I love apricots and the markets are flooded with these gorgeous fruit these days. Apart from making them a part of my daily fruit intake I love to make compote, preserve (click for my recipe of apricot preserve) , chutney etc from any seasonal fruit I can find in the market. Apricot chutney is delicious and a perfect condiment with cold meats, grilled meats, parathas, bread, cheese crackers, tacos etc. It sure is a great accompaniment for curries, roasts and in sandwiches.
You can even lick it off the spoon any time of the day for a tangy sweet experience. It is gluten-free, low in calorie and full of flavour plus nutrition. Packed with vitamins , fiber, this iron rich date, raisin, apricot chutney is one thing I always have in the fridge during summer. Ginger and other spices give it a burst of flavor. Overall it is a treat.
To make this lovely chutney you need
Fresh Apricots – 500 gms (washed, pitted and roughly chopped with skin)
Raisins – 1/2 cup
Dates – – 1/4 cup ( roughly chopped)
Red or White Onion – 1 Medium
Garlic – 2-3 pods ( crushed and chopped finely)
Ginger – 1/2 inch (made into juliennes) (can use glace candied ones too 1/4 cup)
Red chilli whole -1 Small
Peppercorns – 5-6 crushed or whole
White vinegar/ apple cider vinegar/ malt vinegar or lemon juice – 1/4 cup or juice of one lemon
Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
Garam Masala * – 1/4 teaspoon
Olive Oil – 2 tablespoon
Honey – 3 tablespoons
Sugar – 1/2 cup ( as required) ( brown or white. You can add palm jaggery or sugarcane jaggery too)
For the muslin spice infusion bag
Bay leaf – 1
Mace blade – 1
Cinnamon stick – small piece
Cloves – 3-4
All spice – 1
All spices slightly roasted and tied in the infusion bag)
Wash, dry, pit and chop Apricots. Chop dates and keep aside.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, add peppercorns and red chilli. (You can remove the red chilli before spooning it in jar)
Add chopped onion and stir till translucent. Add ginger and garlic. Stir for a minute. Keep this on low flame.
Add chopped apricots, dates and raisins. Stir.
Add the dry powder masalas and salt.
Add sugar and little water (about 1/4 cup)
Add the spice infusion bag.
Bring it to boil and let it cook till the fruit becomes soft.
Keep stirring till the mixture thickens to the desired consistency.
Add honey and vinegar or lime juice. Stir constantly on medium heat so the chutney doesn’t stick to the pan.
You can taste and adjust the sweetness etc as desired.
This chutney takes about an hour to cook. You can use slow cooker also.
Once the chutney reaches its desired consistency put out the heat and let it cool till it reaches room temperature.
Remove the spice infusion bag.
Spoon the yummy chutney in sterilized air tight mason jars and refrigerate. Use of lemon juice or vinegar helps in preservation.
One can keep it for a couple of days or a few weeks in the fridge.
Fruit selection – Always use sweet-smelling fruit. It will definitely taste good.
Tips – You can get creative with this chutney and ad/ remove dry fruits. Add sultanas instead of raisins, add apple shreds or orange rings. It is an artwork in which you get to use the imagination and bring out something delicious.
*Garam Masala – I make it at home with black whole cardamom, clove, peppercorn, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg etc. all roasted slightly and ground to a fine powder) We use very little of it as there are already whole spices infused in the chutney.