Have you ever tried out Doon Chetin, a walnut chutney in Kashmiri style? I tried it out at home recently, and fell head over heels in love with it, as did my family.
Making Doon Chetin (‘Doon‘ is Kashmiri for ‘walnuts’ and ‘chetin‘ refers to ‘chutney’) had been on my mind ever since our recent trip to Kashmir. I didn’t have an opportunity to savour this chutney in the course of our holiday, so I pledged to make it once I got back home. I made sure to pick up some Kashmiri walnuts (which are believed to be of high quality) and some shahi jeera (black cumin) that goes into the preparation of this chutney. I read up on the Internet, and was lucky to find an authentic Kashmiri recipe for the Doon Chetin. Like I said earlier, the chutney was made recently, and the rest, as they say, is history. I served it as a dip with home-made kuzhi paniyarams, and it was gone in no time at all!
The Doon Chetin combines some really unusual ingredients – fresh curd, black cumin, raw onion, walnuts, mint and the like. Initially, I admit, I did have apprehensions about whether I would like the taste. What if it tasted too weird? Well, I wouldn’t know unless and until I tried it out, right? So, try it out I did, and I am so glad I did – the Doon Chetin tastes absolutely amazing, rich and creamy, yet light and exquisite, the chillies and mint adding a zing to it, the walnuts contributing their nuttiness, with the faintest of sourness from the curd. Yumminess, I tell you!
Traditionally, the Kashmiris prepare Doon Chetin in a stone mortar and pestle, which gives it a slightly coarse texture. It is eaten with non-vegetarian kebabs or rice dishes, typically. I used a mixer to make the chutney and ground it smooth, which is fine since I was planning to use it as a dip.
Try it out, and I am sure you will love it too!
Here’s the recipe for the Doon Chetin.
Recipe Source: Keep Calm & Curry On
Ingredients (makes about 3/4 cup):
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- Salt to taste
- 2 green chillies
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon shahi jeera aka black cumin
- 1/4 cup fresh thick curd
- Place all ingredients in a mixer jar.
- Blend till smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Serve as an accompaniment with tandoori dishes, fried snacks or rice dishes.
1. For best results, use thick and fresh curd that is not too sour.
2. Adjust the number of green chillies you use, depending upon how spicy you want the chutney to be.
3. I used Kashmiri walnuts and shahi jeera to make this chutney. In case you don’t have access to them, you can use locally sourced variants for these two ingredients too.
4. Traditionally, this recipe uses Kashmiri red chilli powder, which is low on heat and adds a gorgeous reddish colour to dishes. I didn’t have any, so I used ordinary red chilli powder instead – which is why the colour of my Doon Chetin is not as beautifully brown as it is, traditionally.
5. You can add in a couple of cloves of garlic while grinding the Doon Chetin, too. I skipped it.
6. If you do not have shahi jeera, you can substitute it with ordinary cumin. However, shahi jeera adds a richer, deeper flavour to the Doon Chetin.
7. Dried mint powder can be used in the chutney, in place of fresh mint leaves. If you are using dried mint powder, use about 1 tablespoon for the above quantities of ingredients.
8. I wanted the Doon Chetin to be of a smooth texture, so I ground it in my mixer. You can keep the texture coarser, too, if you so prefer. You may even use a mortar and pestle to make the chutney, as is done traditionally in Kashmir.
9. Any leftover Kashmiri Walnut Chutney can be stored in a clean, dry, air-tight box and stored, refrigerated, for 3-4 days. Use only a clean, dry spoon for the chutney.
10. I served the Kashmiri Walnut Chutney as a dip alongside quick-fix kuzhi paniyarams made from idli batter. The two made for a wonderful, wonderful pair.
What do you think about this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!
This post is for the Ssshhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. I was paired by Priya Mahesh of @200deg for this month’s challenge, who assigned me the two secret ingredients of ‘Walnuts’ and ‘Curd’. Doon Chetin is what I decided to make, using these two ingredients.