An epicurean adventure to India
Introducing a homemade, quick and easy Indian Mint Sauce recipe!
Indian Mint Sauce (or mint chutney) is a classic blend of coriander, mint, aromatic spices, a hint of lemon juice and a velvety base of thick plain yoghurt. It's a refreshing dipping sauce that more than often graces the tables of British Indian restaurants.
Did you know that London alone has more Indian restaurants than Delhi and Mumbai put together? Yep, the Brits take their Indian food very seriously!
This Indian mint yoghurt sauce usually accompanies poppadoms and an array of other tantalising Indian appetisers. It's served alongside its saucy partners in crime - spicy mango chutney and a cold Indian onion chutney.
This trio of sauces is an indispensable part of the curry house dining experience. So much so that in Britain, no one actually minds waiting for their food in an Indian restaurant. You can tuck into a generous pile of poppadoms and a delicious medley of sauces while you wait!
With this recipe and just five minutes of your time, you can make your very own batch of cooling mint sauce. And here's the bonus: It's perfectly suited for preparation ahead of time, as it's meant to be served cold, straight from the fridge.
- Fast facts - India
- What's to love about this recipe
- Key ingredients notes and substitutions
- A note on the equipment needed
- How to make Indian Mint Sauce - Step-by-step
- Top tips
- Short-cut Indian mint sauce using store-bought mint sauce
- Serving suggestions
- To follow your poppadoms and sauces...
Fast facts - India
|Location||India is located in South Asia and shares its borders with several countries including Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.|
|Language||India is a diverse country with numerous languages spoken across its regions. Hindi and English are the official languages of the Indian government, but there are also 21 officially recognized regional languages, including Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati and many more.|
|Population||Circa 1.3 billion people.|
|Trivia||Frogs tie the knot in India, particularly in Varanasi! Varanasi staunchly adheres to its age-old traditions and customs. Consequently, when the monsoon season experiences delays, the local tradition dictates that frogs are captured and united in matrimony. This ceremonial union is performed with the intention of appeasing the rain deities.|
What's to love about this recipe
- Quick and easy: Takes just 5 minutes to prepare. It's a very easy recipe for mint chutney, no fancy skills are required.
- Refreshing: A cooling and invigorating sauce perfect for balancing spicy dishes.
- Homemade is THE best: You no longer have to waste your money on a disappointing shop-bought version of Indian Mint Sauce, or the capture-all "Raita sauce" as it's often labelled.
- Versatile condiment: Complements a wide range of Indian appetisers and main courses like paneer tikka, tandoori chicken, chicken tikka etc.
- Restaurant quality: Capture the authentic taste just like in British Indian restaurants.
- Make ahead: Prepare in advance and serve chilled, straight from the fridge.
- Minty zing: The perfect balance of minty freshness and subtle spices.
- Customisable: Adjust ingredients to suit your taste preferences.
Key ingredients notes and substitutions
**Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients.
Fresh cilantro (coriander) and mint
Use only fresh herbs. Dry herbs will simply not work for this sauce, unfortunately. Its main characteristic is the fresh flavour you get from the herbs.
You'll need two heaped tablespoons of each herb, un-chopped. Fill the tablespoons generously but don't pack them so tightly that you end up squashing the herbs in the process.
For the mint, use only the leaves, not the stems. For the cilantro, remove the thick, woody stems, but the thinner stems near the leaves are fine to use.
We recommend one small green chilli for a mild heat level. If you like it spicier, go for a bigger chilli or even two green chillies. Just be cautious, it can get pretty hot! You can also use Jalapeños.
Lemon juice is optional, but it adds a lovely, zesty kick. We suggest just a small squeeze, about a teaspoon's worth. Lime juice works too if you prefer.
You'll need ground cumin and garam masala, but not much, just a quarter teaspoon of each. These spices should complement the mint and not steal the show.
Feel free to add a dash of black pepper as well, it's a personal preference.
The best option is a plain, full-fat, thick Greek yoghurt. This will give you a rich, scoopable, creamy mint sauce. If you can't find Greek yoghurt where you live, any other thick, full-fat, plain yoghurt will do.
A quick note: If you use thinner yoghurt, add just one tablespoon of water to avoid making the sauce too runny.
A note on the equipment needed
Since we're dealing with a small amount of ingredients, using a big blender or food processor won't work well. The blades will just slide over the ingredients without chopping them properly. Instead, you can use one of these:
- A small blender, like a mini chopper.
- A spice grinder or a coffee grinder that's only used for food.
- A mortar and pestle to grind everything by hand.
How to make Indian Mint Sauce - Step-by-step
- In a small chopper, grinder or mortar and pestle, combine the fresh coriander leaves, mint leaves, chopped green chilli, water and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Blend or grind the ingredients until they form a smooth paste.
