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.
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
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.