I have befriended this woman in St. Augustine who is from India but grew up in South Africa. It’s rather interesting because I first met her husband who is American but spent 20 years living in India. They are an interesting couple because he, in some ways acts very typically like an Indian man and she, cooks like an Indian woman but otherwise is more American than her husband.
So now in my current situation, far away from the love of my life, I want to connect with anything even remotely Indian. In the small town that I live in, I have met almost every Indian. There is one at my bank, another at my gym, several doctors. Each one is rather uncomfortable when I ask where they are from, like I’m questioning their right to be here, but then I tell them about my ex and they soften. They realize that I’m a friend, that I do not judge them but rather want to connect with them because I love someone from their culture.
I have visited Shireene a few times now and ever time it is the food that connects us. One visit she made peanut chutney and it was so good that I tried to make it myself. Her recipe was purer but mine came out good and on my last visit I brought her a sample and she approved. Now I’m ready to post the recipe.
- 1½ cups of raw peanuts
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 green chilis
- 2 heaping tbsp of tamarind paste
- 2 cups of mint
- 2 sprigs of curry leaves
- 2 red chilis soaked in water
- salt to taste
- dash of curry powder
- black pepper
- enough water to mix well
- Step 1: Roast the nuts and chili
- Step 2: Put in a food processor; add the tamarind
- Step 3: Add the greens and spices
- Step 4: Add water to blend
Step 1: Roast the nuts and chili
I used approximately 1 1/2 cups of raw peanuts, 1 tbsp butter and 2 green chilis
Step 2: Food processor; add the tamarind
Put toasted nuts and chili in food processor, add 2 heaping tbsp of tamarind paste (check your local asian market)
Step 3: Add the greens
Add 2 cups of mint, 2 sprigs of curry leaves, 2 red chilis soaked in water, salt to taste, dash of curry powder, cumin, black pepper and enough water to mix well. I left mine a little chunky but it’s nice smooth too.
Step 4: Enjoy
This is an excellent accompaniment with meat curries.