Recipes | Fruity Preserves & Chutneys – A Few Easy, Healthy & Tangy Spreads
The two things that still lingers long after our visit to the hills of North India are the unpolluted air and the juicy fresh apples & plums we ate on our way from the orchids. Blessed are those mountain people who are surrounded by the natural beauty and bounty. I was amazed by the abundance of fresh fruits in the valleys strewn all over the farms and roadsides, while back at home I often compare the prizes and buy them in numbers.
During our two days stay in a friends’ place I loved eating their special dishes, even the Rajma curry tasted different, pure mountain water and soil makes a big difference, they say. Think of a quick chutney recipe and it is either fresh coriander, mint, tomato or coconut for me, but most of the mountain people opt for fresh apples, prunes, plums or any other berry to make the chutney.
The preserve and chutney below are adapted from the cuisines of hilly area in North India. The Plum preserve I make is actually a runny chutney cooked with dates and many spices in Kashmir and many hilly ares of India.
I avoided some of the overpowering spices to make it simple and also to enjoy the real taste of plums in my recipe. The sweet and sour taste of this preserve reminds me of the dates and raisin chutney we prepare in Rajasthan.
1. Fresh Plum Preserve
- 2 cups chopped fresh plums
- 1 cup jaggery
- 2 tbsp. red chilly powder
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. Salt
Method;Wash, deseed and chop the plums into small pieces. Grind the chopped plums into a fine paste. Crush jaggery into powder.
Heat a wok/kadai and pour the plum puree in it. Cook on low heat for 5-6 minutes and add crushed jaggery, red chilly powder, salt and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Add cumin powder and take off the flame.
If you wish to use the recipe as chutney with slightly runny consistency do not cook after adding jaggery and other spices. This chutney will not stay for longer and should be used within two to three days.
Fill the fresh sweet & sour Plum preserve in a clean bottle and store in refrigerator. This preserve makes a scrumptious accompaniment to any Indian snack and appetizers.
A scrumptious spread on bread for a healthy and yum breakfast treat.
2. Mango & Mint Preserve
This is a very popular chutney in Rajasthan andGujarat. The original version has few more spices added to the recipe such as cumin powder, garam masala. The other prominent difference being the color and consistency of this chutney. This recipe is very simple and retains the all the flavors and taste of raw mangoes and mint in it.
Most of the recipes of Mango mint chutney has green color and looks similar to the coriander chutney. But this looks like a jelly or more like a fruit preserve, as the peel is removed before making the chutney.
- 1 cup chopped raw mango
- 3/4 cup jaggery/sugar
- 2 tbsp dry mint leaves
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. asafoetida powder
Method; Peel all the mangoes and cut them in half, remove the seed. If using fresh mint, pick, wash and chop them roughly.
Boil the mango pieces in pressure cooker for one whistle or in a any vessel for 5-6 minutes with 1/4 cup of water. Remove the boield mango pieces and let it cool. Mash them slightly into a paste. using hands. Crush jaggery into coarse powder.
Heat oil in a wok and add all the ingredients except the dried mint. Cook on slow heat till the preserve thickens. Add crushed dried mint leaves or chopped fresh mint leaves and store in a clean glass bottle.
3. Apple & Mint Chutney
- 1 cup chopped green apple
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- ½ tsp. sugar
- Salt as desired
Method; Pick, wash and chop the greens roughly. I did not get the grany smith’s green apples and used the normal red variety in this chutney. Green apple has a tangy taste and gives a wonderful taste to the recipe. Grind all the ingredients into fine paste.
This Apple mint chutney makes a wonderful accompaniment to all grilled dishes, kebabs, Indian flat breads and snack.
These preserves and chutneys are so simple and easy to make and retains all the flavors and goodness of the fresh fruits in it. Plum preserve has no oil in it and can be stored for a month in refrigerator. Use these preserves and chutneys with any snack, kebabs, sandwiches, veggie sticks, crackers and Indian flat breads.
A few days back I received a mail from a blogger friend of mine and was asked to be a part of a very popular online blogging event IBL (Indian Blogging League). I was offered to represent the Foodie genre of the Chennai group. The topic for the very first post of mine is a fusion recipe with the taste of all four regions of India.
Do check out the twist I gave to the humble Idlies (steamed rice dumplings) from South India on my other blog in the post Idly Sheekh Kebabs.
- Add dates to the Plum chutney and reduce a little jaggery for more healthy benefits.
- Replace jaggery with pureed dates in the Plum preserve.
- Add 2 cloves of garlic in the Apple and mint chutney for more flavors.
- You need to increase the amount of jaggery in the recipe if the Plums are sour.