Friday, July 13, 2012

Cherry Ginger Chutney

Chutney over thick hung yogurt
This post is long overdue. Ever since summer knocked on our doors and red plum cherries loaded the trees this post was supposed to come. Like every year, sometime in May we took a trip to the cherry farms with some close friends. These farm picnics are always fun. Kids get to be kids, goofing around, chasing each other, climbing trees and for some time us "grown ups" get to do the same.


Fresh plum cherries
We picked a lot of cherries, ate them to our heart's content and still had pounds to bring back home. When I was paying for 10 pounds of cherries that day I knew what I was going to do and had also planned to blog about it. But then life, health and general "stuff" took a toll on me and this recipe never ended up on this blog. Thank god I had cooked up those cherries before all craziness happened. Now that my health is in my favor and I felt like blogging again I thought I'd start with this recipe.

Jaggery- secret ingredient

So I used up the cherries to make Cherry Ginger Chutney. Sweet and tangy cherries married really well with the light spiciness of ginger. I used a couple more spices to spruce it up. Mummy always adds fennel seeds to her chutney. She says its great for the digestion and I just generally love the way flavors dance with the touch of fennel seeds.


Cherry Ginger Chutney
 In traditional Indian cooking jaggery is used a lot for the sweetness. Gur, or jaggery is the raw unrefined form of cane sugar or sometimes date sugar. Its formed from cane or date juice with extracting molasses from it. Its golden or dark brown in color which brings an earthiness to the dish and is definitely a healthier and better option to white cane sugar. They usually come in blocks which can be easily broken down to powder or you can even find jaggery powder in the market. Its used a lot in Indian desserts and also in cooked chutneys like this one.

Ingredients
2 lb pitted cherries
1/4 lb jaggery - I buy dark jaggery powder from Indian store. Powder dissolves easily than blocks. You can also use raw cane sugar or white granulated one if you want. You can add upto 1/2 lbs of sugar if you like your chutney sweet.
1/3 cup grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon nigella or onion seeds
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Method:
Heat oil in a thick bottom pan or pot. Oil should be smoking hot. Add bay leaves followed by fennel seeds, cumin and nigella. Cook the spices until they are brown. Should take about 10 seconds.
Add cherry, jaggery and ginger. Mix everything well together.
For the first 15-20 minutes cook on medium high heat. Stir every 3-4 minutes to keep it from sticking to the bottom. Once you get a feeling that cherry is now beginning to soften, turn the heat to low, cover with a lid and let it simmer. Stir occasionally every 20-25 minutes.
Let the chutney simmer until the cherries are softened and cooked well to the extent that it looses its shape. To test if your chutney is done, take some in the back of your spoon and let it stay out in the air for about 10-15 seconds then run a finger through it. If it wrinkles then its done.The whole process should take 1- 1 1/2 hours.
Turn the heat off and let it cool completely before storing in clean, dry and air tight containers. The chutney stays good in the refrigerator upto 2-3 weeks.

62 comments:

  1. Beautiful!!
    This chutney is exactly the way it is made in my mom home with Mango.. I love Gud.. Really adds lots of depth!!
    Wishing you a Very Happy Birthday once again!!

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    1. Oh, the mango chutney is my weakness!

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  2. Reading the post I can imagine the cherry farm and kids having a great time.
    I love stoned fruits and anything made from them sweet or savory!
    Chutney looks so good ... yummy!

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    1. We did have a great time at the farm. Thanks so much!

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  3. I wish I could get such perfectly red ripe juicy cherries here! Love the beautiful color of the chutney :)

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    1. Just like how I wish I could taste those alphanso mangoes in summer :-)

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  4. different and interesting. i dont know whether i get these cherries here in bangalore

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  5. We missed cherry picking this year, its such fun! Love the chutney and its vibrant color!

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  6. Hey, I love cherries but we don’t get such fresh cherries here in Bangalore, managed to get 2 boxes from Srinagar this time but in no time all got disappeared courtesy my kids, so nothing was left for me to experiment in my kitchen! I liked your recipe and the colour too.

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  7. Your mom is right. Fennel goes perfect in chutney and I love the addition on ginger! We had made so many plans to go for cherry picking and it just never happend. Love the photos specially the one with the raw cherries.

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  8. A pairing that I've never thought to make... but how marvelous it looks. I could eat this straight... as is... no additions. But sure, if it has to go on something, this looks pretty darn good.

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    1. We did empty a couple jars of this chutney just licking it off the spoon straight from the jar :-) Thanks for your kind words my friend!

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  9. I've never had cherry chutney before. I can only imagine how it must taste - a beautiful combination of flavors: cherries, ginger, fennel and jaggery! My favorite spice these days is fennel.. the more I use it, the more I am in love with it! The 2nd shot and the final shot are simply gorgeous:)

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    1. Thanks Vishakha! Yes, try the chutney if you can sometime. I promise you will love it!

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  10. Thx for connecting with me on foodbuzz. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can't wait to see what your next post will be!

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    1. I too am excited to get in touch with you here CJ. Thanks for visiting!

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  11. I love little treat like this! What a fabulous chutney! Love the seasoning - very unique and complementary with the cherries. Pinning this one to make!

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  12. I adore chutney. The cherries make this one a gorgeous color! I liked the information about jaggery. Makes me curious to experiment with it.

