I had forgotten about chutney.
I’m not sure how it happened. But it just popped back into my head one day, like I walked down into the basement, moved a few boxes around, and saw it laying on the floor, forlorn & discarded, and remembered, CHUTNEY!
(Metaphorically, of course. While there are lots of food items in my basement, there is, to my recollection, not a random jar of chutney lying at the foot of my never-used golf clubs.)
I love this spicy-sweet condiment. It was once my go-to topping for a pork roast, and a frequent side to curries. It’s one of those condiments that provides a huge return on investment — ingredients are easy to keep stocked, can be modified to your liking, and keeps for many days refrigerated.
As a bonus, people are always impressed with chutney — it’s just not something that gets made at home very often. And what are we doing when we invite people for dinner if not simply trying our darndest to impress them?
I tend to cook dried fruit chutneys, because that’s the easiest fruit to keep lying around. But by all means, if you have an abundance of fresh fruit, this is a great way to use it (you’ll need to change up the ratios a bit, a quick google search should help with that). I’ve been lacto-fermenting my jar by reducing the vinegar and adding a little whey after it’s cooked — this just adds a probiotic benefit. Read the note with the recipe to see this optional step.
I’ve served this as a vegetarian meal with my red lentil and squash curry — the fresh ginger works well with Indian spices. But this week we’ll have it with a pork roast (I’d forgotten about those, too — makes me wonder if a traumatic incident sometime in 2005 had me repressing my love for this meal?) — it’s just that versatile.
And not to be forgotten again.
Recipe: Apricot Chutney
Makes 2 1/2 – 3 cups
To lacto-ferment the chutney, reduce apple cider vinegar to 3 Tbsp, and add an additional 2 Tbsp water. After chutney is cooked and cooled, stir in 2 Tbsp whey. Let sit covered at room temperature for 12 hours before refrigerating.
- 1 cup chopped dried apricots (unsulphured if possible)
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup raisins
- (1) 1″ piece fresh ginger, cut into strips
- 1/2 tsp dried mustard
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 apple, peeled and finely chopped
- Combine all ingredients except apple in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a very low simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the chopped apple, re-cover, and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, or until apple is tender.
- Serve at room temperature (remove ginger strips before serving). Keep leftovers in a capped jar in the refrigerator for up to a week (or longer for lacto-fermented option).
Copyright © Katy Carter, 2012.