The Joy of Working with Fresh Fruits!
Grocery shopping in the summers is like going to a fruit festival. The markets are flooded with locally grown produce in every region of America.
And if you can, this is the best time to head to your local farmer’s market and engage your senses in the process of buying the best food for yourself. Large grocery chains sell vegetables which get frozen at the source and then de-frozen for consumers just take the joy out of produce shopping. There is hardly any fragrance left to gauge the freshness of food and a supple mango doesn’t quite mean a ripe mango!
Let’s just say it’s a relief when food comes from a source close to the farm stand.
Now coming to the point of this little tirade. I got fresh cherries and so many that we couldn’t eat them all. So, the next best thing to do is of course to stir up a pot of Gingered Cherry Chutney. Read on to find out how you can preserve the flavour of the season’s best fruits. And, yes you can make this with a variety of berries- try strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and don’t forget the plums and mangoes, for each of which Sakshi has a simple recipes.
- 2-3 cups of Cherries, de-seeded,
- 1 tbsp Ginger (shredded),
- 1 tsp olive oil,
- 1 tsp Fennel seeds,
- 1 tsp Nigella seeds,
- 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds,
- 1 Bay Leaf,
- 1 Dried Red Chilli,
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar,
- 1/4 cup Agave nectar,
- A pinch of salt,
- Water as needed.
Process:To get started, wash cherries and de-seed them, slicing into two or more pieces.
If you are using fresh ginger, grate about a 1 inch piece to get 1 tbsp.
In a pot, heat olive oil and then add to it whole spices-bay leaf, fennel,
nigella and fenugreek seeds and, whole red chilli.
Once these spices are sautéed, add cherries.
Cook for a few minutes, until the fruit starts getting soft and mushy.
Next, add sugar and agave nectar, and a pinch of salt. I used two types of sweetening agents-but you can add whichever you prefer.
As the cherries cook, they will release moisture. But to avoid burning, add about 1/4 cup of water. Then, cover the pot and cook on sim until the stew thickens to almost a jelly like consistency.
Turn off the heat and let it cool before transferring to an airtight jar.
My summertime recommendations is to bring out the snacks, cheese and crackers, spread the chutney and pour out some wine for the perfect end to a warm day!
Summer evenings will never be dull with this spicy, Gingered Cherry Chutney.
Here are some more seasonal recipes on the blog: