herb that I always have at home. I love the refreshing color, taste and smell of mint. Traditionally idlis and dosas are served in restaurants with tri-color chutneys which are coconut, mint and tomato chutneys and a lentil-based curry called sambar. The secret to getting the taste of restaurant style chutney is the addition of garlic and onions, the flavor is so subtle as to be almost non-existent.
2 cups mint leaves
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon split black gram
4-5 curry leaves
1 dried red chili
1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. When oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let it splutter.
2. Add onions and garlic and let it cook till onions turn soft.
3. Add mint leaves and cook till they begin to wilt.
4. Add tamarind paste mixed in a tablespoon of water and salt, mix well.
5. Grind to a smooth paste when completely cooled.
6. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, red chili and black gram. Let it cook for a minute. Add curry leaves and let it cook for 20 seconds.
7. Add the tempering to the ground chutney and mix well.