Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Chutney

Yes, I seemed to be into the apricot-gooseberry combo this Summer. I promise this will be my last recipe featuring these two simpatico ingredients.

The reason I named it "Summer Chutney" was to give you free reign to use any fruit or fruit combo you want. A combination of green and purple plums would be nice, but feel free to be creative with whatever is in season where you live and is making you happy in the heat.

The reason this is called Indian Style is because it doesn't include onions or garlic, common ingredients in a lot of Western chutneys. 80 percent of India is vegetarian, the reason, as I understand it, that they don't use onions or garlic is because from an Ayurvedic point of view onions and garlic cause gas. So you have about 90 million people give or take a few in India who don't eat onions or garlic. I learned to cooked Indian food from Yamuni Devi's book Lord Krishnas Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking. It's an amazing book. If you have any interest in cooking Indian this is the book to use.

Summer Chutney: Indian Style

Place in a cast iron skillet 1/2 teaspoon each of: cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds and toast until the mustard seeds pop. Remove from skillet and place in a bowl and reserve.

Add 3 T canola oil to the skillet on medium high eat, when hot, but not smoking add 2 finely chopped and seeded jalapeno peppers and 1 Tablespoon grated ginger, cook for two minutes, add the reserved spices and cook for another minute. Add 1 cup of gooseberries and 2 cups of sliced apricots, 1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar, 2 T cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of currents, 1/4 teaspoon salt cook at a simmer fro about 30 minutes or until the chutney has thickened.

Take off the heat and add 2 Tablespoons of naked ginger and 1/2 cup roughly chopped toasted pecans. Put up in jars and preserve or put in a seal able jar and keep in the refrigerator.

Great to have in the Fall with a pork chop or a cheese course. Also nice as part of a charcuterie platter or to have with pate on toast (bluefish pate would be a great choice).


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