Discover Secrets of Indian home food


Sauces & Condiments

Not ones for waste, my mother and grandmother instilled a sense of using all ingredients available to us, seasonality, and upcycling ingredients and or leftovers. In fact my mother to this day inspects my bins, when she visits, and tells me off for throwing too much away – Indian mothers for you! To be fair she probably has valid grounds.

Of course we’d grow our own veg and herbs, so we’d use these as much as possible. We’d often make green chutney using the mint and coriander in the garden for example, this adds a real zing to vegetarian dishes and is particularly nice with dhal. They’d also make various pickles : carrot, cauliflower, lemons, chilli, mango. There was always yoghurt being cultured next to the fireplace. It’s only when I think back that I realise how inventive they were, and what a shame it is to lose some of the old ways.

Here are recipes for some of the sauces and condiments I eat most, they’re versatile and keep very well:

Green chutney
(pair with vegetarian dishes, will keep for up to 5 days refrigerated)


  • 40g fresh mint or coriander
  • x1-2 green finger chillies (or to taste)
  • x6 spring onions (including the green part roots removed)
  • x1 small- medium sized tomato
  • salt to taste

Method: Blitz in a mini chopper, and it’s ready!


Minted yoghurt
(pair with kebabs, and pakoras, will keep for 3 to 5 days refrigerated)


  • 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp, or to taste, mint sauce (I use Colman’s)

Method: Mix the two and serve, so simple.


Mooli Chutney
(pair with vegetarian dishes, will keep for up to 5 days refrigerated)


  • 125g mooli
  • half a small red onion
  • x1-2 green finger chillies (or to taste)
  • x1 small- medium sized tomato
  • tiny splash of water

Method: Blitz in a mini chopper, and serve.


Tamarind Sauce
(pair with kebabs and samosas will keep for 1 to 2 weeks refrigerated, and freezes well)


  • 200g dried tamarind pulp
  • x4-5 cups of water
  • salt to taste
  • finely chopped coriander leaves
  • half a grated onion
  • x1 large grated carrot
  • x1 tsp ground dried birdeye chillies
  • half a tsp garam masala
  • x1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • x8 tbsp white granulated sugar or to taste (you can use jaggery)
  • minced fresh green chillies to taste


1. Break up the tamarind pulp into a saucepan, and add 4 cups of water. Sprinkle in a scant teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to the boil, and simmer until the pulp has blended into the water. Use a wooden spoon to help break it up. No longer than 15-20 minutes.

2. Add more water if required. Allow to cool, then sieve. Discard the pulp.

3. Mix all of the other ingredients into the tamarind water, and taste.

4. Adjust seasoning as necessary, the flavour sequence you should get when tasting this is first sweet, then sour, then spicy.

5. Refrigerate. The flavour will develop.

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