Sweet and Spicy Grape Chutney

By • October 4, 2012 • 27 Comments

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Author Notes: Growing up in India, fruit chutneys were almost always a regular part of our daily meals. We would have chutneys made with whatever fruit was in season - dates, mangoes, plums, tamarind, pineapple, tomatoes, gooseberry, olives, star fruits - all incredibly delicious and eagerly slurped up by us!
The key to the Bengali chutney is often the spice mix known as paanch (five) phoron (spice). Paanch phoron is made up of equal parts of nigella seeds, black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds. Paanch phoron is readily available at Indian grocery stores, and if you have some of the pre-made mix, then just add 1/2 teaspoon of it in this dish.
In the part of India that I come from (West Bengal), meals are still served in a course-by-course manner and the chutneys would be served right after the meat dish and just before dessert. It is usually served with papads/poppadoms and the sensation of biting into a salty and crunchy papad dipped in a sweet and tangy chutney is something that you just have to experience for yourself! Enjoy!
Madhuja

Food52 Review: WHO: Madhuja lives in Colorado and hated cooking while growing up, but loves it now!
WHAT: A traditional Bengali fruit chutney with a medley of grapes and five spices.
HOW: After toasting the spices in oil, the grapes simmer in sugar and lemon zest until the chutney reaches your desired thickness.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Madhuja recommends serving the chutney with poppadoms, but we think it'd be just as good with roasted lamb!
The Editors

Serves 4-6

  • 1 cup sliced green seedless grapes
  • 1 cup sliced red seedless grapes
  • 1 cup sliced black seedless grapes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 dried chile de arbol
  • 1/8 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  1. In a non-stick sauce pan add the vegetable oil on medium heat. Add all the dry spices and the ginger and saute for about 1 minute. You don't want the spices to burn, so stir continuously.
  2. Add the grapes, one cup of water, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Raise the heat to medium-high and let it boil for 15-20 minutes. Gently stir every now and then. I like my chutneys to be quite thick, so I let it boil for the entire 20 minutes. If you like yours more liquid-y, then you can stop earlier. The chutney will also thicken as it cools.
  3. For an authentic Bengali experience, have the chutney with papads/poppadoms. Enjoy!
Jump to Comments (27)

Comments (27) Questions (0)

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2 months ago Shuchi

Tried this recipe today & served alongside baked Tandoori chicken drumsticks. Delish! Thank you :)

Spiceroute

2 months ago Madhuja

That sounds like a dinner I want to have right now! I am so glad you liked the chutney! :)

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4 months ago Susan

I just harvested a ton of seed-filled white grapes... do you think they could be used instead of seedless?

Spiceroute

4 months ago Madhuja

I have never tried making this with seeded grapes - I would love to know how it turned out, should you try making this! Sorry about the late reply - I was away on vacation!

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about 2 years ago susan g

I made this with 2 cups of fresh cranberries and 1 cup of prunes for a Thanksgiving variation. I reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup and followed the recipe otherwise. It's delicious and the papads are going to be happy! (I'm glad to find another use for the paanch phoron -- it's such a pleasing taste.)

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

Cranberries and prunes sound like a wonderful combination! I am so glad you liked it! :)

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about 2 years ago PistachioDoughnut

Congrats Madhuja. The flavors sound amazing..

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

Thank you so much!

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about 2 years ago QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

Madhuja, I tried your chutney and loved it!!! Congrats - so well deserved!

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

Thank you so much for trying it out! I am so happy you liked it!

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about 2 years ago EmilyC

SO happy to see you as a finalist! I had a feeling about this one -- it looks really, really good. Congrats!

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

Thank you, EmilyC! You are so very kind!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations on being chosen as a finalist, I knew this would be one. This is a fantastic recipe!

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about 2 years ago Rivka

Hear, hear! I tested it and it is indeed wonderful. Congrats on being a finalist!

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

Thank you so much, sdebrango! I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

Thank you so much for testing the recipe, Rivka! I am so glad you liked it!

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

I completely forgot to add 1 tbsp vegetable oil to the ingredients!! Sorry about that!

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about 2 years ago Vivian Henoch

I'm betting this one comes up for a Community Pick or better. Seems to me it's the best of the lot here. Will give it a try.

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

Thank you so much! Please let me know how it turned out! :)

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about 2 years ago EmilyC

Oh -- love this! What a wonderful combination of flavors!

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

Thank you so much!

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about 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This sounds amazing, I love chutneys - a grape one hadn't occured to me but now I have to try it! We have loads of grapes this weeknd :-)

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

Thank you! Let me know how it turned out!

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about 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Wonderful recipe! Just love it. ;o)

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

Thank you so much!

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about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh delicious, I really love chutney this sounds amazing,

Spiceroute

about 2 years ago Madhuja

Thank you! I hope you give this one a try!