This bright green chutney packs a surprising amount of taste. It's a big, bold wallop of flavor that can liven up neutral flavors such as beans, tofu, or grains, or can stand up against your biggest, most complex spicy dishes.
Makes About 1 Cup
• 1 quart (4 cups) fresh spinach, finely chopped
• 1 large jalapeno pepper
• 1/2 cup sesame seeds
• 1/4 cup pine nuts
• 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
• 1/2 tablespoon neutral oil, such as soy or grapeseed
• 1 teaspoon curry powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
Bring about an inch of hot water to a boil in a pot large enough to fit a steamer rack or steamer. When the water is rapidly boiling, place the spinach on the steamer or rack. Steam for 1 or 2 minutes, or until tender. Remove the spinach from the pot and set aside.
Place the jalapeno directly on the iron grill of a gas stove and cook until fully charred. Use tongs to turn it while it cooks. If you don't have a gas stove, place the pepper under the broiler until it's charred—a couple of minutes per side. Split the pepper in half and scrape out its seeds. Set aside.
In a dry frying pan over high heat, cook the sesame seeds until tan, just a minute or two. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
In the same dry frying pan over high heat, cook the pine nuts until light brown, just a minute or two. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Again using the same dry frying pan over high heat, roast the mustard seeds until they begin to pop, a minute or two. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the oil, curry powder, and cumin to the hot pan. Stir, immediately remove from the heat, and set aside.
Put the spinach, pepper, sesame seeds, mustard seeds, and cumin-curry blend into a blender or food processor, along with half the pine nuts. Pulse a few times until well blended.
Place the chutney on plate, surrounded by the remaining pine nuts.