SPICY PLUM CHUTNEY
Days in the kitchen preserving foods for some future day when it's blowing cold outside find me humming, grateful and energetic. Weeks or months later I remember that special canned good that's shining on the garage shelf, ready to be opened, tasted and treasured. Such is the Spicy Plum Chutney I made last week. It looks like tomato chutney, but that's because the yellow turmeric blended with the purple plums (fresh picked from our trees). The recipe started from the book "The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking" by Yamuna Devi, a tome of amazing Indian recipes that I've been trying since bringing it home from our New Mexico trip in the spring. Here's how it turned out, given my kitchen supplies, and reluctance to go to town for ingredients!
12 C stewed plums (skins on or off, your choice. No pits!)
6 T fennel seeds
3 T red pepper flakes (or fresh hot chilies, fine cut and sauté)
3 t salt
1 C chopped walnuts
6 T ginger powder (fresh would have been better, about 1-1/2" root, pulverized)
1 big white onion
3 T turmeric
2 T cardamom
1/2 stick butter (organic, don't panic)
Fine cut onion and sauté in olive oil. When slightly soft, add fennel, red pepper, ginger, turmeric, cardamom and butter. Sauté turning frequently to heat the spices until their odor rises from the pan.
Add stewed plums, and mix thoroughly, gently, bringing whole thing to simmer, add salt.
Ladle into 8-oz (Half-pint, a childhood nickname my parents bestowed on me) jars (12), clean top of jars, put sterilized lids and ringers on and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Smile at the little pop that happens when the jars are lifted onto the counter and the cool air sucks the lid in!
Label and give away for the holidays, use on pork, beef, chicken, on chickpeas or white beans, and rice. This chutney will warm you in winter, and the memory will warm your heart!
TIME OUT encourages sensual cooking, delicious meals, long conversations at dinner. Do turn off the television. Try these conversation starters, take turns answering:
- What was your best memory of high school?
- Do you practice random acts of kindness?
- What three experiences are you grateful for that happened today?