Monday, June 29, 2020

Foraged Mallow Chutney Recipe -- Making Chutney From Wild or Store Bought Greens -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo

I know, I know, I know, this isn't the most flattering picture, but sometimes weird looking things can taste terrific, and this is one of them.

So, my garden. I had really big dreams for it when we purchased this house, thinking of what I'd do with it. I mean, from the way my dreams were, you'd think it was a whole bunch of acres with so many options. But really all I had to work with was a small front yard and a small back yard. And while my dreams included having wild plants in the back yard (as long as they weren't thorny), and the front for growing vegetables, it didn't really end up working out that way. The front yard did have my vegetable and herb garden but the back yard got overgrown and it stopped my family from wanting to go outside to spend time in it. My kids begged me to put down Astroturf so when I saw it being sold cheaply at a discount grocery store, I bought some. My kids cleaned the yard out of the dried weeds... and then we never laid down the Astroturf.

Then there's this winter where my yard blossoms and I think about how nice it is to have a yard filled with live green stuff, all edible. And then it grows and grows and overtakes the entire yard, again making it not pleasant to go into the yard, and this time I decide that I'm finally going to put down that Astroturf so my yard could be a pleasant place to go. But I looked at the yard and how green it was and I couldn't stomach the thought of just tossing all those edible goodies into the trash (no, we don't have a compost, it's dangerous for dogs...) so I decided that before I cleared the yard, I would pick as many greens as I could and make something delicious out of it.

The yard was nearly all filled with mallow, gigantic leaves, as we usually have here, so I picked a large amount. I was trying to decide what to do with all of it, and then I was in the mood for Indian food, and figured almost everything tastes good as chutney, an Indian sauce, that goes terrifically with curry. Chutneys tend to either be sweet and sour or spicy, and after googling whether the concept of chutney made out of greens even existed, I put together this recipe, basing it off a bunch of different chutneys I saw made with spinach or other greens. Its a little bit spicy, a tad sweet, and though it looks like swamp paste, it really makes your lentil dal and rice really pop. (I also made beet chutney, recipe to be shared in a bit, as well, if you were wondering what else that was.)

If you don't have mallow, you can make this with whatever greens you do have, though I'd recommend a green that isn't overly bitter. If you aren't a forager, feel free to do this with spinach, kale, or swiss chard, and if you are a forager, things like sea beet, chickweed, sow thistle, milk thistle, and amaranth greens would all be lovely in this.

Just a reminder, chutneys aren't eaten plain. That's like eating ketchup plain. Eat it as a topping on our dishes, spread onto flatbread, or as a dip. 

Oh, and this recipe is gluten free, vegan, paleo, allergy friendly, and pretty much good for any diet.

Foraged Mallow Chutney Recipe -- Making Chutney From Wild or Store Bought Greens -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo

2 tablespoons oil of choice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (feel free to use foraged- I did because that's what I had on hand)
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
3 tablespoons almonds or sunflower seeds
3 cups packed mallow or other greens
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sweetener of choice

1. Chop up your onions and garlic.

2. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin, mustard seeds, garlic, onion, and hot pepper flakes. Cook until the onion becomes translucent.

3. Chop up your greens and add them and your almonds to the pan. Cook until the greens are fully cooked and wilted.

4. Blend up in a food processor with salt, lemon juice, water, and sweetener.

Enjoy as a topping on your favorite Indian food!

Have you ever made a chutney from greens, wild or store bought? What greens was it made from? What else did you put in it? What is your favorite thing to do with lots of mallow? Does this look like a recipe you'd try? Which greens would you use in yours?


  1. We don't really eat much Indian food, but I did forage some purslane from my backyard over the weekend and added it to a salad. It was really mild. I think I will do it again! There is lots of it in my vegetable garden that I have been pulling with the weeds but I am sure it will never be completely gone. :) Thanks for the motivation to forage AND try something new!


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