Saturday, September 23, 2017

About Green Garlic and a mouth watering Green Garlic Chutney for #ChutneyDay 2017

Green Garlic and a mouth watering Green Garlic Chutney 

The first sign winter is coming at my table is the appearance of green garlic, leela lehsun, leelu lasun or lilva (depending on which community you belong to). And that time is almost here , to the absolute joy of all who know me, because come Green Garlic season and I make this simple Chutney by the kilo for Team apb and a whole bunch of frends and family. 

Green garlic is a culinary treat that does not receive its due recognition. Mince it raw and add as a garnish to salads, soups and stir-fries, pound into a paste with pine nuts to make a green garlic pesto or stir the paste into Mayonnaise to make green-garlic aioli. Steam or poach the green stem in chicken stock and puree to add to soups, savoury custards or soufflés. Chop fine, sauté and add to eggs in all forms. 

Garlic is believed to have originated in either India or larger Asia and has been a part of Asian cuisines for millennia. Green garlic or Garlic chives are very young, tender versions of the garlic we all know and love. They are picked really early, long, long before they grow into bulbs, divide into separate cloves, are harvested and dried. Green Garlic looks a lot like a tiny green onion. A tender single clove with a bunch of hairy threadlike roots at one end and a couple of long grass like green leaves at the other. When using in cooking, typically the roots are trimmed off and discarded and both the white and green utilized, with any yellowing tips discarded. Green garlic has a softer flavour profile than the mature garlic bulb. While it can be used anywhere you'd use regular garlic, its flavour profile really comes into its own in recipes that highlight its less intense, far more verdant flavour that is a result of its green shoots. Really Green Garlic is best when minimally cooked. 

Interestingly Green garlic features in the winter cuisines of both sides of my family. In the Gujarati cuisine I grew up with it is celebrated it in a variety of ways including as the main flavour in the legendary Undhiyu. In the Garhwali cuisine of my marital home it features as a condiment to spice up winter chaats and an earthy millet porridge called Jhangora or Paleu. 

Green garlic has been part of the Indian culinary scape for eons but it can add fantastic new twists to some traditional dishes. Stir it finely chopped into Rasams and shorbas. Add to flour when making dough for rotis or parathas. Pound into paste and stir into raitas and Idli batters. Chop fine and sauté large batches, then crack eggs over to make a Parsi cuisine inspired ‘Lilva per eedu’. 

There are so many ways to love green garlic! Here are my two favourites. Pahaadi Namak is a gloriously fragrant condiment from Garhwal in which green garlic is pounded with salt and green chillies to a coarse paste. Left to itself it slowly dries out into a powder that is fantastic sprinkled on anything! The other is my signature Green Garlic Chutney; coarsely chop up 2-3 bunches of garlic and a handful of chillies, heat 2 tbsp of fat of choice; oil, ghee, which is better or bacon fat (which works event better). Add the chillies and stir fry till white blisters appear on them. Add the garlic and stirfry till wilted, shiny and bright green. Add salt generously and mix well. Put in a bottle and use to liven up anything from kichdi to dal rice and even pasta! 


Green Garlic Chutney
This is a simple chutney made in my Gujarati ancestral home kitchen. Beautiful Green Garlic is punchy and the green chilli and salt zing it up. I have modified it slightly to intensify flavours. Its perfect with Dal Rice
Ingredients
2-3 Bunches Green Garlic
Handfull of cillies
2 tbsp of ghee/oil
1 tbsp salt (or to taste)

Method
Heat the ghee or oil, add the chillies and stir fry till white blisters appear on them. Add the garlic and stir-fry till wilted, shiny and bright green. Add salt generously and mix well. Put in a bottle and use to liven up anything from kichdi to dal rice and even pasta!

My Green Garlic Chutney in all its glory!

This is Recipe 2 pf my #PledgeARecipe for #ChutneyDay 
 Check out Recipe 1 - A video of Bhune Tamatar ki Chutney on my Facebook Page.

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