Mint for Chutney
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Marilou B. Montemayor
Posted on: May 28, 2003

I am interested to order the seed of mint but you have several varieties and I don’t know exactly what is the name of the variety of the one I am looking for. I am looking for the variety that is used in making the Indian/Pakistani green chutney (a paste of ground green chillies, mint and coriander leaves and salt). This variety is sometimes sold at the fresh produce or grocery store but I am interested to grow it myself. Please let me know so that I can make the order.

Unfortunately, this type of mint cannot be grown from seeds. The mint is a type of spearmint, but when spearmint is grown from seeds it comes up with a poor medicinal taste rather than the rich, mint taste that you expect. This has to do with genetics.

The only way to get what you want is to get a plant of one of the spearmint varieties. These are grown from cuttings, not seeds, so that they have consistent flavour and taste. There are actually many good culinary varieties of spearmint, and I would suspect that even in India and Pakistan there are regional differences among the mints used for chutney. Reasonal facsimiles of those mints are the regular spearmint we sell (#P4040) or the improved variety (#P4042). The ‘improved’ aspect of the latter variety has less to do with flavour and taste than with the broader, more pebbly leaf shape and more robust growing habit.

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