- Transfer the mint paste to a small bowl and add the ground cumin powder, garam masala, sugar and salt. Give it a quick stir.
- Add the mint mixture to the Greek yoghurt.
- Stir until everything is well combined and you have a smooth consistency. Place the sauce in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with some fresh mint leaves if you wish.
Use fresh herbs
Always use fresh mint and coriander leaves for the best flavour and texture. Avoid dried herbs as they won't produce an authentic Indian mint sauce.
Balance the spices
Be mindful of the spices in this Indian mint chutney recipe. Use a quarter teaspoon each of ground cumin and garam masala to let the mint flavour shine while adding just a subtle spice kick.
Opt for a thick, full-fat yoghurt
The thicker, the better. Hence, we recommend Greek yoghurt for this recipe. You definitely want a scoopable sauce, not runny.
Don't add the yoghurt to the blender/grinder
If you blend the yoghurt together with the other ingredients, you might find you end up with a sauce that's too runny. The yoghurt should be the very last ingredient to add.
For best results, chill the sauce well before serving. Don't remove it from the fridge too long before serving.
- Add minced or crushed garlic for an extra layer of flavour.
- Grated ginger can provide a zesty and aromatic twist to your mint sauce.
- Adjust the heat level by using different types of green chillies or adding more for extra spice.
- Toasted cumin seeds can provide a pleasant earthy aroma and a slightly nutty taste.
- Experiment with different mint varieties, such as peppermint or chocolate mint, to vary the flavour profile.
- Citrus zest can brighten the sauce with a refreshing aroma, you can try lemon or lime.
Short-cut Indian mint sauce using store-bought mint sauce
Simply add 2-3 tablespoons of store-bought mint sauce to 8 tablespoons of yoghurt along with ¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon garam masala, ¼ teaspoon chilli powder, ½ teaspoon sugar and salt to taste.
Adjust the seasoning to taste, for instance, you can add more chilli powder for a bit more heat, or more sugar if you want it sweeter.
With Indian snacks and appetisers - Poppadoms, samosas, onion bhaji, pakoras, kachori, chaat (like Sev Puri, Bhel puri) and kebabs.
As a dip with bread - Naan, roti, chapati, with kathi rolls.
On sandwiches - Use as a delicious sauce in sandwiches or a lamb burger.
With vegetables - Use in a potato salad, as a salad dressing or as a sauce with roasted vegetables.
As a sauce with main dishes - Curries, rice dishes, biryani, tandoori platters, grilled meats.
Store any leftover Indian mint sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
This yoghurt-based sauce is not suitable for freezing.
Indian Mint Sauce
- 1 small blender/mini chopper/mortar and pestle
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves - heaped tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves - heaped tablespoons
- 1 small green chilli - chopped
- 2 tablespoons water - if the yoghurt used is not that thick, use one tablespoon of water
- 1 squeeze lemon juice (optional) - or lime juice, about 1 teaspoon
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- salt to taste - as a guide, we add about ½ teaspoon
- 8 tablespoons full fat Greek yoghurt - or other plain, thick, full fat yoghurt
- In a small chopper, grinder or mortar and pestle, combine the mint leaves, coriander leaves, chopped green chilli, water and a squeeze of lemon juice.2 tablespoons mint leaves, 2 tablespoons coriander leaves, 1 small green chilli, 2 tablespoons water, 1 squeeze lemon juice (optional)
- Blend or grind the ingredients until they form a fine pulp.
- Transfer the mint pulp to a small bowl and add the ground cumin, garam masala, sugar and salt. Give it a quick stir.¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon garam masala, ½ teaspoon sugar, salt to taste
- Add the mint mixture to the yoghurt. Stir until everything is well combined. Place the sauce in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.8 tablespoons full fat Greek yoghurt
- Garnish with some fresh mint leaves if you wish.
Use fresh herbsAlways use fresh mint and coriander leaves for the best flavour and texture. Avoid dried herbs as they won't produce an authentic Indian mint sauce.
Balance the spicesBe mindful of the spices. Use a quarter teaspoon each of ground cumin and garam masala to let the mint flavour shine while adding a subtle spice kick.
Opt for a thick, full fat yoghurtThe thicker, the better. Hence, we recommend Greek yoghurt for this recipe. You definitely want a scoopable sauce, not runny.
Don't add the yoghurt to the blender/grinderIf you blend the yoghurt together with the other ingredients, you might find you end up with sauce that's too runny. The yoghurt should be the very last ingredient to add.
Serve coldFor best results, chill the sauce well before serving. Don't remove it from the fridge too long before serving.
**Nutritional data disclaimer**
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is calculated by a third party and we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We try our best to give you the most accurate information, but we do not take responsibility for errors that may be present. Also, the nutritional value of the recipe may change depending on the exact brands and products used. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised advice on your dietary needs.