Chopping up green chiles.

Chopping up green chiles. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 20 minutes

Servings: Makes 3/4 cup

Note: From "Climbing the Mango Trees" by Madhur Jaffrey.

2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice

3/4 cup finely chopped tomato

1 well-packed cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

1 well-packed cup fresh

cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

5 to 6 fresh, hot green chiles with their seeds (use either bird's eye or cayenne-type chiles), chopped

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine the lemon or lime juice, tomato, mint, cilantro, chiles and sugar in a food processor. Blend until you have a smooth paste, pushing down with a rubber spatula whenever necessary. Add the salt, a little at a time, and blend until you have a balance of flavors you like. You can add more of any of the seasonings, if necessary. Serve immediately.

Each tablespoon: 13 calories; 1 gram protein; 3 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 0 fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 38 mg. sodium.