I grew up hearing about the miraculous benefits of Nigella seeds (also knows as Onion Seeds or Kalonji) and seeing the tiny black seeds in a lot of Pakistani food and pickles at home. When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, my mother called to make sure I’m using two things to boost my immunity: Turmeric & Nigella Seeds. This lip-smacking sweet & spicy chutney recipe not only has both of these, but will also take care of most of your soon-to-be-wasted-fruit worries! Those bruised apples, too mushy-to-be-eaten plums or about-to-go-off pears can now find a friend in this South-Asian chutney base.
ONE BASE FITS ALL!
The dry spices and ginger, garlic, chillies sautéd in oil is the starter-kit for a lot of South-Asian cooking. Try adding fruit and veg of your choice to this spicy concoction for instant flavour with the added advantage of health benefits.
MORE REASONS TO SHOP LOCAL
You will find all of these spice gems in your friendly neighbourhood Turkish / Indian grocery store. Not only do they help this chutney get it’s authentic South-Asian flavour, but are also great in currys, broths, meat marination, and even some of your desserts!
Sweet & Spicy Fruit Chutney
- 1 tbsp Cooking Oil (neutral tasting)
- 1/4 tsp Fresh ginger (finely minced)
- 1 tsp Garlic (finely minced)
- 1/2 tsp Nigella Seeds optional but highly recommended for a great taste
- 1/4 tsp Ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 8 tbsp Sugar brown, or any kind
- 4 tbsp White vinegar
- 1 cup Diced fruit of your choice try apples, pears, plums, peaches, mangoes
- Heat the oil over medium-high in a medium stock pot. Saute the ginger, garlic and red chilies for a minute. Add the spices and saute for another minute.
- Add the diced fruit, sugar, salt, and vinegar and stir to combine. Bring it to a rapid boil and reduce to medium-low. Put a lid and steady simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow it to cool. If you prefer smaller chunks, mash the mixture to the desired consistency.
- For storage, chutney will keep for a while because of the high acidity content. A conservative time frame would be up to 2 months in the fridge (in a sealed jar) or for several months in the freezer.
- Canning Instructions (for even longer shelf-life): Pour the hot mixture directly into sterilized jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Let sit undisturbed for 24 hours, then store in a dark, cool place. Will keep for at least a year.