Theresa’s Coriander Chutney

theresa coriander chutney
These are a few (OK, two) of my favourite things:

1) When friends adopt me for the day (or hour, or afternoon) and let me cook with them and their families, and I get to pull up a stool and sit in their kitchen and watch their moms make dishes they learned from their moms.

2) When what they make is unfamiliar to me, and I learn something entirely new, like the joys of a fresh coriander chutney sandwich on buttered white bread. I’ve since learned these were the sandwiches of many friends’ childhoods – just the chutney, on squidgy white bread, with butter. It’s apparently a thing. I now know this thing, and although I didn’t grow up eating them, I can start now, and I’ve learned to make coriander chutney the likes of which I’ve never tasted before from someone who knows.

coriander chutney sandwich

Because fresh green coriander (otherwise known as cilantro – yes, it’s the same thing) chutney does not run in my family, but it does in Vanessa’s, she invited me over when her mom, Theresa, was in town so we could sit and watch. Vanessa needed to pay attention too – her chutney, though made by the same recipe, never turned out quite like her mom’s. And so we sat and watched her blend, taste and tweak, and we asked questions, and I made notes on the printed out version of the recipe, which had been strayed from – just slightly – often enough to make a difference.

vanessa and teresa

The grandkids helped add ingredients and press buttons, arguing over whose turn it was and how many raisins (raisins! who knew?) went in. Theresa tasted and adjusted and scraped down the sides of the blender (which she prefers to a food processor) until it was brilliant green and almost perfectly smooth. She included the seeds and membranes of one of the chilies (to keep it tame, for the kids – and also me) but the finished chutney didn’t have the heat you’d expect from looking at the recipe – it was just well balanced. The coconut cream came from a little green box with “Grace” on the front – it’s easy to find beside the canned coconut milk, and is like a condensed version that comes in a solid little white puck in a plastic bag – it melts quickly into curries without watering it down. Theresa makes big batches of this when cilantro is on sale, keeps some in the fridge and freezes the rest. “The most important ingredient is Grandma,” said Kai.

Theresa’s Coriander Chutney


July 11, 2016


10-20 raisins

2 bundles of fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves (save the stems for your curries)

1 small onion, chopped

3 small green chilies, chopped (remove seeds and membranes for less heat)

1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled

juice of a lemon

1/3 pkg. coconut cream

1/4-1/2 cup ground almonds

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. pepper


1In a small bowl, soak the raisins in some warm water while you get the rest of the chutney going. Put the coriander, onion, chilies (Theresa keeps the seeds and membranes - where most of the heat is - in one, and removes the others), ginger, garlic and lemon juice into a blender and pulse, scraping down the sides, until it’s partially blended. Drain the water off the raisins and add them along with the coconut cream, almonds, salt, cumin and pepper and blend, pouring in a bit of water as needed to help blend it into a fine paste.

2Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for longer storage. Makes about 2 cups.


About Julie

You May Also Like

15 comments on “Theresa’s Coriander Chutney

  1. Shanleigh
    July 11, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    I ???? The recipe and your blog
    I do have three questions
    1, how can a subsatute almonds (allergies)
    2. Best way to use this chutney
    3. Best way to freeze

    • Julie
      July 14, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      Hmmm… can you substitute other nuts? or leave them out altogether? you can serve the chutney alongside curries and other dishes as a condiment – or spread on a sandwich, roast chicken… once you taste it you’ll think of uses for it! 🙂

      • Shanleigh
        July 14, 2016 at 11:14 pm

        Yes I can use other nuts do you have a suggestion

  2. suzanne brinckman
    July 12, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Could you please explain 1/3 pkg, coconut cream. Is that canned coconut cream? Or is it another product altogether?

    • Julie
      July 14, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      It comes in a little green box alongside the coconut milk, and it’s called Grace coconut cream. A thicker, more condensed version of coconut milk!

    July 13, 2016 at 3:43 am

    Chilli peppers — would these be jalapeños?

    • Julie
      July 14, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      Yes – depending on the heat level you’re after! Jalapenos work fine!

  4. Kim
    July 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I suggest pumpkin seeds or toasted sunflower seeds for those with nut allergies. They work quite similarly to nuts in my experience, particularly when ground up.

  5. Parsley
    July 16, 2016 at 6:03 am

    How many ounces or grams total are in these packages of coconut cream? Instead I’m going to use the extremely thick layer of cream that is in the cans of coconut milk that I purchase.

    • Parsley
      July 16, 2016 at 6:07 am

      Are you talking about the Edward & Sons 7 oz. boxes?

      • Julie
        July 16, 2016 at 11:18 pm

        Mine is Grace brand, but if it’s coconut cream, go for it!

    • Julie
      July 16, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      Good idea!

  6. Anita
    July 16, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    This recipe! DYING. Can’t wait to make this in the dead of winter to dress up root veggies. Or in spring to dress up chopped radishes. Or whenever. Thanks for finding this wonderful friend and convincing her to share this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.