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Author Notes: Influenced by my love of Indian food, I make this chutney in large quantities and use it for everything for the Thanksgiving turkey to baked brie to Indian curries and rice dishes. It was originally inspired by an Epicurious.com recipe with pears, cranberries ginger and mustard seeds that cooked quickly, but I added a lot of other flavors to make it complex and strong enough to stand up to any Indian dishes it might complement, and I cooked it longer to more completely meld, caramelize and deepen the flavors in it. —The Spiced Life
Makes approx. 4 qts
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown mustard seeds
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 8-10 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup minced ginger
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar, plus more to taste
- 36 ounces fresh cranberries
- 2 sweet, crisp apples, peeled and chopped (such as Fuji)
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
- 2 ripe pears, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste
- dried chile pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup orange juice, plus more to taste
- Heat a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil and the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds have finished popping, add the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger with another pinch of salt and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits, with the cider vinegar.
- Let the cider vinegar cook down a bit and then add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and the reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 45 minutes, until all cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Then, and this is crucial, begin tasting for additional ingredients. At this point–preferably a day or 2 before serving, the chutney will be particularly sharp, so you should expect that. Having said that, you do want a nice balance of sweet with the tart and bitter. I added more cider vinegar and more sugar to mine.