Kara Chutney is a very simple, spicy, tangy and easy to prepare recipe with just a hand full of ingredients. This chutney is prepared blended with a nice mix of onion, red chilli, curry leaf, asafoetida, salt and tamarind.
Kara Chutney is a common man’s or poor man diet which is mixed with rice and eaten. The chutney is a medley of flavours, the sweetness from onions, sour and tanginess from tamarind and spiciness from the red chilies. A very simple chutney yet delicious to taste and goes well with Idli, dosa or roti too. The chutney gives a unique pungent smell and flavour when raw and every ingredient lending its distinctive flavour.
Hing or asafoetida is a popular spice that is used almost daily especially in south Indian cuisine. It is used as a digestive aid, as condiment in food and in pickles. It is used to flavour dishes that include sambar, rasam and various curries etc. Asafoetida is native of Persia (Iran) and naturally available in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and India. Hing has a pungent smell and usually few people find the raw smell unpleasant and overpowering but when the dish is cooked, it adds a smooth flavour similar to leeks, onion or garlic (though not exactly the same).
Hing is a must have spice added to most of the dishes in Indian cooking. It’s also used in Indian pickles which make it more inviting and pleasing but only a pinch of hing needs to be added or else it would taste bitter. Apart from being added as a spice in cooking, Hing has many medicinal properties. It is anti-flatulent and aids digestion. It is generally used with lentil or eggplant (aubergine dishes) or bean and potato dishes which may produce more stomach flatulence. This helps treat stomach problems, yeast infections, cold symptoms, bronchitis as well as whooping cough. It is also Antiepileptic.
Curry leaf is an excellent aromatic natural herb used in various south Indian dishes and is what basil is to Italian cooking – indispensable. Curry leaves are added in various vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes for flavouring. A fistful of fresh curry leaves with a few mustard seeds sizzling and spluttering in a couple of spoons of hot vegetable oil lends an amazing final flourish to most South Indian savoury dishes. Curry leaves chicken, Karvepaku (curry leaves) Rasam, Curry leaves powder etc few of the popular recipes made from curry leaves. As this herb belongs to the citrus family, it gives delightfully a fragrant and aromatic taste and flavour to the dish.
Besides imparting flavour to dishes, curry leaves have wonderful health benefits. They are low in calories, contain essential oils that are soluble in water and are rich in fibre, folic acid, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus and iron. Curry leaves, as well as the bark and roots of the plant, are used in Indian Ayurveda medicine in the treatment of diabetes and for keeping the digestive system healthy. This herb is also used in the treatment of skin irritations. They pair well with meat, seafood and vegetables alike.
Despite people getting teary eyed with onions, they are still added to numerous delicious recipes and used as a primary ingredient. It is used as a flavour enhancer in many dishes. Onions are often chopped and used as a main ingredient in their own right in various hearty warm dishes. French onion soup or onion chutney along with Onion samosa or Onion pakoras are popular delightful varieties. Onions are also used raw in cold salad or raitas (mixed with yogurt)
Onion is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients and vitamins and its greatest strength lies in the wide variety of sulphur compounds it contains. Onions are from the same family as garlic, provide a range of nutritional benefits, low in calories, and contain vitamin B, vitamin C and small amounts of minerals. They contain chemical compounds believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cholesterol, anticancer, and antioxidant properties, such as quercetin.
Red chillies are a quintessential part of Indian cooking or any other cuisine. It is generally used in everyday cooking adding to chutney or as tempering the dish. Indian food is spicy especially the recipes from the Andhra region which have spicy palates and are not used to bland food. Some red chilies are extremely spicy and fiery while few varieties are mild spicier. The best varieties of red chilies are valued for their high colour retention and flavour. They give a glowing red colour to dishes without imparting too much heat and making the dish more appealing and palatable. Red chilies are used in many ways such as adding to curries, vegetable dishes, tomato sauce, soups and stews. It is also used as marinade for marinating meats and sea-foods.
The pulp of tamarind is usually used as a spice both in Asian and Latin American cuisine and an important ingredient to Worcestershire sauce and HP sauce. Tamarind pulp concentrate is popular as flavouring in East Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Tamarind is valued mainly for its slightly sweet, sour and tangy taste. Tamarind in Indian cuisine is an important ingredient in curries and chutneys. It is also used in making the very classic dish namely chapalu pulusu (fish curry in tamarind sauce).
The tamarind pulp is also used to make yummy sweet and sour syrup (Chaat sweet tamarind chutney) which is used as flavouring for various chaat dishes such as bhel puri, papdi chaat, pani puri, chutney served with samosa or kachori etc.
So by now, I am sure that you are truly delighted to prepare this recipe. To prepare this super-fast and yummy Kara chutney, firstly cut the onions and grind them with the other ingredients (excluding oil) in the blender. Add very little water while grinding, else the chutney would get watery. The chutney needs to be little thick consistency. Add little oil and mix well. Your kara chutney is ready to be served with Idli or Dosa.
For further details of this recipe, click the link below. Do try this. It’s simple, easy and delicious.