Yamuna Devi Recipe # 10 : Apricot Chutney with Currants (Khumani Chatni)

But wait, there’s more…! Here’s more serialising of recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi. Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. See below*

(It’s almost apricot season here in Australia. First of the season apricots are the most tasteful, says Kurma.)

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. American (and Australian) dried apricots little resemble their shriveled Indian counterpart, aloo bookhara, but they are almost as tasty as the fresh fruit.

Preparation and cooking time for fresh apricots: 30 minutes,
Preparation, soaking and cooking time for dried apricots: overnight,
Makes: 1½ cups.

½ pound (230 g) dried apricot halves, quartered and soaked overnight in 3 table spoons lime juice and 2 cups (480 ml) hot water; or 2 pounds (1 kg) fresh apricots, seeded and sliced, plus 3 tablespoons lime juice and ½ cup water,
2 tablespoons ghee or butter,
3-inch (7.5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick,
½ teaspoon kalonji or black sesame seeds,
½ tablespoon scraped fresh ginger root, minced,
2/3 cup (85 g) dark raisins or currants,
½ cup (75 g) maple sugar or brown sugar, packed,
¼ teaspoon salt,
1/8 – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

If you are using dried apricots, drain the soaked fruit in a strainer and collect the liquid.

Heat the ghee or butter over moderate heat in 3-quart/liter 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.

Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered, for 2-3 days.

*Note that since Yamuna wrote her recipes using US measurements, the weights are in US with metric in brackets.

More importantly, her tablespoons are US (15ml) whereas Australian/metric tablespoons are 20ml. So if you follow these recipes using metric measures, your tablespoons should be scant.

Similarly, the US cup is 240ml as distinct from the Australian/metric 250ml cup. The same scant measuring should thus apply to Australian/metric cup users.

The teaspoon is a universal 5ml.

Posted by Kurma on 29/9/10; 6:54:31 AM

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