Creative cooks find delicious new uses for this ancient, aromatic herb.
Makes six 12-ounce jars
This is an adaptation of a popular North Indian mango chutney. Do not hold back on the hot pepper. Because of its complex flavors, this chutney goes with almost any meat dish, as well as winter squash and pumpkin.
• 12 dried dates, pitted and diced
• 2 pounds green (unripe) muskmelon or watermelon rind, diced in small pieces (or substitute 2 pounds mango for a sweeter flavor)
• 2 pounds half-ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into thin strips
• ½ tablespoon ground hot pepper, or to taste
• ½ cup sliced blanched almonds
• ½ cup pistachio nuts (sliced in half or coarsely broken)
• 25 flakes of garlic (garlic cloves cut into paper-thin slices, lengthwise)
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon cumin seed
• 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds (black seeds from inside pods)
• 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground cloves
• 3 cups sugar
• 1 cup water
• 2 tablespoons sea salt, or to taste
• 1 cup vinegar
1. Soak dates in warm water for 20 minutes or until soft, then discard water. Combine dates, melon, mango and hot pepper in a large mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine nuts, garlic and spices; set aside.
3. Combine sugar and water in a large, open pan and heat over medium. Boil until sugar completely dissolves and a thick syrup forms (about 10 minutes).
4. Add mango mixture and salt, and cook over medium-high heat until mixture begins to thicken and is reduced by about half (allow 30 minutes).
5. Add nut and spice mixture, then vinegar. Cook 5 minutes more. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.
William Woys Weaver is a food historian, author and contributing editor to Mother Earth News and Gourmet magazines. His classic, out-of-print book Heirloom Vegetable Gardening (Henry Holt & Co., 1997) is available on CD from Mother Earth News at www.HerbCompanion.com/shopping
For the main article, The Spice is Right: Discover Cardamom, click here.
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