Chutney is a piquant relish from the cuisine of India. It is usually eaten in small amounts to add flavor and to accent a meal. There is a great difference in what is understood to be chutney in the East verses the West.
Chutney in India is customarily a mixture ground fresh daily on a curry stone. It is a mixture of raw ingredients such as fresh ginger, fresh mint leaves, coriander (cilantro), sour fruits, Indian mango, coconut—in fact, anything considered tasty, stimulating, or refreshing to the palate. Within wide limits, the cooks of India are free to create from what is available.
Although chutney is of Indian inspiration, western chutney recipes always seem to be cooked— combining sugar and vinegar with spices and fruit. Usually mango, but sometimes, apples, raisins, pears, and apricots or a mixture of fruit and vegetables are used.
The next time you visit an authentic Indian restaurant, ask for chutney. There are generally three categories, sweet, hot, and sweet/hot. Be very careful when tasting the hot chutney, it is really very, very hot. In homemade chutney you can control the heat to the desired level.
1 cup dried plums (prunes)
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon coriander seed, ground
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 medium-sized (crisp) apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup currents
1 cup onions, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
Makes about 4- 1/2 pint jars
Note: This recipe can be doubled or tripled with very good results.