Apple & Grape Chutney
by Sukruti Anah
At our home, we always had a little place mat on the dining table, which held a hand-made basket to keep all our chutneys and aachars. As we gathered around the table for dinner, the steaming rice took its place next to the warm earthy vegetable and the slow-cooked meat gradually made its way. We then helped ourselves to generous servings of the steaming hot food that was laid before us. Then some one would reach out for the jars of pickle, fingers lingering over the few that may have complimented the spicy brinjal, so what would it be? Hot Raw Mango or Lime and Chilli, or maybe some Whole Gooseberry Pickle to slide into our plates.
That’s what we always forgot, so it was quite normal to realize that once someone had carefully made a decision of which Chutney would feature on tonight’s meal, they needed a spoon and annoyingly enough there were none. So I would run, to grab a handful of spoons should someone choose to experiment with more than one chutney. Our pickles were mostly spicy and sometimes saccharine with a sharp edge, but fruit preserves somehow never seemed to satisfied my spicy cravings, or so I thought until the Apple & Grape Chutney.
There is quite possibly an infinite combination of chutneys and pickles that are made across the world. Vegetables, fruits or spices and all good things beautifully combined into a jar and sealed to preserve the richness, that’s how I imagine chutneys are made.
Tonight, of course, I am lovingly fed a spoonful of this brand new chutney, and the spices and warm fruit explode in my mouth. As each individual ingredient was slowly added the aromas that filled the air were gradually dancing and transforming one fragrance to another. The toasted cumin and coriander seeds gently took over the room and the green chillies came alive as it sizzled in the fire with the light pink onions and rustic ginger. Then suddenly, the dense air turned sweet as the heat softened the peeled apples and the white grapes that floated in the boiling vessel.
By now as you can imagine, the sun has set and the cool autumn winds rustle the falling leaves outside. The house is warm with the spicy aromas and the sweet fragrance of the hand-made apple & grape chutney.
Surely, you want just a dab of this beautiful concoction.
Made by Sylvia Scott, London