Basic Chutneys and Sauces

Pizza sauce

You can always use the sauce out of a bottle, no crime in that, believe me I understand the woes of a busy mother or a weekend cook. But if by a miraculous stroke of luck the planets have aligned to give you the leisure and time and most importantly the energy to make your own sauce…I promise you by all that is holy, that it is WORTH making from scratch. And its not difficult either. ( plus… a definite plus…i will let you cheat)


Tomatoes, red, ripe and firm!          1 kg (chopped)

Garlic                                                          1 whole pod ( minced)

Olive oil                                                      1 tbsp ( or any white oil)

Oregano                                                      1 tsp

sugar and salt to taste ( can also add red chilli powder to adapt it to our taste)

The proper way would be to blanch the tomatoes in hot water, skin and de-seed them. (But I usually cheat)

Add olive oil to a heavy bottom pan, once the oil is warm add the chopped garlic and fry till golden brown, remove the fried garlic and keep. Add the oregano and the chopped tomatoes, sugar salt, chilli powder. Cook till softened. Now I use my hand blender and blitz the tomatoes! ( the cheating bit i told you about), then I add back the fried garlic and cook till the sauce coats the back of a spoon. There is your yummy, fragrantly fresh sauce ready.

White Sauce (1-2 Cups)

Flour                                           1.5 tbsp

Butter                                          2 tbsp

Milk                                             1-2 cups (depending on how thick you want it)

Salt and pepper

In a heavy bottom pan, melt the butter and fry the flour in it.  When the flour is nice and sticky, lower the heat and add milk slowly while stirring continuously.  Let it simmer till the lumps melt away and season with salt and pepper for a smooth white sauce.

Tips: At times the lumps don’t wanna whisk it with a blender for few seconds and you would get a fine and shiny sauce.  For variations in the sauce, herbs or cheese or garlic or nutmeg powder can be added.  But I must confess I love the nutmeg and cheese combo in my white can turn any boiled vegetable into a divine dish!!

Hot-spicy Green Coriander/Mint Chutney (1 cup)

Coriander Leaves/Mint                       1 Bunch

Garlic                                                          1-2 pods (depending on how strong you want the flavor of garlic

Green chillis                                            2-3 (to taste)

Sugar                                                         Optional to taste

Lemon Juice and Salt                        To taste

Grind to paste everything together.  Add few drops of water if you face difficulty in grinding.  Season well. For coriander chutney, 1 tbsp of coriander powder as well.

Sweet-Tangy Tamarind Chutney

1/2 cup Tamarind Pulp

1  cup sugar

1 cup water

chilli powder 1/2 tsp

ginger powder 1/2 tsp

roasted cumin powder 1/2 tsp

salt pinch

mix sugar, water, tamarind pulp. boil till it coats the back of spoon. add the ground spices. Serve with Indian snacks.

Mushroom Pâté/Dip/Sauce

Fresh Button Mushrooms               100gms

Garlic                                                       1-2 pods (depending on how strong you want the flavor of garlic

Onion                                                       1

Butter                                                      2 tbsp

Chives, Salt and Pepper to taste

Coarsely chop the onion, garlic and mushroom.  In a pan, melt the butter and add the garlic.  After 1 min, add the rest and fry/cook till tender and the excess water has evaporated.  Put the mix in a blender/grinder and blend/grind till paste.  Garnish with chives  and serve with crispy pan-fried bread or at breakfast with warm toasts and eggs.  You could also add some cream and make it more like a sauce and serve as a dip/sauce with tortilla chips, potato fries, oven baked potatoes or veggies and fritters. Some nuts liek walnut or cashew could be added for more flavor.

6 comments on “Basic Chutneys and Sauces

  1. ksmith35801 says:

    Looking forward to trying your Green Chutney recipe! It is one of my favorites, but I have never made it. Now I can thanks to your recipe 🙂

  2. […] in this amazing food spread were making 2 dips for crackers that were served with drinks (mushroom pate and a yoghurt+garlic+mint+ ricotta dip).  I plated them so well that Mary, the head chef of the […]

  3. […] For the sweet-tangy Tamarind Chutney (see post on exotic Indian Chutneys) […]

  4. […] Rind (soak the whole rinds over night, scrape off the white layer with spoon) 1 cup White Sauce (click for recipe) 4-5 Tbsp Shredded Cheddar Salt, Pepper to taste Olive Oil and Butter to fry Chopped […]

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