Cilantro has been used a lot in Indian and Mexican cuisines. Its one of my favorite herbs and a lot of different recipes are always created using cilantro. A very popular cilantro based recipe that belong to a pickle/chutney family is the famous kothamalli urandai ( cilantro mixed spicy balls). It is usually served with yogurt rice and has always been a comforting food combination for me. Usually cilantro and lentils along with red chillies and tamarind are pounded in the stone mortar, made into balls and stored for many days. Without the addition of water the mixture stays good for a long time. These days some supermarkets or speciality stores carry them. I just finished the last store bought one and I wanted to have more of it. To my surprise I found organic cilantro at Costco and grabbed a bag. It was cleaned and ready to be used. I created my own version of cilantro balls and go it to a pesto consistency so that I could use it on my toast every morning instead of jelly or jam.
Blender ( Mixie)
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Organic Fresh Cilantro - 1 bag ( cleaned and washed)
Udad Dhal - 3/4 cup
Channa Dhal - 3/4 cup
Red Dry Chillies - 8
Asafoetida - dime or 25 pi size piece
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 3 tbsp for frying plus 3/4 cup for blending.
Dessicated Coconut - 1/2 cup ( optional)
Tamarind - 1 lime size
1. Spread the cilantro that is cleaned onto a towel or tray and allow it dry up and be water free.
2. In a wok add oil. Allow it to warm and add asafoetida and allow that to fry well. Then add the dhals and chillies and roast this mixture to golden brown.
3. Add tamarind to the mixture and grind into a coarse powder in the blender.
4. Add cilantro to the food processor along with the ground powder and blend adding the oil to get it into a pesto like consistency.
5. Store the cilantro pesto in a bottle in the fridge. Spread it on toast for breakfast or tortilla along with sauteed veggies for lunch.