Cilantro Chutney

Cilantro chutney or bhorta is one of my favorite condiments to serve with Bengali dishes. It’s easy, fast, and packs a delicious punch.

If you’ve had much Indian or Bangladeshi food you must have come across chutney like cilantro, mint, or tamarind. They are normally served with pakoras, samosas, or dosas. Those chutneys are sometime a bit thin.

Today I am making cilantro chutney that is thicker and therefore more enjoyable in my opinion. This is similar to the one I grew up eating in Bangladesh. There the chilies are small and fiery. We didn’t mind the spice as you eat very little of it. This was a perfect condiment to serve with other dishes like lentils and vegetables.

Since I didn’t find my native chilies, I am making my chutney with jalapeno, which provided just the right amount of spice. If you are not a fan of spice but just want the flavor of chutney, you can take out the seeds from the jalapeno.

My mom would put a piece of fried fish in the chutney while she is grinding all the ingredients together. This gave the chutney a great flavor. I am using jarred sardines instead of frying a piece of fish.

This made the process go fast and gave the chutney a unique flavor since I used smoked sardines in oil. You can find sardines in oil pretty much anywhere nowadays.

This chutney can be spread on a variety of foods such as sandwiches, wraps, eggs, or roasted potatoes.



  • 1 large bunches of cilantro, washed, and cleaned
  • 2 large or 1 cup jalapeno, washed and cut into rounds
  • 1 whole head, or 1/3 cup peeled garlic
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 or 1 1/2 tbsp. chopped sardines, smoked, in oil
  • 1/4 cup mustard oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper


Trim a little bit of the steam from the cilantro if they look discolored or brown. Rough chop cilantro, then set aside.

Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and jalapeno slices. Fry for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred around the garlic and jalapeno.

Cool slightly, then transfer the garlic and jalapeno to a food processor. Scrape down all the oil from the pan too with a rubber spatula. Process this for 30 seconds or so until mixture is chopped.


Add cilantro, salt, pepper, and sardines. Process until everything broken down. Scrape down the side as needed. While the processor is running add the mustard oil in a slow stream.


Process until smooth. Taste to see if more seasoning is needed.

Makes 1 1/4 cup

Did you make this dish? Iā€™d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like, share, and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram. If you would like to be notified of upcoming posts, please consider subscribing to my blog!

2 responses to “Cilantro Chutney”

    • I remember my Mom making it with a piece of fried fish. It was really delicious!
      I tried making it with jarred fish to see how it would turned out. I liked it a lot! Hope you like it too!

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