The Fresh market is filled with veggies this summer season, right off the farm, I must say, coz they look so green and healthy. It wasn’t until one day when I saw a friend crunching on celery sticks that I really noticed this veggie, which I might have walked past a hundred times in the veggie aisle at the Fresh Market earlier, not having noticed. It’s amazing how sometimes, you are so comfortable using the veggies you know well again & again in your cooking & don’t want to venture into new grounds with unknown veggies. For me, celery was one of them, had never tasted it before.My friend explained how it is filled with fiber and is considered to detoxify the body when consumed…..now that got me thinking, I must be able to incorporate that into Indian cooking somehow, I thought coz somehow the idea of crunching into celery sticks did not seem appealing to me. This week when I did my grocery shopping, I added the celery hearts to my shopping cart & came home loaded with a plan.How about making weekday sandwiches more interesting with a coating of celery chutney on our toast, I thought, and so it begun, the experiment. Twenty minutes later, it was all done & ready to go. I had baby carrots in the refrigerator, toast was reserved for only weekdays during boring long commute, today I am going to dip my baby carrots in the celery chutney I made & have it as a lunch time snack, I thought & did exactly that. It’s quick & easy & delicious recipe, try it for yourself, you will enjoy it for sure.
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp broken uradh dhal (split black gram) and channa dhal for seasoning
- 1tbsp of Split chick peas
- 4-5 dry red chillies (you can add more depending on how spicy you want the dish)
- ¼ tsp hing powder (asafoetida)
- ¼ tsp methi seeds (fenugreek powder will work too)
- 1 tsp tamarind paste (or 1 tbsp fresh tamarind extract)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp jaggery powder/sugar
- Cut celery into 1 inch sized pieces (in general, you don’t have to chop very finely since you will be grinding the pieces, but the smaller the pieces, the lower the cooking time).
- In a pan, on a medium flame, heat the oil. When the oil starts to warm, add the mustard seeds. When they start crackling, add the uradh and channa dhal, split chick peas, hing/asafoetida, methi/fenugreek powder and red chillies. Keep stirring this so that the dhal gets evenly heated. Ensure that the dhal doesn’t get too dark (wait for the dhal to turn into a golden brown color)
- Add the cut celery, salt and a few drops of water and cook covered on a medium flame.
- When the celery is cooked, add tamarind paste and jaggery and cook a bit more so that the rawness of the tamarind goes away.
- When this cools down, grind it to a fine paste.
- Enjoy your celery chutney/dip with hot rice or as an accompaniment to dosas, idlis, or as a sandwich spread or as a dip with your veggies.
For my earlier chutney recipes on my blog posts please check the links below :