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Karlyachi Chutney (Niger seed Chutney)

Niger seeds are called ‘karli’ in Marathi and Ramtil in Hindi. This seed originated in Ethiopia and is still cultivated there as an oil seed and can grow in poor soils, heavy clay soil, or even waterlogged soils. Niger seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and important amino acids including linoleic acid. Both the two main omega fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6 are polyunsaturated essential fatty acids which means the body doesn’t have the enzymes to produce them and we need to get them from external sources for optimal health. They are important as they help regulate blood clotting and play a role in inflammation. The Omega-3s and the antioxidants in Niger seeds help reduce inflammation and are beneficial to reduce conditions like depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder by neutralizing free radicals in our body. They may even help treat conditions like rheumatism and because of the magnesium, potassium and zink in them help in relieving conditions like insomnia or restlessness by helping to calm Circadian rhythms. These seeds have also been seen to be beneficial in fighting symptoms of the flu and colds, improving scars, burns, and rashes and prevent constipation, bloating, cramps, hemorrhoids and other gastrointestinal issues. On the other hand, high amounts of Omega-6s can cause chronic inflammation leading to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and many types of cancer. Omega-6 is majorly found in soyabean oil and other refined oils.

Recipe: Darshana Muzumdar

Makes around 3 cups


  • 1 cup (175 gms) karle (niger seeds)
  • ¼ cup peanuts
  • ¼ cup dried grated coconut
  • 1 tsp jeera (cumin)
  • 3-5 chillies
  • 12 -15 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp salt or to taste


  • Peel and cut the garlic in half and keep aside.
  • Dry roast the karle on low to medium heat in a thick steel bottomed kadhai (Indian wok) till they are all roasted well and start popping. Keep them aside on a plate to cool.
  • Dry roast the peanuts on low to medium heat till they are a light golden brown and have lost their raw flavour. Put them on another plate and allow to cool.
  • Dry roast the salt on low to medium heat for a few seconds to remove any moisture. Add this to the peanuts.
  • Dry roast the dried coconut on low to medium heat till it is a light golden brown and has the roasted flavour. Add this to the peanuts and allow to cool.
  • Break the red chillies into smaller pieces and roast them along with the cumin on medium heat till they are light brown and the jeera starts popping. Take care not to let either of them burn. Add this to the peanut mixture.
  • Roast the garlic on low to medium heat till it gets light brown spots. There is no need to add any oil as the coconut will have already released oil on the surface of the kadhai. Add this to the peanuts and coconut.
  • First blend the cooled down karle for around 10-15 seconds. The karle will powder very easily if it is roasted well. Remove this into a bowl and set aside.
  • Blend all the other ingredients for half a minute or so till it is ground coarsely. Take care not to blend it too much as it can start releasing oil. Add the ground karle to this mixture and pulse it once in the blender to mix everything well.
  • Enjoy this omega rich karlyachi chutney as an accompaniment in a traditional Indian meal.

For the Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) version:

Use unrefined salt like rock salt.

This is a WFPB recipe but contains a lot of fat and so should be eaten in small quantities.

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