This is outstanding chutney, especially when the apricots are tree-ripened, sweet and fragrant. For those of us resorting to fruits sold at supermarkets or corner grocers, look for barely ripened fruit with a fragrant smell. If they are absolutely without smell, use dried apricots which require an overnight soaking in lime juice and water and a slight increase in cooking time.
This is from Lord Krishna’s Kitchen. It is sharp, tangy and sweet at the same time. Make it the star of the meal, even though it is a chutney. It’s strong flavours should not have to compete with other dishes.
Khumani Chatni | Apricot Chutney Indian Style
Source: Adapted from Lord Krishna’s Kitchen: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi
Prep Time: 10 mins plus overnight for soaking the apricots if using dried apricots
Cooking Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Serves: approx 1.5 cups
Either: 230 g dried apricot halves, quartered and soaked overnight in 3 Tblspns lime juice and 2 cups hot water; OR 1 kg fresh apricots, seeded and sliced, plus 3 tablespoons lime juice and ½ cup water
2 Tblspn ghee
7 cm piece cinnamon stick
0.5 tspn kalonji or black sesame seeds
0.5 Tblspn finely grated fresh ginger root
85 g raisins or currants
0.5 cup jaggery or maple syrup
0.25 tspn salt
large pinch cayenne pepper
If you are using dried apricots, drain the soaked fruit in a strainer and collect the liquid.
Heat the over moderate heat in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. When it melts, add the cinnamon, kalonji or black sesame seeds and ginger, and fry for about ½ minute. Stir in the remaining ingredients, raise the heat slightly, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, stirring now and then, especially in the last 10 minutes, until the chutney is thick and glazed, about 30 minutes for fresh apricots and 45 minutes for dried.
Leave overnight to develop and balance the flavours.
Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered, for 4-6 days.