Sweet and Spicy Grape Chutney

October  4, 2012
4 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Serves 4-6
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!

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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!
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21 Reviews

Shuchi October 8, 2014
Tried this recipe today & served alongside baked Tandoori chicken drumsticks. Delish! Thank you :)
Madhuja October 10, 2014
That sounds like a dinner I want to have right now! I am so glad you liked the chutney! :)
Susan August 16, 2014
I just harvested a ton of seed-filled white grapes... do you think they could be used instead of seedless?
Madhuja August 21, 2014
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!
susan G. November 15, 2012
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.)
Madhuja November 16, 2012
Cranberries and prunes sound like a wonderful combination! I am so glad you liked it! :)
Devangi R. October 27, 2012
Congrats Madhuja. The flavors sound amazing..
Madhuja October 27, 2012
Thank you so much!
QueenSashy October 25, 2012
Madhuja, I tried your chutney and loved it!!! Congrats - so well deserved!
Madhuja October 25, 2012
Thank you so much for trying it out! I am so happy you liked it!
EmilyC October 25, 2012
SO happy to see you as a finalist! I had a feeling about this one -- it looks really, really good. Congrats!
Madhuja October 25, 2012
Thank you, EmilyC! You are so very kind!
Madhuja October 10, 2012
I completely forgot to add 1 tbsp vegetable oil to the ingredients!! Sorry about that!
Vivian H. October 10, 2012
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.
Madhuja October 10, 2012
Thank you so much! Please let me know how it turned out! :)
EmilyC October 6, 2012
Oh -- love this! What a wonderful combination of flavors!
Madhuja October 7, 2012
Thank you so much!
aargersi October 6, 2012
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 :-)
Madhuja October 6, 2012
Thank you! Let me know how it turned out!
AntoniaJames October 5, 2012
Wonderful recipe! Just love it. ;o)
Madhuja October 5, 2012
Thank you so much!