The Taste of India: Apricot Chutney with Raisins and Currants

Vegetarian recipes to warm your palate.

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Makes about 4 cups

In North India, chutney is often made of the flesh of a sour, dried plum known as aloo bokhara (the plum of Bokhara). This recipe substitutes the more available dried apricots instead. If you like the ubiquitous Major Grey’s Mango Chutney, this rich sweet-sour blend will have even more appeal.

• 1 pound dried apricots
• 10 large cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
• A 1-by-3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
• 2 cups sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 3/4 cup golden raisins
• 1/2 cup currants

Put the apricots in a bowl. Pour 4 cups of hot water over them and let them soak for an hour.

Put the garlic and ginger into the container of an electric blender or a food processor along with 1/4 cup of the vinegar. Blend until smooth.

Empty the apricots and their soaking liquid into a heavy stainless-steel or porcelain-lined pot. Add the garlic-ginger mixture, the remaining vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Simmer on a medium flame, stirring frequently, for 45 minutes. Do not let the chutney catch at the bottom of the pot. Lower heat if necessary. Add the raisins and currants and cook, stirring, another half hour or until chutney takes on a thick, glazed look. (It will thicken slightly as it cools.) Let the chutney cool and store, refrigerated, in lidded glass or ceramic jars.

— Madhur Jaffrey, originator of these recipes, was born in Delhi, India. At age 20, after graduating from Delhi University, she went to England to study drama. There, homesick for India and disappointed in the school’s bleak fare, she finally began learning Indian cooking from recipes that her mother sent from India. Since she arrived in New York in the early 1960s, she has been enlightening Americans on Indian cooking and culture through lectures, a television series, and several books.

Recipes copyright 1981 by Madhur Jaffrey. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

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