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Mint paste refers to a thick paste prepared by blending washed and chopped mint leaves in a blender with or without salt and other spices. A little amount of water may have to be added to impart the desired consistency. The mint paste can be easily prepared at home by blending the mint leaves along with coriander leaves, green chillies, garlic , salt and sugar. Coconut or tamarind pulp may also be added as per recipe requirement. Mint paste is the base for various chutneys and is usually used as a cool and tasty spread for sandwiches.
How to select
Look for mint leaves that have firm, unwilted leaves, are vividly deep green in color with no signs of yellowing or browning. Leaves that are smaller in size will be more tender and have a milder flavour.
· The paste made from fresh leaves is an ingredient in many South Asian foods (particularly chutneys), in Chinese dishes and in Mexican salsas and guacamole.
· In a large mixing bowl, mix atta, green chilli, mint paste, one tsp ghee, and enough salt. Knead it with water and prepare mint chappatis.
· Mint paste is used to prepare pudina pulao or the tangy water accompanying paani puris.
· Alcoholic drinks sometimes feature mint paste for flavor , namely the Mint Julep and the Mojito. Crème de menthe is a mint-flavored liqueur used in drinks such as the grasshopper.
· Mint paste may be added to marinade for kebabs and tikkas.
· In Indian and Central Asian recipes, mint leaves paste are used in large amounts to make cool refershing drinks like mintade.
· Mint leaves paste are used in few dishes like mint-coriander chutney, rasam, sambar, meat, fish, poultry items and biryanis.
How to store
Fresh mint leaves should be used immediately or stored up to a couple of days in plastic bags within a refrigerator. Optionally, mint paste can be frozen in ice cube trays. You can store mint paste in an airtight container placed in the refrigerator.
· Mint paste is considered an aid to the digestive system. It is an appetite stimulant and aids in the secretion of gastric juices.
· Mint paste was originally used as a medicinal herb to treat stomach ache and chest pains, and it is commonly used in the form of tea as a home remedy to help alleviate stomach pain.
· Mint tea made from mint paste is a strong diuretic. Mint paste also aids digestion, in a way that it breaks down the fats. In recent years, it has been often recommended for treating obesity.
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