If you desperately want a break from the humdrum coconut, tomato, onion or roasted Bengal gram chutneys, here is something novel, prepared with quite an unusual core ingredient. Yes, it is the Avocado Guacamole. Don’t be dissuaded by the name – Avocado is nothing but our Butter fruit and guacamole (pronounced as gwak-a-molee) is just a thick paste of mashed avocado, often combined with citrus juice, onion and seasonings and usually served as a dip or in salads. You could simply rename it as Butter fruit chutney, if that suits you. Pick up some super duper tips as you learn this easy and exotic chutney recipe.
- 2 Ripe Avocados
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1 Onion
- 2 Green Chilies
- 1-1 ½ tsp Cumin Powder
- Few Cilantro Leaves
- 1-2 tbsp Lime Juice
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
- A pinch of salt
- Cut ripe avocados into halves, discard the big stone and scoop the pulp – this is a step I enjoy – it is a pleasure to scoop out the creamy-green butter-like pulp. Transfer the scoops of pulp to a bowl. Tip: Unripe fruits are not palatable. Keep the unripe fruits at room temperature along with some apples. The ethylene gas from apples accelerates the ripening of avocados (The same technique works excellently for ripening chickoos) . When the fruits are slightly soft to touch, they are ready for use. At this stage use them immediately or refrigerate them. If you delay using them, the pulp may discolour, loose its freshness and deteriorate.
- Drizzle lime juice over the pulp to avoid enzymatic browning. More info on enzymatic browning: The enzyme Polyphenol Oxidase (PPO or Phenolase) acts on the phenolic compounds in the fruit (4-methyl catechol, dopamine, pyrogallol, catechol, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, DOPA), in the presence of atmospheric oxygen to form a brown pigment called melanin. A neutral pH is optimal for the browning reaction. By adding lime juice, we lower the pH and impede the rate at which the enzymatic browning occurs.
- Too smooth a paste lacks textural interest. So, mash the pulp coarsely with a fork.
- Add finely grated garlic, finely chopped onions, very fine rings of chilies, cumin powder, olive oil, salt, finely chopped cilantro leaves to the pulp and mix well.
- The chutney/guacamole is ready to be served. Relish it with hot chapathis – it goes without saying that this is the step I enjoy the most :-D.Tip: Prepare only the quantity that is required, more importantly just before the meal time. It is not advisable to store and use this, because lime juice arrests enzymatic browning only temporarily. With passage of time the guacamole may progressively darken and become an unappetizing mass.
Now, isn’t that a pakka no-fuss, no-cook chutney? The guacamole has subtle flavours with a big punch offered by the finely chopped chilies – the chilies are meant to be eaten and not discarded. The guacamole tastes as good without the olive oil, so we may consider it as an optional ingredient. Deseeded and finely chopped tomatoes can also be added to give it some vibrancy. It goes beautifully well not only with chapathis but also with dosas and breads. If you are the type who savours dips like hummus (Arabic chickpeas dip) and moutabel (Arabic eggplant dip), then you will definitely love this dish. Try this recipe when avocados are still in season and let me know what you think about it.