As per Wikipedia, pesto is a generic term for anything that is made by pounding.
So I just thought that the khandeli chutney that my grandmother used to prepare is just like a pesto.
My grandmother was from Saurashtra (Kathiawad) in Gujarat. She used to always make this Khandeli Dhana Lasan ni Chutney. She used to always keep the chutney jar filled. The coriander used were straight from the farm and the aroma of the chutney while grinding would make us hungry. She used garlic, handful of peanuts, cumin seeds, green chili and salt along with fresh coriander. She used to crush them coarsely in the mortal pestle and then remove it in the bowl and make a well in the center. After that, she used to heat a generous amount of oil and put a little asafoetida in it. The hot oil was sizzled over the chutney in the well made in the bowl. The aroma released was amazing. Then she used to mix it well and serve it with bajri rotla or bhakhri. The oil layer on the chutney acted like a preservative and the chutney could last for 4-5 days at room temperature (in those days there was no refrigerator). Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, this chutney jar was always emptied soon.
The pesto is prepared in a similar way using basil, some pine nuts, oil, garlic, and cheese.
This chutney is popular in our house. My father would not enjoy the pickles but he will be happy if we serve him this chutney every day. I have inherited the method of making it from my grandmother and then my mother.
I am very happy to share it with you all. It is good to revive traditional method of cooking, some of which is getting replaced today by gadgets.
If you do not have mortar pestle, do not worry, the food processor would yield almost the same result.
Khandeli Dhana Ni Chutney (Coriander Pesto)
- In a mini processor or chopper or a mortar pestle, add chopped coriander, garlic, green chili, peanuts, cumin seeds and salt.
- Grind it coarsely as shown.
- Remove in a bowl. Make a small well in the center.
- Heat the oil in a pan till sizzling hot. Add asafoetida to it.
- Pour the sizzling hot over the chutney in the well made.
- Mix it well and fill in the chutney bowl and serve. It can be kept for 4-5 days outside and refrigerated for 10 days.