Living the Good Life…

My food blog & cookbook in progress

Salsifying chutney

That title is a play one more words than I’d imagined. It began as a creative way to classify salsa without creating a whole new category. And then it came to me! Salsa is, after all, the Mexican chutney – a fruit (or vege) based chunky relish spiced according to taste. So came the salsification pun. Which rhymes with falsification which is sort of apropos because in way I am falsifying the idea of a chutney when I’m actually writing about salsa. But hold on! Even as I was typing this I realized that this title gave me is another chance at word play and expose my inner nerd. For where the latter was created by Popper (Karl of the philosophy of science fame), the former can be enjoyed with poppers (of the jalapeño variety). Ha!

The real point of this excess verbiage was actually to post a recipe for a mango salsa that was invented as a quesadilla condiment (in the absence of avocados for guacamole) for a party to ring in 2014. The classic salsa – basically a slush of fresh tomatoes, fresh hot green peppers (or jalapeños – whichever is available) cilantro (aka green coriander or dhania pattha in Hindi), generous squeezes of lime juice, 0-2 cloves of fresh peeled garlic with a bit of powdered cumin stirred in – was a given, but a second dip was needed (desired… whatever). “No problem” I said with my usual overabundance of confidence in all matters to do with food and then found myself having to live up to the boast. But this being India, I thought mangoes of some sort, in some form would be available and that’s what I decided would be the base. They had a large batch of grated fresh green (unripe) mangoes and after a quick thaw in the microwave this is what we went with – Mangoes, fresh mint, green chillies and a few cloves of raw garlic. Gave them all a whirl (with requisite amount of salt naturally. Since they had been unripe the salsa was over-tart (I mean verging on pucker-the-mouth tart) and a quick fix was devised in the form of a few slices of canned pineapple with some of the liquid. A finishing touch was to stir in sweet red peppers, diced very fine. Voila.. it went down very easily.

Just yesterday, there was a sort of replay of the New Year party’s crisis at my friend/colleague Krys’s pamper-yourselves-girls night in party – fajitas this time not quesadillas but otherwise the same scene. Avocados were not within easy reach and we wanted a second salsa. Frozen (ripe this time) mangoes were in abundance in her freezer & I had mint, cilantro and green chillies chez mois. In they all went with a few cloves of garlic for good measure. Salt of course and that was it. This one stayed green however. There was only one red pepper (very small one) and that was already in something else! No matter. This fresh green sweetart salsa was a real sweetheart! And speaking of sweethearts, Krys dear, this post is for you. Partly as a (delayed) response to your request and mostly as a thank you for my first real sisterhood experience since moving to Seoul!

P.S. An avocado did made a belated appearance and a lovely specimen it was too. Just beginning to ripen it was the perfect green and gold color and could be cut up without losing shape.. rather than mash into guac therefore I went the Colombian route (a lesson learned from Camillo) and just used the chunks. They were stirred into the tomato salsa. In a word…. YUM!

1 Comment»

  Dipping into guac-un-mole | Peregrine chronicles wrote @

[…] there was the whole bit about salsifying and falsifying which brought in Popper in a most satisfying way and suggested a whole new way to enjoy poppers as […]

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