Ever since I saw Spicehut's Bengali plum chutney, I knew I HAD to make it. It sounded too yummy for words - and believe me, it was, despite the slight variations I incorporated by being too lazy to measure the ingredients exactly!
Making changes to a recipe I've never made before, without knowing how it might affect the end result and how different it might be from the original - well, it could have been a pretty dumb thing to do. Luckily it wasnt. This plum chutney was well agreeable to incorporating minor changes. The end result was not only delicious, it was also versatile... I used it as a dip, as a side-dish with rotis and as a sauce for vegetables! How cool is that?
It was also very nice to see the chutney take on its beautiful red colour. The plums I had werent particularly red inside. They were sort of dingy, really, and I was worried the chutney would look like sludge at the end. But no, as the plums cooked down, they took on the gorgeous scarlet of Spicehut's original. Phew! (I was seriously toying with the idea of adding red food colouring, had the chutney NOT turned the right colour by itself! Glad I didnt have to cheat!)
Recipe for: Plum chutney
3 ripe plums, de-seeded and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 dried red chillies, whole (broken in half ONLY if you want real heat in your chutney)
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Salt to taste
1 cup water
1. In a pan, heat the oil and fry the red chillies. Pop the mustard seeds with the pan covered.
2. Put in the chopped plums and stir, then add the cinnamon powder, balsamic vinegar, lime juice and salt. Stir well.
3. Let the plums soften a little, then add the water and cook on med-high until the plums disintegrate.
4. When the plums have cooked down to a fairly thick sauce, add the sugar. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes longer.
5. Let cool and store in the fridge. This chutney can be used as a dip for savoury snacks or as a side-dish with chapatis.