No store-bought apricot chutney comes close to homemade!
This is true of all chutneys. Still looking for a fabulous homemade Mishloach Manot treat, one that will last until Passover and beyond? Apricot Chutney!
Chutneys, from the Hindi “to be licked” (an inspired derivation, if you have ever tasted a good one), are relishes that originated in India as a way of preserving fruits and vegetables. Sweet, tart, chunky and with a bit of fire, a good chutney is complex and intriguing, as well as incredibly versatile. Serve chutneys with curries, roasts or cold cuts. Mix them with a little honey and add to fruit salads. Stir into low-fat mayonnaise or creamed tofu and serve as a dip.
Chutney preparation is always based on the same principle: Fruits and/or vegetables are simmered in a hot liquid containing vinegar, sugar and spices until the mixture is reduced and thickened. Chutney is easy to make and to modify. After a few batches, you will learn to adjust the amounts of spices to your own taste.
You can make dozens of chutneys, including raw chutney, made by grinding coconut, cilantro, coconut, onion, curry and other spices. The following apricot chutney is one of my favorites!
- 2 medium onions, quartered
- 4 cups dried apricots, packed
- 3-inch piece ginger, peeled
- 2 3/4 cups cider vinegar
- 7 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons curry
- 1 tablespoon salt
Grind the onions, apricots and ginger coarsely in the food processor, using the pulse button. Place in a wide bottom stainless steel pot, with all remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Cool completely before storing in clean wide-mouth glass jars. Keep refrigerated.
Makes about 6 pints.