Sweet Chutney served after a full course meal is an integral part of Bengali cuisine. Every single day while I was growing up, we would end end our meal with some kind of sweet chutney which would be polished of the plate with fingers & later the fingers licked off clean. I guess that served as a kind of dessert… the Bongs as everyone knows are famous for their “sweet teeth”.. not just a “tooth”. The chutney would be made of any seasonal ingredient. In summer it would be raw mangoes or pineapples, in fall & winter – the irrestible red tomatoes.
My mom would often make this raw papaya chutney (we had abundance of papayas growing in our garden), and use the “mango ginger“( its a ginger which has the flavor of raw mango – we grew this too), and the distasteful raw papayas would magically taste like raw mango chutney. Often times, the guests in our home got tricked, because my mom would make this “plastic papaya chutney“(It would be transluscent & sticky and probably the name was derived) in peak winter and everyone would wonder where she found raw mangoes to make the delicious chutney. It was a delicacy in winter. I will post that sometimes…
Chutneys bear different strains and traits & are enjoyed in different ways in different parts of the world. Be it be an after meal spoon, or a scoop on the cheese, or as any side… they are pretty versatile in their nature. With the abundance of so many different kinds of fruits & berries here, I make chutney with almost every fruit/berry I can get my hands on.
Apricots are beautiful fruits! They taste delicous fresh, or canned or sundried.. in any form. I have never cooked anything with them before….But,..
here is an Apricot Chutney… I have used Jalapeno & Mint with it to make it a Sweet & Spicy combination with the freshness of the mint. Sending this for AFAM:Apricot hosted at Siri’s Corner,, a brainchild of dear Maheshwari of ‘Beyond the Usual’.
- 1.5 Cup Dried or Fresh or Canned Apricots (I used dried ones)
- 3 Jalapeno Peppers (More or less as per your Taste)
- 1/2 Cup White Wine (Any Fruity Flavored Wine will do)
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1 Inch Ginger Peeled and Very Finely Sliced
- Zest & Juice of 1 Lime
- 1 Teaspoon Oil ( I used Canola Oil)
- 2 Dry Red Chillies
- 3/4 Cup Water
- 3 tablespoons of finely Chopped Fresh Mint
Note: If you do not want to use wine… just use any light juice.
Roughly chop the Apricots & the Jalapeno peppers. Keep the jalapeno aside.
Add the apricots & the ginger to the wine and let them soak for a couple of hours.
Strain the apricots & ginger and keep the wine aside.
Heat the oil, and add the red dry chillies to the oil. When they change color to brown, add the Jalapeno peppers. Stir fry for a couple of minutes and add the apricots & ginger that you had saved. Toss for another few minutes.
Add the lime juice & zest, sugar, water and wine & boil at medium heat till a corn syrupy consistency is reached.
Discard the red chillies after the chutney is done.
Serve with crackers or bread topped on your favorite cheese.
This is also an excellent side dish with poultry , meat or any thing you grill !
It is great for parties, as it can be prepared a few days before you want to serve. The taste actually matures in a few days time. I served it on Whole Grain Crackers, topped with Pepper Jack Cheese, … & saw it quickly disappear!
And I also licked my fingers clean when I had a scoop of this after my meal:-) Like long time before…
Sending this to Culinarty’s Original Recipes.