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A Tasty Fruit Chutney

Cherries

I’ve always enjoyed chutneys as a condiment, but I considered them to be a kind of jam or jelly, although often more savory than American jams. Many of the U.S. brands of chutney have chunky pieces of fruit, nuts and the like in a tasty sauce, and they’re quite good.

The chutneys I savored during my recent trip to India were much different. They were almost always a purée-style condiment, with a lot more zest than the “back home” editions I was used to. There was still some texture in a few of the chutneys I sampled, but not a lot.

They were all good! Coconut, onion, ginger, tomato, mint and cilantro, and fruit; they were all full of spices and chile heat.

Whether you like your chutney to be more marmalade-chunky or smoother, here’s one I’m sure you’ll enjoy:

This preparation comes together without difficulty, and there’s a wonderful bonus: You get a nice supply of arbol chile infused vinegar! If you like chunky condiments, leave this chutney as you find it at the end of the cooking step. You can purée a bit in a small food processor if you want a smoother texture. There may be dishes where having chunks wouldn’t give you the right appearance or mouth feel; purée away!

The amount of mint appears to be too small when you first put this chutney together. You can add more, of course; I caution you, though, the mint flavor works its way out into the topping, and can become overpowering. (Voice of experience here; learn from the “experiments” of others!)

I don’t consider this an everyday table chutney, but it does go well with fish and fowl dishes. Its taste is strong enough to pair well with game birds, like dove or quail, and it goes especially welll with duck.

So get quacking and make some up!

Enjoy the (Cherry Chutney) Heat!

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