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.

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.


  1. Great recipe. Delicious. The fennel does impart a lovely flavour and the ginger pairs well with the cherries. I will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing: )

  2. thanks for the receipe! i am helping my wife at home for the next 3 weeks and we have a lot of cherries now in our fridge. Thought of making something out of it and saw this post. Lets hope the cherry chutney i do will come out edible!

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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 🙂

  7. 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!

    • 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 🙂

  8. 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 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! 🙂

    • 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 🙂

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

  10. 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!

  11. 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. 🙂

  12. 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!

  13. 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:)

  14. 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.

  15. 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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