Fresh Figs = Fig Chutney or goodness in a jar, as we like to call it.
We Indians love chutneys and I can say safely that most Indian households have some form of chutney in their refrigerators all through the year. We, north-Indians, love a dollop of (almost any) chutney (along with some pickle) with our staple: dal-chawal. We also don’t mind slathering some green coriander & mint chutney on our breakfast sandwiches. And oh, don’t forget the ever so delicious coconut chutney with idlis. Now that we have established our love for chutneys, let’s move on with this obsession and take it up one notch.
The first time we made this chutney was around this time last year (Yes, as always, it has taken us that long to put this up. Phew, get over it already, will ya!). So, we received a bunch of fresh figs from a family friend’s kitchen garden and almost having never worked with or seen fresh figs before, we were baffled! The only form of figs we were familiar with were the dried ones. Remember, the ones your mother told/ still tells you to have along with other dried fruits, as a part of your breakfast, ‘coz they are healthy? Yes, Anjeer (Anjeer is figs in Hindi).
For a day, we just kept them in the refrigerator wondering what we could do with them. They have a delicate texture and seemed like they would go bad pretty quickly. I looked up a few recipes to see what I could do with the figs. As always, I was trying to look for a “healthier” recipe so baking a cake or using it in dessert was (almost) out of question. While browsing, I came across a deliciously tempting Fig Chutney recipe from David Lebovitz and off I was to the kitchen working on these delicate beauties.
Chutney’s can be so forgiving and you can play around with the ingredients without having to worry too much about the end result. So with very few tweaks to the original recipe (that were only inspired by the lack of certain ingredients in our pantry!!), we made what we would like to remind you we call- a jar of goodness.
Just in time for this year’s fig season (or may be a little late, nevertheless), here is how we make Fig Chutney:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 ½ tablespoons jaggery (see notes below)
- ½ cup regular white vinegar (see notes below)
- ½ cup fresh apple juice (see notes below
- juice from one lime
- 1-2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1 cup raisins, dried apricots, prunes or any other dried fruits you have
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- 20-22 fresh figs, chopped in cubes
- In a pan, heat oil and cook the onions on medium heat, until they brown a little.
- Add all the ingredients, other than the figs and cook this on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring consistently.
- Next, add in the figs, cover the pan and cook until the figs are cooked through and tender. This should take about 15 minutes.
- Then, remove the lid and cook the figs for another 15 minutes until the consistency thickens and it becomes jam- like.
- Let it cool before putting it in a jar and refrigerate to store.
- Use this chutney on a sandwich, with crackers & cheese, with paranthas, as a glaze to grill meats!
1. You can use equal amount (or more) sugar instead of jaggery.
2. To substitute white vinegar and apple juice, use 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar.