29th March 2015
I love Indian food, but it’s a lot of work to prepare everything from scratch. If you wait last minute you will be in the kitchen the entire day! Luckily, many sides and sauces can be prepared ahead of time so you only have to prepare your main course the day you are going to eat your meal.
The two sides I always need to have with my Indian food are Cucumber Raita and Mango Chutney. Indian food is spicy, and raita offers coolness while mango chutney adds a bit of sweet and sour. Both of these sides are available premade in jars at the grocery store, but you should prepare them yourself! These Indian sides are super easy and inexpensive to make. The cucumber raita can be prepared up to 5 days before and the mango chutney stays good for up to a month.
- 1 cup plain yoghurt
- ½ medium cucumber
- ½ inch fresh ginger
- ¼ tsp coriander
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp salt
- Handful fresh cilantro or mint
- Peel the cucumber and slice in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Grate the cucumber and place into a colander. Add a pinch of salt and allow it to sit while you prepare the rest of the sauce.
- In a small bowl, combine the yoghurt, salt, cumin, and coriander. Stir to combine. Roughly chop the herbs and add to the bowl. Peel the ginger and grate it finely into the bowl.
- After the cucumber has been sitting for at least ten minutes, press it into the sides of the colander to extract as much moisture as possible. Add it to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve the sauce immediately or refrigerate to allow the flavors to combine. Stays good for up to 5 days.
- 2 large, fairly ripe mangoes
- 1 chopped apple, any variety will do
- A thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 300ml white wine vinegar
- 260g of caster sugar
- 1 tsp black onion seeds (I couldn’t find them and just used onion powder)
- A small shard of cinnamon bark
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- A pinch of salt
- The night before you want to make the chutney it is necessary to peel one’s mangoes, cube them and sprinkle them with salt. This draws out some of their moisture and softens them. Make sure to rinse before use!
- Add the apple, ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar, onion seeds, cinnamon, turmeric, chilli flakes and chilli powder into a pan. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the mango and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Simmer the chutney for 30-40 minutes until it has achieved a thick, sticky consistency. Season to taste. Once the chutney is done transfer it to the jar and allow to cool before applying the lid.