Cilantro “Pesto” with Ginger and Chile
As I flipped the pages of ‘How to Cook Everything’ by Mark Bittman, in search of my calling for this weeks IHCC – Herb Garden challenge, I found this recipe. It was the day of the mill ‘green chutney’ recipe that is used so liberally in Indian cuisine. I almost always have this so called pesto on hand, and I put it to a lot of uses.
- use it as a dip for Indian breads like dosa, chapati and also idlis
- use it as a condiment when I make street fare like chats and other fried foods like pakoras, samosas etc.
- mix it with yogurt to make a quick raita
- add it while cooking rice for any pulavs
- use it as a spread to make sandwiches
- use it as a dip for crudite
But, I had never thought of it of being an Indian equivalent for pesto. Its amazing how you can be inspired to look at something you are very familiar with from a totally different perspective. Thanks Mr. Bittman.
I totally wanted to toss the so called ‘pesto’ with some pasta for lunch today, but I didn’t have any pasta on hand, nor enough time. I chose to make a sandwich with it instead and also used it as a dip for my roasted broccoli. Still, a very satisfying and equally delicious lunch.
2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
Handful of mint leaves
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
2 fresh thai chillies
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp lime juice
salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a blender to make a smooth paste. Taste and adjust seasoning. Store in an airtight glass bottle to last for up to a week.The mint leaves was my addition to the recipe, since I had them on hand. Also, I reduced the oil from 3 tbsp in the original recipe.
For the sandwiches: Trim the edges from two slices of sandwich bread. You don’t have to, but it looks much prettier. 🙂 Butter the slices.(I used ICBINB – Light). Buttering the slices is a very important step, because the butter protects the bread from becoming soggy. Top the butter with an even layer of cilantro ‘pesto’. Arrange thin slices of cucumber over one slice and top with the other. Cut it in half diagonally or serve as is. This would make an elegant tea sandwich, if you were to have an English tea party; 🙂
Verdict: I enjoyed going green with my lunch. It was light satisfying and very refreshing. I loved the sandwiches, and above all it was very healthy. 🙂Pin It