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Bonding With Mother-In-Law Over Carrot Pacchadi (Carrot Chutney)

Posted: June 26, 2018

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This unusual carrot chutney recipe comes to you with a lovely story – one of bonding between two women. Try it for an easy accompaniment to a simple meal!

My very first memory of my mother in law’s cooking, was that of carrot chutney. Since then onwards I have become a huge fan of this dish and so has the intensity of bonding with my mother-in-law. At first, I was surprised to know that this tangy chutney was indeed ‘carrot chutney’. The only dish which my mother has made with carrots is: carrot coconut curry and gajar ka halwa (the popular Indian dessert made with carrots, milk and sugar)

My attaigaru (mother-in-law) continues to makes simple and unpretentious dishes which are enveloped by her love, especially her tangy chutneys and pickles which are very tasty and popular.  Carrot chutney is one such dish. In fact, I consider it as ‘soul food’ – completely satiating.

One commendable quality of my ‘Attaigaru’ is that she is very apt at starting a conversation and never tires of telling stories. One of her sayings which she often quotes relating to her lifelong experience of raising six kids and being confined to the house and kitchen is: Kadupu Kailasham, Illu Vaikuntham. Translated in English, it means: Our stomach is like Kailash parvat (the holy abode where Lord Shiva resides) and our home is like Vaikuntham (the divine residence of Lord Krishna). She quotes this, as though she would have loved to visit more holy shrines, she could not do so, due to her family responsibilities and now her age, does not permit much mobility and physical exertion.

Most of the South Indian chutneys, especially Andhra chutneys utilize ‘tamarind’ to render sourness. However this chutney uses lemon juice to bring in the tanginess. This is what makes it different from other chutneys. The fieriness of the chilies, bitter notes of the fenugreek seeds and mild sweet taste of the carrots in this chutney blend beautifully only to be enhanced by the tingling sourness of lime!

Carrot chutney recipe

The inviting accompaniment!

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4 persons


3 medium sized carrots

2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

5-6 red chilies

¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing)

¼ teaspoon turmeric

1-2 lemons

1 tablespoon oil

Salt as per taste

Procedure to make the chutney:

  • Dry roast the fenugreek (methi ) seeds, mustard seeds and red chilies. Keep this aside to cool.
  • Cut carrots into small pieces. Heat a small pan; add a table spoon of oil. Once the oil is heated up, add the carrot pieces. Fry for a few minutes and let it cook, by covering with a lid, until it becomes just soft. Ensure that it does not get overcooked.
  • Add turmeric to the carrot pieces, mix and put off the flame. Let it cool. Blend the carrot pieces, chilies and the spices (from Step 1) to a coarse consistency. Transfer this to a serving bowl.
  • Squeeze the juice of one lemon in the chutney, mix well. If required add more lemon juice.
  • Savor this chutney with hot rice and a dab of oil.

Tip: This chutney makes an excellent spread for rotis.

Excerpt from the book, Chutneys: Adding Spice to your Life! by Aparna Mudiganti Parinam


All images courtesy the author 

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Cooking is devotion - this is my mantra! I am a pharmacist by profession and live

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