Chutney is one of those side dishes that can radically transform your meal. A little goes a long way to take your dinner to a whole new level. Grab a couple of ingredients lying around the back of your fridge to make a small batch on Monday, and you’ll be kicking your dinners up to a whole new level all week long. Chutney goes with fish, roast chicken, broiled pork chops, and even wild and crazy tacos.
chut·ney [chuht-nee] noun, plural chut·neys.
a sauce or relish of East Indian origin, often compounded of both sweet and sour ingredients, as fruits and herbs, with spices and other seasoning.
I used to think of chutney making as a time consuming process involving canning but I now prefer to think of it as an exercise in spontaneity. I grab whatever fruits inspire me, often a combination of fresh and dried fruits, throw in a few spices, top the mixture with some white wine vinegar and brown sugar and set it to simmer for an hour or so. My chutneys are never the same, no matter how closely I follow this recipe. The temptation to throw in a little extra cinnamon one week or a dash of curry the next is too much.
My chutneys are as unpredictable as the Chicago weather, but because they’re so easy to make, everyone at dinner can choose wether to take it or leave it. The chutney sits in a pretty little bowl, inviting everyone to take a spoonful or two and take walk on the exotic side.
- 3 apples, preferably different types
- ½ cup of raisins
- ⅓ cup of white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- Peel and dice the apples.
- In a small saucepan, combine the apples, raisins, spices, vinegar, sugar and salt. Mix with a spoon to coat the fruit in vinegar.
- Cook over low heat for an hour. Check the chutney periodically. If the liquid evaporates, add an extra ½ cup of water.