Chutneys are a delicious Indian condiment. The word “chutney” is actually a British term derived from the Hindi word “chatni”, meaning, “to crush”. Chutneys are very popular all over India and are quite simple to make.
Chutneys come in a wide range of bold and exciting flavors ranging from spicy to sweet, savory, tangy and even sour. They also vary in textures depending upon the ingredients used and their preparation. There are two main types of chutneys: fresh and preserved and they can either be wet or dry in nature.
Fruit chutneys in particular are a wonderful and delicate balance of tastes and flavors. You can always adjust the ingredients to create a more sweeter, tart or spicy chutney. Regardless, fresh home made chutneys will always add an exotic Indian touch to any meal.
PINEAPPLE CHUTNEY (Ananas Chutney)
2 cups of fresh pineapple pieces (about 1” in size)
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
2-3 tbsp of sugar (you can use Splenda For Cooking)
1 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
2-4 small dried red chilies
salt to taste
In a small saucepan on medium low heat, add the pineapple pieces. Then add the bay leaf, ginger and sugar. The amount of sugar may vary depending upon the natural sweetness of the pineapple, so add it according to your own personal taste. Let cook for 8-10 minutes until the pineapple has slightly broken down and become soft.
In a small skillet on medium high, add the oil. When hot, slowly add the black mustard seeds. Once they have stopped splattering, add cumin seeds and dried red chilies. Sauté until the spices start to sizzle and after a few seconds, directly pour over the pineapple. Serve with your favorite meal. Keep refrigerated and eat within 1 week.
You could use this same basic process to make delicious mango, papaya, peach, pear, date, fig, apricot or green apple chutney. Also, try adding some raisins during the cooking process for another layer of flavor.