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    1. Do try it, I promise you will not be disappointed!

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  13. Great to be FoodBuzz friends! love your blog and the jam looks tasty too. Best, Sherry

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    1. Thanks to foodbuzz for connecting us!

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  14. I bet it's delicious!! I made something similar for a parfait topping. So summery :)

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    1. Oh Kiran, this chutney on top of a parfait sounds mind blowing!

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  15. Thank you for adding me to your friends on Foodbuzz. I love your blog from first glimpse... your photography is stunning. :) Lovely cherry-ginger chutney. :) Going to subscribe to your blog now. :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting and also for your kind words! Great to get in touch via foodbuzz!

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  16. Beautiful as always my friend! I'm so sorry to hear you were having health problems, but I'm glad you are doing OK now! Your blog posts make me smile :)

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    1. And your comments make me smile Meg! :-) Love ya!

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  17. What fabulous photos!! And a wonderful recipe to match. I'm glad you are feeling better and I hope you are well on the path to full healthiness.

    I was just writing on another post how I've sort of been afraid to make jam, and I've not made chutney either. I think I'm inspired!

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  18. Wow, amazing chutney! I love cherries so I would love this chutney for sure! I just have to wait for cherries :)

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  19. stopped by from foodbuzz, LOVE your photography and your food sounds amazing! I am glad you are feeling better :) Subscribing to your blog now!

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  20. This looks fantastic, I will definitely have to try this recipe. Looking forward to following your blog!

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by and also for leaving a comment on the FB fanpage! I am so glad you liked what you saw here and hope not to disappoint you in the future :-)

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  21. I never thought this combination is fantastic. Looks really yummy! I have always loved your pictures. I look forward for more stunning clicks and promising recipes.
    Myfudo here...Normally we'd never put a shameless plug back to us, but we just launched our new site and we would love for you to be a part of it. I'd love to share our newest launch with you, I hope you don't mind? Now that we are getting a new look...Myfudo is moving to a new domain http://www.yumgoggle.com This has been a project we have been working on for almost a year now. We just launched our new gallery submission site, and we are just thrilled. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there! Please sign up and check us out (it's free) http://www.yumgoggle.com/gallery
    We look forward to seeing your wonderful pictures, as always.
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  22. I tried your recipe...and it is really great. Thanks. I have a real chtney recipe for keeps! =)

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    1. Yay, I am so glad you did! Thanks for trying :-)

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  23. This looks so yummy and I love the labels.

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  24. Living in germany i dont have a lot of experience with indian food. Two weeks ago i spent a weekend in london where i went to this great indian restaurant. My host introduced me to a variety of indian dishes. All of them were delicious. the recipes on your blog look very appealing. I m gonna try a few of them. But not with too much spice. My german taste is simply not used to it :)

    Annika
    www.douxflavor.tumblr.com

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    1. Annika London is like the Mecca of Indian food (after India itself!). I am glad you liked the cuisine. The food at restaurants are spicier that what we normally eat at home so in this blog you should find many non spicy Indian recipes which might suite your palette better. Thanks for dropping by btw! :-)

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  25. What a gorgeous looking chutney! Would love to make a chutney with cherries but they are very expensive here (because they are imported)...you are lucky to have a cherry farm where you are!

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    1. You can use this recipe to make any fruit chutney. This is "kinda" my mom's recipe (with a few tweaks ofcourse) and we never ate cherries in India. So there you go :-)

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  26. This looks wonderful! I'm such a sucker for anything with cherries!

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  27. My goodness! Your pictures are gorgeous! They are magazine worthy!!!!
    My mom loves to make chutneys ... I will be sure to pass this recipe along to here! She would have a blast making it :)

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  28. Yum! This looks and sounds delicious. Great recipe!

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  29. aur iske baad ise parathe ke saath khane ka maja hi aur hai.

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  30. Buy Saffron Kesar India
    Saffron should be there in it.I buy only pure saffron from india

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  31. Hi Prerna, Your photography is cool and I mentioned it before on Food buzz.
    Chutneys are a usual thing in Indian homes and this one is a real delicacy.

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  32. Gorgeous photos and recipe as always, Prerna. The idea of cherries and ginger sound so warming (even though I know you all are in the middle of summer!) - I'm tempted to use this as a topping for a light sponge cake, or something to get me through this crazy winter we are having!

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  33. Its just delicious!
    http://www.cookingtrend.com

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  34. I made this last night…..it was so easy and so great.
    Indian restaurants Manchester

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  35. I LOVE all kinds of mango chutney!! I really should make some righttt?

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  36. This chutney seems delicious! ummmms ... I shall try it at home.

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  37. The Chutney looks delish. I would love to try it.

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  38. Give me anything with cherries! Looks so good on a hot summers day (like today)

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  39. P, i thought i had already left a comment - this post is so pretty. i am loving my time w my newborn, but looking at your post reminds me of how much i love food blogging, too! by the way, LOVE that your Papa left a comment. Love, s

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  40. I just found your blog, and came across your recipe. I don't think I can wait until summer to make this. I am curious to know if you have ever used or would recommend using frozen cherries. My husband and I have started a new tradition of "Curry Sundays" and I would love to add this gorgeous chutney to the round.

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