Apple (or Other Fruit) Chutney, Nanas
Sev (aur Pahlon) ki Sirke Wali Chutney
Suresh Chandra Gupta
This recipe is based on a Mango Chutney recipe of my late father, Suresh Chandra Gupta, my children's 'nana'. He used raw, green mangoes. Here, I have modified it slightly, so that it can be made from the surplus windfall apples or cooking apples. You can also use this recipe for making chutneys from other surplus fruits like apricots, peaches, plums and even rhubarb. You will have to adjust the cooking times and sugar according to the tartness of the fruit you are using. It tastes great in Sandwiches, specially cheese ones. I also serve it with Vegetable Biryani Rice, Pilaf/Pulao Rice, Mathari etc. Another way to enjoy is; simply place a dollop on each savoury biscuits, along with a piece of cheese of choice, like feta, cream cheese, cheddar or any other cheese, and serve with drinks.
Here in UK, the word Chutney generally means a spicy preserve/condiment, where fruits or vegetables have been cooked in vinegar with spices and sugar and then bottled. In India, this type of chutney is often called Sirke Wali Chatni, meaning 'Chutney with vinegar'.
The word Chutney comes from original Hindi word Chatni, which means a tangy and spicy paste that makes you smack you lips, makes your tongue and mouth come alive! When we use the word Chatni in India, it usually means an uncooked, fresh green version , a mix of some tart fruit like raw mango or apple, a few green chillies, herbs like coriander and mint, a few spices like roast cumin, Kala Namak or black rock salt, lemon/ vinegar/ tamarind, if your fruit is not tart enough. All are ground together to a paste. Sometimes sugar is added, to give it a sweet and sour taste. It has to be eaten fresh or it can be frozen.
This recipe makes approximately 3 jam jars. The pictures here show it being made with 3 kg. apples.
Edited October 2018
4 large cooking apples, approximately 700 gm., cored and quartered
2 medium onions, approximately 150 gm., peeled and quartered
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped/grated (optional)
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled, chopped/grated
2 black cardamoms*
2 bay leaves*
8 black peppers*
1 inch cinnamon stick*
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. nigella seeds (kalaunji/Kalonji-Nigella sativa)
2 tsp. salt, adjust to taste
2 tsp. coarsely ground chillies, adjust to taste
1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
300 gm. jaggery** or use brown or muscovado sugar. Use less if fruit is sweet
60 gm. raisins or sultanas (optional)
100 ml. malt vinegar
A large pan, so are able to boil the chutney briskly, without splashing.
Sterilised jars for bottling.
Quarter and core apple. Peel onions.
Grate coarsely or chop finely all apples and onions.
Peel and chop/grate ginger and garlic.
* Tie all these ingredients in a piece of muslin loosely. If you do not have these whole spices individually, you can use 2 heaped teaspoons of Garam Masala instead, but make sure it is fresh.
Heat oil in a large pan, add nigella seeds.
When they crackle a bit, add onion, ginger and garlic and fry until softened and translucent.
Add all other ingredients and bring to boil.
Simmer briskly for approximately half an hour to 40 minutes, stirring frequently. To test when it is ready, place a tsp. full on a chilled plate and part it with a your finger. A clear space is left by your finger on the plate that should fill up slowly. If it is too thin, the liquid will fill this space immediately, in which case, you need to continue cooking it, until ready.
Heat clean glass jars in a hot oven, around 175 C, for 10-15 minutes. Place jars on a heat-resistant surface like a wooden chopping board. Place a metal spoon in the jar (this avoids the jar breaking). Fill the jars using a metal funnel. Place a disc of wax paper on top while still hot. close the lid.
Turn upside down, this will create a vacuum, and allow to cool completely
Label and store. This chutney tastes better, when it is allowed to rest and mature for a month or so.
**Jaggery is Indian raw cane sugar, made by boiling the cane juice until it solidifies. It has a rich, molasses like flavour. It can be bought in blocks from Indian stores. It dissolves very quickly during cooking.
Cook covered with a splash guard, it will save a lot of mess on the cooker. Keep wiping it off the splashes from the cooker surface, using a wet mop. Once, it sets, it is rather harder to clean.
Also see Pickle and Chutney Selection.