I “invented” this recipe quite by chance. I hate to throw away food but since I often buy in large quantities, I am often left with fruit that is not spoiled but no one at home wants to eat it. Even though my kids love grapes, if they aren’t super crunchy, they won’t eat them. One of these times when I had stocked up on grapes and blackberries and no one at home seemed interested in them, I made this chutney in an attempt to use the fruit. It was an odd combination of sweet fruit and Indian spices but somehow it worked. It proved to be a versatile chutney because it works well on a hot buttered toast or with a charcouterie.
1. Three cups of unseeded grapes
2. One cup of black berries (you can also use raspberries or strawberries)
3. One cup of sugar
4. One teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
5. ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
6. Two teaspoons of Panch Phoron (an Indian spice blend of the following five spice seeds: fenugreek seeds, Nigella seeds (onion seeds), cumin seeds, Black mustard seeds, and fennel seeds). You can make your own or buy it from any South Asian grocery store.
7. Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1. Wash the berries and grapes and place them in a medium sized frying pan.
When the fruit is cooked and you don’t see individual shapes of the berries and grapes, add the cup of sugar and cook for another 10-12 minutes. It should get the consistency of grape jelly or you may need to add some more sugar or cook for more time. The water and sugar content in every batch of grapes varies and so cooking time could vary a little.
4. In a small sauce pan, add the olive oil and heat it over low heat.
5. When the oil is hot, add the Panch Phoron and the red pepper flakes and heat for a minute or so.
6. Add the oil and spice mixture to the grape and blackberry jelly and stir thoroughly. Taste the jelly and if it seems too sweet, add a little bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes (until all moisture seems to have evaporated from it).
7. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.
8. Let the chutney cool before storing it in clean glass containers or Tupperware containers.
9. Serve it with a crusty baguette, some artisanal hard salami and an assortment of salty cheeses. You can keep this chutney for a few months and use it for a quick tasty lunch or as an appetizer when you have guests.