Monday, February 2, 2015
Spring Onion Naphlam Chutney
The spring onions that I am growing in a wooden container are about to bloom. Very soon the season will be over and we'll have to wait for the cooler months before we can add them to our dishes as lavishly and generously as we want. There are so many chutney recipes but this is what we have quite often. It's made with naphlam.
Naphlam or fermented fish is a word that comes up again and again in my posts. It's an acquired taste but for us most meals would not be complete without a dish made with this vital ingredient. We usually buy it from the dried fish vendor but this time I came back with the home-made variety that my mother had made.
A bunch of spring onions
A pinch of soda bicarbonate
Salt to taste
Wash, drain and finely chop the spring onions. Set aside.
Roast the naphlam on a tawa till done on both sides.
Chop the chillies. Peel the skin of the tomato and chop it fine.
In a bowl mix the naphlam and the salt with the back of a tablespoon. Mixing is best when it is done by hand but I'm sensitive to chillies...
Add the chillies and the soda bicarb. Then add the finely chopped tomato and the chopped spring onions. Mix well. Check the salt and adjust accordingly.
The chutney is now ready.
The only ingredient missing in this picture is the soda bicarbonate. Next to the spring onions are fish mint leaves. They are pungent but equally popular as a chutney ingredient. These two were not mixed together but fish mint can also be made in the same way.
These are the basic ingredients for the simplest form of naphlam chutney. Tomatoes are optional. The herbs usually used in this kind of recipe are: coriander, serrated coriander, bahanda (a variety of basil), mojokhmao/fish mint, mugongre/Blumea balsamifera. Chopped onions are added to enhance the taste but again, that is optional.