Apple or Other Fruit Chutney with Low Sugar
Sev aur Pahlon ki Kam Chini Wali Chatni
This recipe is based on my late father Suresh Chandra Gupta’s recipe for Sweet Mango Chutney. You can make it from the surplus fruits like apricots, peaches, plums and even rhubarb. You will have to adjust the cooking times and sugar/sweetener according to the tartness of the fruit you are using. It tastes excellent in Sandwich, specially cheese ones. I also serve it with Vegetable Biryani, Peas Pulao/Pilaf, Mathari Savoury Biscuits or simply with savoury biscuits & cheese. Make only small amounts at a time. It has a shorter shelf life because of lower sugar content. Makes 1 jam jar.
2 large apples or other fruits, approximately 350 gm., peeled and cored
1 medium onion approximately 75 gm., peeled
2 garlic cloves (optional), peeled
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
2 black cardamoms**
1 bay leaf**
3-4 black peppers**
1 inch cinnamon stick**
25 gm. brown or muscovado sugar or jaggery (gur)
1 tsp. salt, adjust to taste
1 tsp. coarsely ground chillies, adjust to taste
1 tsp. ground black pepper
50 ml. malt vinegar
1 tsp. nigella or kalaunji/kalownji seeds (Nigella sativa)
1 tbs. sugar free sweetener (adjust to taste). If the fruit you are using is sweet, you may not need this at all.
Grate apples and onions coarsely, either by hand or use an electric grate. Grate ginger and garlic finely.
** Tie all these ingredients in a piece of muslin loosely. If you do not have these whole spices individually, you can use 1 heaped teaspoons of Garam Masala instead, but make sure it is fresh.
Place all ingredients, except sweetener, in a large pan and bring to boil.
Simmer briskly for approximately half an hour, stirring frequently. Cook until right consistency for chutney is reached.
Turn heat off and add sweetener. Mix it well.
Adjust seasoning, chillies and sweetener.
Fill in clean jars. Place a disc of wax paper on top while still hot. Screw on the metal lids, label and allow to cool. The chutney tastes better, when it is allowed to rest and mature for a week or so.
Use a pan larger than you think is required. This stops the chutney from splashing all over your cooker.
The word ‘chutney’ comes from original Hindi word ‘chatni’ which is a tangy and spicy paste, that makes you smack you lips, makes your tongue and mouth come alive! The word ‘chat’ or ‘chaat’ mean ‘lick’ and ‘chatna’ means ‘to lick’. The original Indian Chatni is a mix of uncooked fruit (raw mango/apple/other fruits), green chillies, herbs like coriander and mint, a few spices, lemon or vinegar or tamarind, sometimes sugar, all ground together to a paste. Other ingredients can also be added according to taste.
Also see Pickle and Chutney Selection.