The Black Mission Caper: a curried affair

By Sagegreen
August 24, 2010
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Author Notes: Adapting a plum chutney recipe from the Joy of Pickling, I started out with black mission figs. At the near end of my cooking, something just seemed missing, but I didn't know what. Something was lacking in this recipe despite all the curry spice. So I added some black sesame seeds, which added a fine scaled texture to play with the fig seeds....but that was not enough . So then I added some capote capers, and they added enough sour balance to make this chutney much more interesting. I am giving one version for immediate use, but also suggesting another version suited to canning in a boiling-water bath (in parenthesis). I like the immediate use version with less sugar. This is a sweet/sour curried chutney. Freely increase the amounts for future canning if you like this chutney. Sagegreen

Serves: 1 pint

  • 1 curry leaf, optional
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, optional
  • 1/4 cup slivered crystalized ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, optional
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • (plus 1/2 cups sugar, if canning)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (pickling salt, if canning)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced, optional
  • 1/4 cup red peppers, diced
  • 1 lemon, sliced and depitted
  • 1/2 cup pluots, diced (or yellow raisins, if canning)
  • 1 1/2 pounds black mission figs, cut into eigths
  • 1 tablespoon capote capers
  1. In a nonreactive hot pan add the curry leaf and all the dry spices for 1 minute.
  2. Pour in the vinegar and sugars/syrup and bring to a boil, stirring. Add the ginger, garlic, lemons, salt, onions, and peppers; simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The chutney should start to thicken. Add the diced pluots @half inch pieces (or raisins, or a mix of the two) and simmer 10-15 more minutes.
  3. Add in the cut figs and simmer 20-25 more minutes. Add the capers and simmer another 5 minutes.
  4. Ladle the hot chutney into 1 pint or 2 half-pint mason jar(s) (making sure to leave 1/4 inch of headspace, if canning, then close the jars with hot 2 piece caps and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Store cooled in a dark, dry, cool place). Refrigerate and enjoy this curried chutney.

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