Whether it is a small city like Chandigarh or a metropolis like Mumbai, fresh mint and coriander chutney has almost disappeared from the restaurant menus. Both customers and restaurateurs probably like tomato sauce with deep fried traditional foods, including bonda, pakoda, samosa and aloo tikki. However, there are people like me who still love and look for fresh green chutney. But our expectations are not met even in mid-end and high-end hotels.
In fact, I do not like smell of sauces, forget the taste. Freshness of the green chutney pleases my senses, enhances the appetite and complements the taste of deep fried food and / or bread used in sandwiches. The sauce is aesthetically a misfit with the Indian deep fried snacks. Dark green color of mint and coriander is more compatible with golden brown color of the deep fried Indian snacks. Nutrient-rich greens are also good for your eyes and hairs.
To my disappointment, Mumbai sandwich hawkers and Chandigarh chat hawkers use green chutneys very sparingly or no chutney at all. Sugary tamarind chutney replaces the traditional spicy green chutney to save money and time, as the hawkers think that the greens are expensive and making chutney is a messy and time consuming process. Discontent appears on the faces of waiters and owners on hearing the request for second serving of green chutney. Some even have found out a smart way to fool the customers. They mix both green and tamarind chutneys, wherein again sweet tamarind water dominates. Cutlets accompanied with sauce kills my appetite too.
Even the sauce is preferred in many Indian homes.
Can’t convenience and freshness co-exist?
Generally, convenience replaces freshness in processed foods. However, convenience reduces the nutrients. Do not let convenience to be a curse.
The ready availability of an affordable assortment of mixer grinders has simplified the process of making fresh green chutney. Moreover, both mint and coriander can be even grown in small pots at home. These plants are neither very demanding nor the seeds are expensive. The plants add color to your verandah or balconies. The fresh chutney keeps the diseases at bay and enhances immunity. Freshness of the greens helps you in keeping fit, ensuring convenience and independence in long-term. Fragrant freshness is appetizing and healthy, whereas bottled tomato sauce rich in sugar is harmful.